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Microbiologyopen. 2014 Oct;3(5):752-63. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.205. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

The C-terminus of nisin is important for the ABC transporter NisFEG to confer immunity in Lactococcus lactis.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Universitaetsstrasse 1, 40225, Duesseldorf, Germany.


The lantibiotic nisin is a small 3.4 kDa antimicrobial peptide, which acts against Gram-positive bacteria in the nmol/L range. Nisin is produced and secreted by several Lactococcus lactis strains to ensure advantages against other bacteria in their habitat. Nisin contains five specific lanthionine rings of which the first two are important for Lipid II binding and the last two are crucial for the pore formation in the membrane. To gain immunity against nisin, the producing strain is expressing an ABC transporter called NisFEG, which expels nisin from the membrane. As a result six to eightfold more nisin is needed to affect the cells. The hydrolysis of ATP by NisFEG is required for this immunity as shown by a mutant, where the ATP hydrolysis is disrupted (NisFH181A EG). Furthermore, NisFEG recognizes the C-terminus of nisin, since deletion of the last six amino acids as well as of the last ring lowered the fold of immunity displayed by NisFEG.


ABC transporter; immunity; lantibiotic; nisin; resistance

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