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Med Princ Pract. 2018;27(2):186-192. doi: 10.1159/000487306. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Antibacterial Activity, Cytotoxicity, and the Mechanism of Action of Bacteriocin from Bacillus subtilis GAS101.



The aim of this study was to purify and characterize bacteriocin from the soil isolate Bacillus subtilis GAS101, and to determine its antimicrobial as well as antibiofilm potential. The purified bacteriocin was further analyzed and evaluated for mammalian cell cytotoxicity and the possible mode of action.


Bacteriocin from B. subtilis GAS101 (an animal husbandry soil isolate) was partially purified and checked for antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The molecular weight of bacteriocin was determined using tricine SDS-PAGE gel. The stability of bacteriocin was investigated at various temperatures and pH levels, and its sensitivity towards 8 enzymes and 6 chemicals was determined. Cytotoxicity analysis was performed on a Vero cell line by a tetrazolium dye-based assay. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of bacteriocin-treated bacteria was carried out to determine the possible mode of action.


Bacteriocin from B. subtilis GAS101 was a potential inhibitor of both the indicator organisms (Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli), and had a molecular weight of approximately 6.5 kDa. An in situ gel assay showed a zone of inhibition corresponding to the estimated protein band size. Bacteriocin was stable and showed antibacterial activity in broad ranges of temperature (30-121°C) and pH (2-12). It was sensitive to 4 proteolytic enzymes, which indicated its proteinaceous nature. Bacteriocin showed > 70% cell viability on the mammalian Vero cell line. SEM depicted that the bacteriocin was able to disrupt the bacterial cell membrane as its probable mode of action.


Thermostable and pH-tolerant bacteriocin from B. subtilis GAS101, of about 6.5 kDa, showed broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity.


Cytotoxicity; Escherichia coli; In situ gel assay; Scanning electron microscopy; Staphylococcus epidermidis

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