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J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Sep 5. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b03432. [Epub ahead of print]

Identification of a Wheat Thaumatin-like Protein That Inhibits Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe) , KU Leuven , Kasteelpark Arenberg 20 , B-3001 Leuven , Belgium.
Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research , KU Leuven , Herestraat 49 , B-3000 Leuven , Belgium.
VIB - KU Leuven Laboratory for Systems Biology & CMPG Laboratory for Genetics and Genomics, VIB - KU Leuven Center for Microbiology, Bio-Incubator , Gaston Geenslaan 1 , B-3001 Leuven , Belgium.


Plants often produce antifungal peptides and proteins in response to infection. Also wheat, which is the main ingredient of bread dough, contains such components. Here, we show that while some industrial strains of the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can efficiently ferment dough, some other strains show much lower fermentation capacities because they are sensitive to a specific wheat protein. We purified and identified what turned out to be a thaumatin-like protein through a combination of activity-guided fractionation, cation exchange chromatography, reversed-phase HPLC, and LC-MS/MS. Recombinant expression of the corresponding gene and testing the activity confirmed the inhibitory activity of the protein.


; dough fermentation; inhibition; thaumatin-like protein; wheat


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