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Arch Microbiol. 1985 Apr;141(3):249-54.

Induction of autolysis of staphylococci by the basic peptide antibiotics Pep 5 and nisin and their influence on the activity of autolytic enzymes.


Pep 5 and nisin are cationic bactericidal peptides which were shown to induce autolysis in Staphylococcus cohnii 22. In contrast to nisin, Pep 5 induced lysis could be stimulated in the presence of glucose. Addition of lipoteichoic acids (LTA) (D-alanine:phosphorus = 0.475:1) inhibited all effects of Pep 5 on susceptible cells in a molar ratio LTA:Pep 5 of 10:1. Treatment of S. cohnii 22 with Pep 5 or nisin for 20 min and subsequent washing with 2.5 M NaCl released autolysin activity. Crude preparations of the hydrolyzing enzymes produced free amino groups as well as polysaccharide fragments from the murein backbone, suggesting the presence of a muramidase or glucosamidase, and endopeptidase or amidase. Both enzyme activities were inhibited by lipoteichoic acid; they could be fully reactivated by addition of Pep 5 in sufficient concentrations. The velocity of hydrolysis was not influenced by nisin, whereas it was doubled in presence of Pep 5. The results are discussed in view of a possible mechanism of induction of lysis by Pep 5 and nisin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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