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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Nov;63(11):4581-4.

Controlled gene expression systems for lactic acid bacteria: transferable nisin-inducible expression cassettes for Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, and Lactobacillus spp.

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Department of Biophysical Chemistry, NIZO, Ede, The Netherlands.


A transferable dual-plasmid inducible gene expression system for use in lactic acid bacteria that is based on the autoregulatory properties of the antimicrobial peptide nisin produced by Lactococcus lactis was developed. Introduction of the two plasmids allowed nisin-inducible gene expression in Lactococcus lactis MG1363, Leuconostoc lactis NZ6091, and Lactobacillus helveticus CNRZ32. Typically, the beta-glucuronidase activity (used as a reporter in this study) remained below the detection limits under noninducing conditions and could be raised to high levels, by addition of subinhibitory amounts of nisin to the growth medium, while exhibiting a linear dose-response relationship. These results demonstrate that the nisin-inducible system can be functionally implemented in lactic acid bacteria other than Lactococcus lactis.

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