Effect of a staphylococcin on Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Phage group 2 staphylococcal strain UT0002 contains a large 56S virulence plasmid with genes that code for both exfoliative toxin and a specific staphylococcin termed Bac R(1). Four penicillinase-producing strains and three penicillin-susceptible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were killed by Bac R(1). After 30 min of growth of the penicillin-resistant TR1 strain in 62.5 arbitrary units of Bac R(1) per ml, loss of viability was approximately 90%, and, after 5 h, an approximately 99.99% loss of viability was observed. Lysis did not accompany cell death, and 84% of the Bac R(1) added to the growth medium was adsorbed to the gonococcal cells. The extracellular supernatant fluid from a substrain of staphylococcal strain UT0002 cured of the plasmid for Bac R(1) production had no lethal effect on the gonococcal strains. Bac R(1) was also shown to have bactericidal activity against an L-form of N. meningitidis, indicating that the outer envelope of a neisserial cell is not needed for bacteriocin activity. Ten different normal human sera were unable to neutralize Bac R(1) activity. The bacteriocin lacks adsorption specificity. It binds to but does not kill Escherichia coli cells, indicating that the cell envelope of gram-negative organisms can provide protection against the staphylococcin. (+info)
Temperature and pH conditions that prevail during fermentation of sausages are optimal for production of the antilisterial bacteriocin sakacin K.
Sakacin K is an antilisterial bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus sake CTC 494, a strain isolated from Spanish dry fermented sausages. The biokinetics of cell growth and bacteriocin production of L. sake CTC 494 in vitro during laboratory fermentations were investigated by making use of MRS broth. The data obtained from the fermentations was used to set up a predictive model to describe the influence of the physical factors temperature and pH on microbial behavior. The model was validated successfully for all components. However, the specific bacteriocin production rate seemed to have an upper limit. Both cell growth and bacteriocin activity were very much influenced by changes in temperature and pH. The production of biomass was closely related to bacteriocin activity, indicating primary metabolite kinetics, but was not the only factor of importance. Acidity dramatically influenced both the production and the inactivation of sakacin K; the optimal pH for cell growth did not correspond to the pH for maximal sakacin K activity. Furthermore, cells grew well at 35 degrees C but no bacteriocin production could be detected at this temperature. L. sake CTC 494 shows special promise for implementation as a novel bacteriocin-producing sausage starter culture with antilisterial properties, considering the fact that the temperature and acidity conditions that prevail during the fermentation process of dry fermented sausages are optimal for the production of sakacin K. (+info)
The specific genes for lantibiotic mutacin II biosynthesis in Streptococcus mutans T8 are clustered and can be transferred en bloc.
Mutacin II is a ribosomally synthesized peptide lantibiotic produced by group II Streptococcus mutans. DNA sequencing has revealed that the mutacin II biosynthetic gene cluster consists of seven specific open reading frames: a regulator (mutR), the prepromutacin structural gene (mutA), a modifying protein (mutM), an ABC transporter (mutT), and an immunity cluster (mutFEG). Transformations of a non-mutacin-producing strain, S. mutans UA159, and a mutacin I-producing strain, S. mutans UA140, with chromosomal DNA from S. mutans T8 with an aphIII marker inserted upstream of the mutacin II structural gene yielded transformants producing mutacin II and mutacins I and II, respectively. (+info)
Identification and cloning of an Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora bacteriocin regulator gene by insertional mutagenesis.
Avirulent Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora CGE234-M403 produces two types of bacteriocin. For the purpose of cloning the bacteriocin genes of strain CGE234M403, a spontaneous rifampin-resistant mutant of this strain, M-rif-11-2, was isolated. By Tn5 insertional mutagenesis using M-rif-11-2, a mutant, TM01A01, which produces the high-molecular-weight bacteriocin but not the low-molecular-weight bacteriocin was obtained. By thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR, the DNA sequence from the Tn5 insertion site and the DNA sequence of a contiguous 1,280-bp region were determined. One complete open reading frame (ORF), designated ORF2, was identified within the sequenced fragment. The 3' end of another ORF, ORF1, was located upstream of ORF2. A noncoding region and a putative promoter were located between ORF1 and ORF2. Downstream from ORF2, the 5' end of another ORF (ORF3) was found. Deduction from the nucleotide sequence indicated that ORF2 encodes a protein of 99 amino acids, which showed high homology with Yersinia enterocolitica Yrp, a regulator of enterotoxin (Y-ST) production; Escherichia coli host factor 1, required for Qbeta-replicase; and Azorhizobium caulinodans NrfA, required for the expression of nifA. ORF2 was designated brg, bacteriocin regulator gene. A fragment containing ORF2 and its promoter was amplified and cloned into pBR322 and pHSG415r, and the recombinant plasmids, pBYL1 and pHYL1, were transferred into E. coli DH5. Plasmid pBYL1 was reisolated and transferred into the insertion mutant TM01A01. Transformants carrying the plasmid, which was reisolated and designated pBYL1, re-produced the low-molecular-weight bacteriocin. (+info)
Escherichia coli outer membrane protein TolC is involved in production of the peptide antibiotic microcin J25.
A Tn5 insertion in tolC eliminated microcin J25 production. The mutation had little effect on the expression of the microcin structural gene and presumably acted by blocking microcin secretion. The tolC mutants carrying multiple copies of the microcin genes were less immune to the microcin. TolC is thus likely a component of a microcin export complex containing the McjD immunity protein, an ABC exporter. (+info)
Inactivation of the dlt operon in Staphylococcus aureus confers sensitivity to defensins, protegrins, and other antimicrobial peptides.
Positively charged antimicrobial peptides with membrane-damaging activity are produced by animals and humans as components of their innate immunity against bacterial infections and also by many bacteria to inhibit competing microorganisms. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus xylosus, which tolerate high concentrations of several antimicrobial peptides, were mutagenized to identify genes responsible for this insensitivity. Several mutants with increased sensitivity were obtained, which exhibited an altered structure of teichoic acids, major components of the Gram-positive cell wall. The mutant teichoic acids lacked D-alanine, as a result of which the cells carried an increased negative surface charge. The mutant cells bound fewer anionic, but more positively charged proteins. They were sensitive to human defensin HNP1-3, animal-derived protegrins, tachyplesins, and magainin II, and to the bacteria-derived peptides gallidermin and nisin. The mutated genes shared sequence similarity with the dlt genes involved in the transfer of D-alanine into teichoic acids from other Gram-positive bacteria. Wild-type strains bearing additional copies of the dlt operon produced teichoic acids with higher amounts of D-alanine esters, bound cationic proteins less effectively and were less sensitive to antimicrobial peptides. We propose a role of the D-alanine-esterified teichoic acids which occur in many pathogenic bacteria in the protection against human and animal defense systems. (+info)
Membrane topology of the lactococcal bacteriocin ATP-binding cassette transporter protein LcnC. Involvement of LcnC in lactococcin a maturation.
Many non-lantibiotic bacteriocins of lactic acid bacteria are produced as precursors with N-terminal leader peptides different from those present in preproteins exported by the general sec-dependent (type II) secretion pathway. These bacteriocins utilize a dedicated (type I) secretion system for externalization. The secretion apparatus for the lactococcins A, B, and M/N (LcnA, B, and M/N) from Lactococcus lactis is composed of the two membrane proteins LcnC and LcnD. LcnC belongs to the ATP-binding cassette transporters, whereas LcnD is a protein with similarities to other accessory proteins of type I secretion systems. This paper shows that the N-terminal part of LcnC is involved in the processing of the precursor of LcnA. By making translational fusions of LcnC to the reporter proteins beta-galactosidase (LacZ) and alkaline phosphatase (PhoA*), it was shown that both the N- and C-terminal parts of LcnC are located in the cytoplasm. As the N terminus of LcnC is required for LcnA maturation and is localized in the cytoplasm, we conclude that the processing of the bacteriocin LcnA to its mature form takes place at the cytosolic side of the cytoplasmic membrane. (+info)
Effects of antibiotics on metabolism of peptidoglycan, protein, and lipids in Bifidobacterium bifidum subsp. pennsylvanicus.
The formation of cell envelope components of Bifidobacterium bifidum subsp. pennsylvanicus was studied by measuring the incorporation of [(3)H]glycine, (14)C-labeled fatty acids, and N-benzoyl-[(14)C]glucosamine into the membrane protein, membrane lipids, and cell wall peptidoglycan, respectively. Inhibition of peptidoglycan synthesis by antibiotics (penicillin G, vancomycin, d-cycloserine, and bacitracin) and by the omission of glucosamine-containing growth factors caused a marked decrease in glycine incorporation into cellular as well as membrane protein, which was accompanied by a considerable enhancement of fatty acid incorporation. The uncoupling of protein and lipid synthesis led to the release of marked amounts of lipids from the cell under these conditions. Arrestment of protein synthesis by antibiotics (chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and actinomycin D) decreased peptidoglycan and lipid synthesis only partially, but did not lead to lipid release. Mg(2+) deficiency of the medium caused about 60% inhibition of growth and lipid synthesis, but protein synthesis and especially peptidoglycan synthesis were much less inhibited. Staphylococcin 1580 arrested the growth and also the synthesis of protein and peptidoglycan. However, the synthesis and turnover of lipids were considerably increased and a release of large amounts of lipids was observed. Peptidoglycan and cellular protein did not show any turnover either during normal growth or after the inhibition of cell wall and protein synthesis. (+info)