The Two-Peptide Class II Bacteriocins: Structure, Production, and Mode of ActionOppegård C. · Rogne P. · Emanuelsen L. · Kristiansen P.E. · Fimland G. · Nissen-Meyer J.
Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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The two-peptide class II bacteriocins consist of two different unmodified peptides, both of which must be present in about equal amounts in order for these bacteriocins to exert optimal antimicrobial activity. These bacteriocins render the membrane of target cells permeable to various small molecules. The genes encoding the two peptides of two-peptide bacteriocins are adjacent to each other in the same operon and they are near the genes encoding (i) the immunity protein that protects the bacteriocin-producing bacteria from being killed by their own bacteriocin, (ii) a dedicated ABC transporter that transports the bacteriocin out of the bacteriocin-producing bacteria, and (iii) an accessory protein whose specific role is not known, but which also appears to be required for secretion of the bacteriocin. The production of some two-peptide bacteriocins is transcriptionally regulated through a three-component regulatory system that consists of a membrane-interacting peptide pheromone, a membrane-associated histidine protein kinase, and response regulators. Structure analysis of three two-peptide bacteriocins (plantaricin E/F, plantaricin J/K, and lactococcin G) by CD (and in part by NMR) spectroscopy reveal that these bacteriocins contain long amphiphilic α-helical stretches and that the two complementary peptides interact and structure each other when exposed to membrane-like entities. Lactococcin G shares about 55% sequence identity with enterocin 1071, but these two bacteriocins nevertheless kill different types of bacteria. The target-cell specificity of lactococcin G-enterocin 1071 hybrid bacteriocins that have been constructed by site-directed mutagenesis suggests that the β-peptide is important for determining the target-cell specificity.
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