f Genes responsible for nisin synthesis, regulation and immunity form a regulon of two operons and are induced by nisin in Lactoccocus lactis N8
- Authors: S. Runar Ra2, Mingqiang Qiao, Tiina Immonen, Idoia Pujana, Per E. J. Saris
- 2Author for correspondence: S. Runar Ra. Tel: +358 0 4346042. Fax: +358 0 4346028. e-mail: Ra@operoni.Helsinki.fi
- First Published Online: 01 May 1996, Microbiology 142: 1281-1288, doi: 10.1099/13500872-142-5-1281
- Subject: Genetics And Molecular Biology
- Issue Published:
Nisin is a small post-translationally modified lanthionine-containing peptide (lantibiotic) produced by certain Lactococcus lactis strains which has a high antimicrobial activity against several pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. Northern blots and RT/PCR analyses of the nisin-producing strain N8 revealed that the nisZBTCIPRKFEG gene cluster, responsible for nisin biosynthesis, immunity and regulation, consists of two operons, nisZBTCIPRK and nisFEG. The promoter of the nisFEG operon was mapped. The −35 to −1 region upstream of the transcription start of the nisFEG promoter showed 73% identity with the corresponding region upstream of the nisA and nisZ gene. In contrast to earlier reports, nisin was found to be secreted during the early stages of growth as well as later in the growth cycle. The secreted nisin was adsorbed on the surface of the cells and was released to the medium during mid-exponential growth, when the pH in the medium fell below 5.5. In nisZB antisense and nisT deletion mutant strains constructed in this study the transcription of the nisin operons, nisin production and immunity were lost. Provision of external nisin restored the transcription of both operons in the mutant strains, showing that the operons are coordinately regulated by mature nisin. Nisin induction of the mutant strains also resulted in an increased amount of the Nisl protein and an increase in the level of immunity. Induction using higher concentrations of nisin yielded a higher level of immunity. These results showed that the nisin promoters are under positive control in an autoregulatory manner and that antimicrobial peptides can also function as signal molecules.
© Society for General Microbiology 1996 | Published by the Microbiology Society
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