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Browsing by Author "Wan, Xing"

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  • Wan, Xing (2012)
    Class IIa (pediocin-like) bacteriocins are a major group of bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) characterised by their antilisterial activity. As a protective LAB strain for meat products, Leuconostoc carnosum 4010 kills Listeria by producing two class IIa bacteriocins, the well characterised leucocin A (LeuA) and the less studied leucocin C (LecC). Although the amino acid sequence of the secreted LecC has been published, the genes required for its production remain unknown. The aims of this study were to characterise the genes needed for LecC production and to express the lecC gene in Lactococcus lactis. The lecC gene was localised by Southern blot in a large plasmid different from the one harbouring LeuA genes in Ln. carnosum 4010 genome. Five genes in two operons were identified mainly by PCR-based methods and sequencing, namely, the structural gene (lecC) with a 72-bp signal sequence, the immunity gene (lecI) encoding a 97-aa immunity protein, two genes lecTS for an ABC transporter and the gene lecX for an accessory protein. The immunity function of LecI was demonstrated by expressing the lecI gene in LecC sensitive Listeria monocytogenes. Compared to the wild type, LecI-producing Listeria was more tolerant to LecC, thus corroborating the immunity function of LecI. For heterologous expression of LecC, the lecC gene was fused to the lactococcal usp45 signal sequence in the nisin-selectable and nisin-inducible food-grade secretion vector pLEB690. Consequently, bioactive LecC was secreted efficiently by the recombinant Lc. lactis. In conclusion, novel genes for the production of LecC in Ln. carnosum 4010 were identified. The findings indicate that LecC is produced by a dedicated system independent of LeuA. The successful production of functional LecC in Lc. lactis offers an attractive approach for the future application of bacteriocins in food production.