Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 185–198

Bacteriocins: mechanism of membrane insertion and pore formation

  • Gert N. Moll
  • Wil N. Konings
  • Arnold J.M. Driessen
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1002002718501

Cite this article as:
Moll, G.N., Konings, W.N. & Driessen, A.J. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1999) 76: 185. doi:10.1023/A:1002002718501

Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria produce several types of pore forming peptides. Class I bacteriocins are lantibiotics that contain (methyl)lanthionine residues that may form intramolecular thioether rings. These peptides generally have a broad spectrum of activity and form unstable pores. Class II bacteriocins are small, heat stable peptides mostly with a narrow spectrum of activity. Most bacteriocins interact with anionic lipids that are abundantly present in the membranes of Gram-positive bacteria.'Docking molecules' may enhance the conductivity and stability of lantibiotic pores, while'receptors' in the target membrane may determine specificity of class II bacteriocins. Insertion into the membrane of many bacteriocins is proton motive force driven. Lantibiotics may form pores according to a'wedge-like' model, while class II bacteriocins may enhance membrane permeability either by the formation of a'barrel stave' pore or by a'carpet' mechanism.

lactococcin lantibiotic lipid peptide pore proton motive force 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert N. Moll
    • 1
  • Wil N. Konings
    • 1
  • Arnold J.M. Driessen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology InstituteUniversity of GroningenHarenThe Netherlands

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