Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 141, Issue 3, pp 249–254 | Cite as

Induction of autolysis of staphylococci by the basic peptide antibiotics Pep 5 and nisin and their influence on the activity of autolytic enzymes

  • Gabriele Bierbaum
  • Hans-Georg Sahl
Original Papers

Abstract

Pep 5 and nisin are cationic bactericidal peptides which were shown to induce autolysis in Staphylococcus cohnii 22. In contrast to nisin, Pep 5 induced lysis could be stimulated in the presence of glucose. Addition of lipoteichoic acids (LTA) (d-alanine:phosphorus=0.475:1) inhibited all effects of Pep 5 on susceptible cells in a molar ratio LTA:Pep 5 of 10:1. Treatment of S. cohnii 22 with Pep 5 or nisin for 20 min and subsequent washing with 2.5 M NaCl released autolysin activity. Crude preparations of the hydrolyzing enzymes produced free amino groups as well as polysaccharide fragments from the murein backbone, suggesting the presence of a muramidase or glucosamidase, and endopeptidase or amidase. Both enzyme activities were inhibited by lipoteichoic acid; they could be fully reactivated by addition of Pep 5 in sufficient concentrations. The velocity of hydrolysis was not influenced by nisin, whereas it was doubled in presence of Pep 5. The results are discussed in view of a possible mechanism of induction of lysis by Pep 5 and nisin.

Key words

Staphylococcin-like peptide Pep 5 Nisin Autolytic enzymes of Staphylococcus cohnii 22 Regulation of autolysis Cationic peptides Lipoteichoic acids 

Abbreviations

A.U.

arbitrary unit

CCCP

carbonylcyanide-m-chlorophenyl hydrazone

DNase

deoxyribonuclease

CYG

casein yeast extract glucose

IT

initial turbidity

LTA

lipoteichoic acid

RNase

ribonuclease

TSB

Tryptone Soy Broth

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Bierbaum
    • 1
  • Hans-Georg Sahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Med. Mikrobiologie und Immunologie der Universität BonnBonnGermany

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