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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 511–519 | Cite as

Mechanistic action of pediocin and nisin: recent progress and unresolved questions

  • T. J. Montville
  • Y. Chen
MINI-REVIEW

Abstract

Nisin and pediocin PA-1 are examples of bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that have found practical applications as food preservatives. Like other natural antimicrobial peptides, LAB bacteriocins act primarily at the cytoplasmic membranes of susceptible microorganisms. Studies with in vivo as well as in␣vitro membrane systems are directed toward understanding how bacteriocins interact with membranes so as to provide a mechanistic basis for their rational applications. The dissipation of proton motive force was identified early on as the common mechanism for the lethal activity of LAB bacteriocin. Models for nisin/membrane interactions propose that the peptide forms poration complexes in the membrane through a multi-step process of binding, insertion, and pore formation. This review focuses on the current knowledge of: (1) the mechanistic action of nisin and pediocin-like bacteriocins, (2) the requirement for a cell factor such as a membrane protein, (3) the influence of membrane potential, pH, and lipid composition on the of specificity and efficacy of bacteriocins, and (4) the roles of specific amino acids and structural domains of the bacteriocins in their action.

Keywords

Lactic Acid Lactic Acid Bacterium Mechanistic Action Rational Application Antimicrobial Peptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. Montville
    • 1
  • Y. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science, Cook College, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA Tel.: +732-932-9611 ext. 201 Fax: +732-932-6776 e-mail: montville@aesop.rutgers.eduCK

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