Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 10, pp 4243–4253 | Cite as

Diversified transporters and pathways for bacteriocin secretion in gram-positive bacteria

  • Sen Zheng
  • Kenji Sonomoto


Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesised small antimicrobial peptides produced from a wide range of bacteria, and also rich sources for potential alternatives to traditional antibiotics. Many bacteriocins have highly specific antibacterial activity against target pathogens, even including drug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. As the final and essential step during biosynthesis, the leader sequence removal and exportation of matured bacteriocin are lacking of research and therefore the last to be understood. In respect of production, bacteriocin precursor peptides are processed and exported by a group of membrane proteins from the ATP-binding cassette transporter family. The main aims of this article are to summarise knowledge till now on the leader signal and correlated transporters for bacteriocin secretion in gram-positive bacteria in a review for the first time, to introduce different strategies for higher production, and to offer new insights into many essential but still unanswered questions above for the purpose of more efficient bacteriocin utilisation.


Bacteriocin ABC transporter Gram-positive bacteria Leader peptide Peptidase 



Sen Zheng acknowledges the Ajinomoto Scholarship Foundation, Japan fellowship, for the financial aid through this study.


This work was partially supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), grant number JP26292040.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8917_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (308 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 308 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Division of Systems Bioengineering, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate SchoolKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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