The ftsH gene of the wine bacterium Oenococcus oeni is involved in protection against environmental stress

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 May;69(5):2512-20. doi: 10.1128/AEM.69.5.2512-2520.2003.


The wine bacterium Oenococcus oeni has to cope with harsh environmental conditions, including an acidic pH, a high alcoholic content, nonoptimal growth temperatures, and growth-inhibitory compounds such as fatty acids, phenolic acids, and tannins. We describe the characterization and cloning of the O. oeni ftsH gene, encoding a protease belonging to the ATP binding cassette protein superfamily. The O. oeni FtsH protein is closest in sequence similarity to the FtsH homologue of Lactococcus lactis. The O. oeni ftsH gene proved to be stress-responsive, since its expression increased at high temperatures or under osmotic shock. O. oeni FtsH protein function was tested in an Escherichia coli ftsH mutant strain, and consistent with the O. oeni ftsH gene expression pattern, the O. oeni FtsH protein provided protection for the E. coli ftsH mutant against heat shock. O. oeni and Bradyrhizobium japonicum FtsH proteins also triggered E. coli resistance to wine toxicity. Genes homologous to O. oeni ftsH were detected in many other lactic acid bacteria found in wine, suggesting that this type of gene constitutes a well-conserved stress-protective molecular device.

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Dependent Proteases
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Bradyrhizobium / genetics
  • Bradyrhizobium / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Environment
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / genetics*
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / growth & development
  • Leuconostoc / genetics
  • Leuconostoc / growth & development
  • Leuconostoc / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Wine / microbiology*


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • ATP-Dependent Proteases
  • FtsH protein, E coli
  • Metalloendopeptidases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY196466