Lactoferricin B inhibits the phosphorylation of the two-component system response regulators BasR and CreB

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Apr;11(4):M111.014720. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M111.014720. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


Natural antimicrobial peptides provide fundamental protection for multicellular organisms from microbes, such as Lactoferricin B (Lfcin B). Many studies have shown that Lfcin B penetrates the cell membrane and has intracellular activities. To elucidate the intracellular behavior of Lfcin B, we first used Escherichia coli K12 proteome chips to identify the intracellular targets of Lfcin B. The results showed that Lfcin B binds to two response regulators, BasR and CreB, of the two-component system. For further analysis, we conducted several in vitro and in vivo experiments and utilized bioinformatics methods. The electrophoretic mobility shift assays and kinase assays indicate that Lfcin B inhibits the phosphorylation of the response regulators (BasR and CreB) and their cognate sensor kinases (BasS and CreC). Antibacterial assays showed that Lfcin B reduced E. coli's tolerance to environmental stimuli, such as excessive ferric ions and minimal medium conditions. This is the first study to show that an antimicrobial peptide inhibits the growth of bacteria by influencing the phosphorylation of a two-component system directly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Proteome


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Proteome
  • lactoferricin B
  • Lactoferrin