A Zn-dependent metallopeptidase is responsible for sensitivity to LsbB, a class II leaderless bacteriocin of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis BGMN1-5

J Bacteriol. 2013 Dec;195(24):5614-21. doi: 10.1128/JB.00859-13. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis BGMN1-5 produces a leaderless class II bacteriocin called LsbB. To identify the receptor for LsbB, a cosmid library of the LsbB-sensitive strain BGMN1-596 was constructed. About 150 cosmid clones were individually isolated and transferred to LsbB-resistant mutants of BGMN1-596. Cosmid pAZILcos/MN2, carrying a 40-kb insert, was found to restore LsbB sensitivity in LsbB-resistant mutants. Further subcloning revealed that a 1.9-kb fragment, containing only one open reading frame, was sufficient to restore sensitivity. The fragment contains the gene yvjB coding for a Zn-dependent membrane-bound metallopeptidase, suggesting that this gene may serve as the receptor for LsbB. Further support for this notion derives from several independent experiments: (i) whole-genome sequencing confirmed that all LsbB-resistant mutants contain mutations in yvjB; (ii) disruption of yvjB by direct gene knockout rendered sensitive strains BGMN1-596 and IL1403 resistant to LsbB; and (iii) most compellingly, heterologous expression of yvjB in naturally resistant strains of other species, such as Lactobacillus paracasei and Enterococcus faecalis, also rendered them sensitive to the bacteriocin. To our knowledge, this is the first time a membrane-bound peptidase gene has been shown to be involved in bacteriocin sensitivity in target cells. We also demonstrated a novel successful approach for identifying bacteriocin receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriocins / metabolism*
  • Coenzymes / metabolism
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Lactococcus lactis / drug effects*
  • Lactococcus lactis / enzymology*
  • Lactococcus lactis / genetics
  • Metalloproteases / genetics
  • Metalloproteases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Bacteriocins
  • Coenzymes
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Metalloproteases
  • Zinc

Associated data

  • GENBANK/HG008906