Surface proteins of Propionibacterium freudenreichii are involved in its anti-inflammatory properties

J Proteomics. 2015 Jan 15;113:447-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2014.07.018. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a beneficial bacterium used in the food industry as a vitamin producer, as a bio-preservative, as a cheese ripening starter and as a probiotic. It is known to adhere to intestinal epithelial cells and mucus and to modulate important functions of the gut mucosa, including cell proliferation and immune response. Adhesion of probiotics and cross-talk with the host rely on the presence of key surface proteins, still poorly identified. Identification of the determinants of adhesion and of immunomodulation by P. freudenreichii remains a bottleneck in the elucidation of its probiotic properties. In this report, three complementary proteomic methods are used to identify surface-exposed proteins in a strain, previously selected for its probiotic properties. The role of these proteins in the reported immunomodulatory properties of P. freudenreichii is evidenced. This work constitutes a basis for further studies aimed at the elucidation of mechanisms responsible for its probiotic effects, in a post-genomic context.

Biological significance: Dairy propionibacteria, mainly the species Propionibacterium freudenreichii, are consumed in high amounts within Swiss type cheeses. These peculiar bacteria are considered both as dairy starters and as probiotics. Their consumption modulates the gut microbiota, which makes them both probiotic and prebiotic. Promising immunomodulatory properties have been identified in these bacteria, in vitro, in animals and in humans. However, the mechanisms responsible for such anti-inflammatory properties are still unknown. In this work, we identify surface proteins involved in adhesion and immunostimulation by P. freudenreichii. This opens new perspectives for its utilization in new functional fermented food products, in clinical trials, and in understanding modulation of gut inflammation by products containing propionibacteria.

Keywords: Cell wall; Fluorescent labeling; Probiotic; Proteome; Shaving; Surfaceome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunologic Factors / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / metabolism*
  • Propionibacterium / metabolism*
  • Proteomics*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunologic Factors