Bacteriocins: Curial guardians of gastrointestinal tract

Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2024 Jan;23(1):e13292. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.13292.


The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract microbiome secretes various metabolites that play pivotal roles in maintaining host physiological balance and influencing disease progression. Among these metabolites, bacteriocins-small, heat-stable peptides synthesized by ribosomes-are notably prevalent in the GI region. Their multifaceted benefits have garnered significant interest in the scientific community. This review comprehensively explores the methods for mining bacteriocins (traditional separation and purification, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence), their effects on the stomach and intestines, and their complex bioactive mechanisms. These mechanisms include flora regulation, biological barrier restoration, and intervention in epithelial cell pathways. By detailing each well-documented bacteriocin, we reveal the diverse ways in which bacteriocins interact with the GI environment. Moreover, the future research direction is prospected. By further studying the function and interaction of intestinal bacteriocins, we can discover new pharmacological targets and develop drugs targeting intestinal bacteriocins to regulate and improve human health. It provides innovative ideas and infinite possibilities for further exploration, development, and utilization of bacteriocins. The inevitable fact is that the continuously exploration of bacteriocins is sure to bring the promising future for demic GI health understanding and interference strategy.

Keywords: antimicrobial peptides; defensive function; digestive system; distribution; mode of action.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bacteriocins* / metabolism
  • Bacteriocins* / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Stomach


  • Bacteriocins