Characterization of the locus responsible for the bacteriocin production in Lactobacillus plantarum C11

J Bacteriol. 1996 Aug;178(15):4472-83. doi: 10.1128/jb.178.15.4472-4483.1996.


Lactobacillus plantarum C11 secretes a small cationic peptide, plantaricin A, that serves as induction signal for bacteriocin production as well as transcription of plnABCD. The plnABCD operon encodes the plantaricin A precursor (PlnA) itself and determinants (PlnBCD) for a signal transducing pathway. By Northern (RNA) and sequencing analyses, four new plantaricin A-induced operons were identified. All were highly activated in concert with plnABCD upon bacteriocin induction. Two of these operons (termed plnEFI and plnJKLR) each encompass a gene pair (plnEF and plnJK, respectively) encoding two small cationic bacteriocin-like peptides with double-glycine-type leaders. The open reading frames (ORFs) encoding the bacteriocin-like peptides are followed by ORFs (plnI and -L, respectively) encoding cationic hydrophobic proteins resembling bacteriocin immunity proteins. On the third operon (termed plnMNOP), a similar bacteriocin-like ORF (plnN) and a putative immunity ORF (either plnM or -P) were identified as well. These findings suggest that two bacteriocins of two-peptide type (mature PlnEF and PlnJK) and a bacteriocin of one-peptide type (mature PlnN) could be responsible for the observed bacteriocin activity. The last operon (termed plnGHSTUV) contains two ORFs (plnGH) apparently encoding an ABC transporter and its accessory protein, respectively, known to be involved in processing and export of peptides with precursor double-glycine-type leaders. Promoter structure was established. A conserved regulatory-like box encompassing two direct repeats was identified in the promoter regions of all five plantaricin A-induced operons. These repeats may serve as regulatory elements for gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteriocins / biosynthesis*
  • Bacteriocins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Lactobacillus / genetics*
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Operon
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Sorting Signals / genetics
  • Regulon
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Bacteriocins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • plantaricin A

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X94434