Academic article

The synthesis of the bacteriocin sakacin A is a temperature-sensitive process regulated by a pheromone peptide through a three-component regulatory system

Diep, Dzung Bao; Axelsson, Lars; Grefsli, Camilla; Nes, Ingolf F.

Publication details

Journal: Microbiology, vol. 146, p. 2155–2160–6, 2000

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 1350-0872
Electronic: 1465-2080

Open Access: none


Sakacin A is a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus sakei Lb706. The gene cluster (sap) encompasses a regulatory unit composed of three consecutive genes, ofr4 and sapKR. saKR encode a histidine protein kinase and a response regulator, while orf4 encodes the putative precursor of a 23-amino-acid cationic peptide (termed Sap-Ph). The authors show that Sap-Ph serves as s pheromone regulating bacteriocin production. Lb706 produced bacteriocin when the growth temperature was kept at 25 or 30 oC, but production was reduced or absent at higher temperatures (33,5-35 oC). Production was restored by lowering the growht temperature to 30 oC, but at temperatures of 33-34 oC also by adding exogenous Sap-Ph to the growth medium. A knock-out mutation in orf4 abolished sakacin A production. Exogenously added Sap-Ph complemented this mutation, unambiguously showing the essential role of this peptide for bacteriocin production. Another sakacin A producer, Lactobacillus curvatur LTH1174, had a similar response to temperature and exogenously added Sap-Ph.