Summary: Sakacin P is a heat-stable, unmodified peptide bacteriocin produced by LTH 673. The strain was isolated from fermented dry sausages and is well adapted to this habitat. The bacteriocin inhibits the growth of the opportunistic food pathogens and and therefore, it may improve the hygienic status of fermented food, i.e. meat products. Oligonucleotide probes were designed from the N-terminal amino acid sequence of sakacin P and used to identify , the structural gene of sakacin P, on the chromosome of LTH 673. was cloned into NM554 and the nucleotide sequence of the gene and its adjacent regions were determined. Sakacin P appears to be synthesized as a prepeptide of 61 amino acids which is proteolytically processed to the mature bacteriocin consisting of 43 amino acids. Sequencing of the cloned fragment also revealed the presence of two other open reading frames and , which are located upstream and downstream of , respectively, putatively encoding proteins of 52 and 98 amino acids, respectively. The functions of both ORFs remain unknown. Primer extension analysis revealed a promoter upstream of . Two transcripts of approximately 0.35 and 1.0 kb were detected by Northern hybridization encoding either only , or both and , respectively.


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