Summary: The genes encoding the production of acidocin B, a bacteriocin produced by strain M46 which is active against and subsp. , but inactive against most other species, were previously localized on a 4 kb l-dIII fragment of plasmid pCV461. In the present work, DNA sequence analysis revealed the presence of three consecutive ORFs, which potentially code for hydrophobic peptides composed of 60, 91 and 114 amino acids, respectively, and a fourth ORF of opposite polarity which could potentially encode a peptide of 59 amino acids. The middle ORF (ORF-2; ) was identified as the gene encoding acidocin B by comparing the amino acid composition of highly purified acidocin B with the deduced amino acid sequence of ORF-2. Our results suggest that acidocin B is synthesized as a precursor which is processed at a site which conforms to the ' −3, −1' rules of von Heijne to yield active acidocin B (59 amino acids). The presence of an immunity-protein-encoding gene on the 4 kb l-Hl fragment was deduced from the capacity of a plasmid vector harbouring this fragment to confer immunity upon transformation of NCK127. One of the three non-assigned ORFs may encode this immunity protein.


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