1887

Abstract

Salivaricin 9 (Sal9) is a 2560 Da lantibiotic having just 46 % amino acid identity with its closest known homologue, the lantibiotic SA-FF22. The Sal9 locus (designated ) in strain 9 was partially sequenced and localized to an approximately 170 kb megaplasmid, which also harbours the locus for the lantibiotic salivaricin A4. The entire locus was fully characterized in the draft genome sequence of strain JIM8780 and shown to consist of eight genes, having the following putative functions: sensor kinase; , response regulator; , Sal9 precursor peptide; , lantibiotic modification enzyme; , ABC transporter involved in the export of Sal9 and concomitant cleavage of its leader peptide; and , encoding lantibiotic self-immunity. Intriguingly, in contrast to strain 9, the locus was chromosomally located in strain JIM8780 – the first lantibiotic locus shown not to be exclusively plasmid-associated in . Sal9-containing extracts specifically induced lantibiotic production in both strain 9 and strain JIM8780, indicating that Sal9 functions as a signal peptide for upregulation of its own biosynthesis. Screening representative strains of three streptococcal species (, and ) for indicated that it was present only in , with 12 of 28 tested positive. Since Sal9 was inhibitory to all tested strains it appears to have potential as an important component of the bacteriocin armoury of probiotics intended to control infections of the human oral cavity.

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2011-05-01
2019-10-14
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