Characterization of the immunity factor in producer self protection against Leucocin A.
Lactic acid bacteria produce pediocin-like bacteriocins designated as Class Ha. These antimicrobial peptides are antagonistic against Listeria monocytogenes and other closely related Gram-positive bacteria Self-protection of the producer organism is attributed to the immunity proteins, encoded by genes that are eo-transcribed with the structural gene that encode the bacteriocin. The lactic acid bacterium, Leuconostoc gelidum UAL 187-22 is immune to its own bacteriocin, leucocin A. This is accredited to its immunity protein and the possible absence of a receptor on its cytoplasmic membrane. Leucocin A was purified from the supernatant of 1. gelidum to 90% purity by ion-exhange chromatography and C18 reverse phase High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (RP-HPLC) eluted with an acetonitrile, 0.1% Triflouroacetic acid (TFA) gradient. The immunity gene was isolated from the same producer using the polymerase chain reaction from the recombinant plasmid pJF 5.5 using primers EAL-2 and EAL-3. The amplicon was truncated into versions A and B by removing the C- and N-terminals, with HaeIII and ClaI restriction enzymes, respectively. The amplicon and the truncated fragments A and B were cloned into pMALc2 to construct recombinant plasmids pKPl, pKPIA and pKPIB, correspondingly, which were transformed into Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain JMI03. Clones were confirmed by colony PCR and Southern blot hybridization. The recombinant clones were subsequently expressed as MBP-IP, MBP-IPA and MBP-IPB fusion proteins that were verified by Western blot using the anti-MBP antibody. Factor Xa protease was used to cleave MBP from the proteins of interest. The resulting pure immunity protein versions had an approximate molecular weight of slightly more that 10 kDa. The binding interactions of the purified immunity protein constructs and leucocin A were compared on the Biacore 2000 instrument with surface plasmon resonance. None of the immunity constructs interacted with leucocin A, however, the N-terminal region of the immunity protein interacted with the cytoplasmic extract.