Characterization of thoeniicin 447, a bacteriocin isolated from Propionibacterium thoenii strain 447
Fifteen strains of propionibacteria, isolated from dairy products, were screened for the production of bacteriocins. Propionibacterium thoenii 447 produced an antimicrobial peptide, thoeniicin 447, which acted bactericidal against Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and bacteriostatic against Propionibacterium acnes. Thoeniicin 447 remained active after 15 min at 100°C and after 30 min of incubation at pH 1-10. The peptide was inactivated when treated with pepsin, pronase, α-chymotrypsin, trypsin and proteinase K. Optimal bacteriocin production was detected during late exponential growth. The peptide was partially purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation, followed by SP-Sepharose cation exchange chromatography. The estimated size of thoeniicin 447, according to tricine-SDS-PAGE, is 6 kDa. Based on DNA sequencing, the mature peptide is 7130.20 Da in size and homologous to propionicin T1, produced by P. thoenii strain 419 (=NCFB 568T). Strain 447 is phenotypically different from strain 419 and belongs to a separate ribotype cluster. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacteriocin from a Propionibacterium species active against P. acnes. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.