Transfer of nisin gene cluster fromLactococcus lactisATCC 11454 into the chromosome ofBacillus subtilis168

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Nisin is an antimicrobial peptide produced by certain strains of Lactococcus lactis. It is a gene-encoded peptide that contains unusual amino acid residues. These novel residues are introduced by posttranslational modification machinery and confer unique chemical and physical properties that are not attainable by regular amino acid residues. To study the modification mechanisms and to create structural analogs with superior properties, it would be advantageous to insert the nisin genes into a bacterial strain that is amenable to genetic manipulation. In this study, we report the cloning and integration of the complete and intact nisin gene cluster into the Bacillus subtilis 168 chromosome. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the nisin genes are transcriptionally active. These results should greatly facilitate the studies of the genes and proteins involved in nisin expression, as well as provide a standard system for the manipulation and expression of genes involved in other members of the lantibiotic family of antimicrobial peptides.

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