Conversion of Lactococcus lactis cell envelope proteinase specificity by partial allele exchange
Journal of Applied Microbiology
AIMS: To determine whether conversion of lactocepin substrate binding regions by gene replacement can alter lactocepin specificity in Lactococcus lactis starter bacteria without affecting other important strain properties. METHODS AND RESULTS: We utilized two-step gene replacement to convert substrate-binding determinants in the L. lactis prtP genes encoding group h (bitter) lactocepin in two industrial strains into the corresponding group b (nonbitter) variant. Analysis of lactocepin activity toward alpha(s1)-casein (f 1-23) by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography demonstrated enzyme specificity among isogenic derivatives had been altered in a manner that was consistent with predicted amino acid substitutions in substrate binding regions. Milk acidification properties of some mutants were not statistically different (P > 0.05) from wild-type parent strains, and strain propensity for autolysis was also not significantly (P > 0.05) changed. CONCLUSIONS: Conversion of lactocepin substrate binding regions by allele exchange can effectively alter lactocepin specificity in industrial strains of L. lactis without significantly affecting other important strain properties. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Methodology outlined in this study can be used to alter lactocepin specificity in commercial starter cultures with a propensity for bitter flavour defect, and prtP derivatives developed by this approach should be suitable for commercial application.
Broadbent, J. R., B. Rodriguez, P. Joseph†, E. A. Smith∞, and J. L. Steele. 2006. Conversion of Lactococcus lactis cell envelope proteinase specificity by partial allele exchange. J. Appl. Microbiol. 100:1307-1317.