Enterococcus faecium IT62, a strain isolated from ryegrass in Japan, produces three bacteriocins (enterocins L50A, L50B, and IT) that have been previously purified and the primary structures of which have been determined by amino acid sequencing (E. Izquierdo, A. Bednarczyk, C. Schaeffer, Y. Cai, E. Marchioni, A. Van Dorsselaer, and S. Ennahar, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 52:1917-1923, 2008). Genetic analysis showed that the bacteriocins of E. faecium IT62 are plasmid encoded, but with the structural genes specifying enterocin L50A and enterocin L50B being carried by a plasmid (pTAB1) that is separate from the one (pTIT1) carrying the structural gene of enterocin IT. Sequencing analysis of a 1,475-bp region from pTAB1 identified two consecutive open reading frames corresponding, with the exception of 2 bp, to the genes entL50A and entL50B, encoding EntL50A and EntL50B, respectively. Both bacteriocins are synthesized without N-terminal leader sequences. Genetic analysis of a sequenced 1,380-bp pTIT1 fragment showed that the genes entIT and entIM, encoding enterocin IT and its immunity protein, respectively, were both found in E. faecium VRE200 for bacteriocin 32. Enterocin IT, a 6,390-Da peptide made up of 54 amino acids, has been previously shown to be identical to the C-terminal part of bacteriocin 32, a 7,998-Da bacteriocin produced by E. faecium VRE200 whose structure was deduced from its structural gene (T. Inoue, H. Tomita, and Y. Ike, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 50:1202-1212, 2006). By combining the biochemical and genetic data on enterocin IT, it was concluded that bacteriocin 32 is in fact identical to enterocin IT, both being encoded by the same plasmid-borne gene, and that the N-terminal leader peptide for this bacteriocin is 35 amino acids long and not 19 amino acids long as previously reported.
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