Nisin is a class I bacteriocin (lantibiotic), which is employed by the food and veterinary industries and exhibits potent activity against numerous pathogens. However, this activity could be further improved through the targeting and inhibition of factors that contribute to innate nisin resistance. Here we describe a novel locus, lmo1967, which is required for optimal nisin resistance in Listeria monocytogenes. The importance of this locus, which is a homologue of the tellurite resistance gene telA, was revealed after the screening of a mariner random mutant bank of L. monocytogenes for nisin-susceptible mutants. The involvement of telA in nisin resistance was confirmed through an analysis of a nonpolar deletion mutant. In addition to being 4-fold-more susceptible to nisin, the ΔtelA strain was also 8-fold-more susceptible to gallidermin and 2-fold-more susceptible to cefuroxime, cefotaxime, bacitracin, and tellurite. This is the first occasion upon which telA has been investigated in a Gram-positive organism and also represents the first example of a link being established between a telA gene and resistance to cell envelope-acting antimicrobials.
University College Cork ->