The bacteriocin nisin is one of the best studied antimicrobial peptides. It is widely used as a food preservative due to its antimicrobial activity against various Gram-positive bacteria. Bacteria have evolved several mechanisms of resistance against nisin.
The bacteriocin nisin is one of the best studied antimicrobial peptides. It is widely used as a food preservative due to its antimicrobial activity against various Gram-positive bacteria including human pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and others. The receptor of nisin is the universal cell wall precursor lipid II, which is present in all bacteria. Thus, nisin has a broad spectrum of target organisms. Consequently, heterologous production of nisin with biotechnological relevant organisms including Corynebacterium glutamicum is difficult. Nevertheless, bacteria have evolved several mechanisms of resistance against nisin and other cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs). Here, we transferred resistance mechanisms described in other organisms to C. glutamicum with the aim to improve nisin resistance. The presented approaches included: expression of (i) nisin immunity genes nisI and/or nisFEG or (ii) nisin ABC-transporter genes of Staphylococcus aureus and its homologues of C. glutamicum, (iii) genes coding for enzymes for alanylation or lysinylation of the cell envelope to introduce positive charges, and/or (iv) deletion of genes for porins of the outer membrane. None of the attempts alone increased resistance of C. glutamicum more than two-fold. To increase resistance of C. glutamicum to levels that will allow heterologous production of active nisin at relevant titers, further studies are needed.