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EF-1 is a novel peptide derived from two bacteriocins, plantaricin E and plantaricin F. It has a strong antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and with negligible hemolytic effect on red blood cells. However, the chemical synthesis of EF-1 is limited by its high cost. In this study, we established a heterologous expression of EF-1 in Pichia pastoris. The transgenic strain successfully expressed hybrid EF-1 peptide, which had a molecular weight of ~5 kDa as expected. The recombinant EF-1 was purified by Ni2+ affinity chromatography and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), which achieved a yield of 32.65 mg/L with a purity of 94.9%. The purified EF-1 exhibited strong antimicrobial and bactericidal activities against both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. Furthermore, propidium iodide staining and scanning electron microscopy revealed that EF-1 can directly induce cell membrane permeabilization of E. coli. Therefore, the hybrid EF-1 not only preserves the individual properties of the parent peptides, but also acquires the ability to disrupt Gram-negative bacterial membrane. Meanwhile, such an expression system can reduce both the time and cost for large-scale peptide production, which ensures its potential application at the industrial level.


Zhongxuan Li, Qiang Cheng, Henan Guo, Rijun Zhang, Dayong Si. Expression of Hybrid Peptide EF-1 in Pichia pastoris, Its Purification, and Antimicrobial Characterization. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Nov 26;25(23)

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PMID: 33255863

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