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Primary metabolism in Lactobacillus sakei food isolates by proteomic analysis

Anette McLeod12*, Monique Zagorec3, Marie-Christine Champomier-Vergès3, Kristine Naterstad1 and Lars Axelsson1

Author Affiliations

1 Nofima Mat AS, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Osloveien 1, NO-1430 Ås, Norway

2 Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway

3 Unité Flore Lactique et Environnement Carné, UR309, INRA, Domaine de Vilvert, F-78350 Jouy en Josas, France

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:120  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-120

Published: 22 April 2010



Lactobacillus sakei is an important food-associated lactic acid bacterium commonly used as starter culture for industrial meat fermentation, and with great potential as a biopreservative in meat and fish products. Understanding the metabolic mechanisms underlying the growth performance of a strain to be used for food fermentations is important for obtaining high-quality and safe products. Proteomic analysis was used to study the primary metabolism in ten food isolates after growth on glucose and ribose, the main sugars available for L. sakei in meat and fish.


Proteins, the expression of which varied depending on the carbon source were identified, such as a ribokinase and a D-ribose pyranase directly involved in ribose catabolism, and enzymes involved in the phosphoketolase and glycolytic pathways. Expression of enzymes involved in pyruvate and glycerol/glycerolipid metabolism were also affected by the change of carbon source. Interestingly, a commercial starter culture and a protective culture strain down-regulated the glycolytic pathway more efficiently than the rest of the strains when grown on ribose. The overall two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) protein expression pattern was similar for the different strains, though distinct differences were seen between the two subspecies (sakei and carnosus), and a variation of about 20% in the number of spots in the 2-DE gels was observed between strains. A strain isolated from fermented fish showed a higher expression of stress related proteins growing on both carbon sources.


It is obvious from the data obtained in this study that the proteomic approach efficiently identifies differentially expressed proteins caused by the change of carbon source. Despite the basic similarity in the strains metabolic routes when they ferment glucose and ribose, there were also interesting differences. From the application point of view, an understanding of regulatory mechanisms, actions of catabolic enzymes and proteins, and preference of carbon source is of great importance.