Open Access Research article

A non-pediocin low molecular weight antimicrobial peptide produced by Pediococcus pentosaceus strain IE-3 shows increased activity under reducing environment

Pradip K Singh, Shalley Sharma, Annu Kumari and Suresh Korpole*

Author Affiliations

MTCC and Gene Bank, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39A, 160036, Chandigarh, India

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BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:226  doi:10.1186/s12866-014-0226-2

Published: 27 August 2014



Species of the genus Pediococcus are known to produce antimicrobial peptides such as pediocin-like bacteriocins that contain YGNGVXC as a conserved motif at their N-terminus. Until now, the molecular weight of various bacteriocins produced by different strains of the genus Pediococcus have been found to vary between 2.7 to 4.6 kD. In the present study, we characterized an antimicrobial peptide produced by P. pentosaceus strain IE-3.


Antimicrobial peptide was isolated and purified from the supernatant of P. pentosaceus strain IE-3 grown for 48 h using cation exchange chromatography and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) techniques. While MALDI-TOF MS experiments determined the precise molecular mass of the peptide to be 1701.00 Da, the de novo sequence (APVPFSCTRGCLTHLV) of the peptide revealed no similarity with reported pediocins and did not contain the YGNGVXC conserved motif. Unlike pediocin-like bacteriocins, the low molecular weight peptide (LMW) showed resistance to different proteases. Moreover, peptide treated with reducing agent like dithiothreitol (DTT) exhibited increased activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative test strains in comparison to native peptide. However, peptide treated with oxidizing agent such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) did not show any antimicrobial activity.


To our knowledge this is the lowest molecular weight peptide produced by members of the genus Pediococcus. The low molecular weight peptide shared amino acid arrangement with N-terminal sequence of Class IIa, pediocin-like bacteriocins and showed increased activity under reducing conditions. Antimicrobial peptides active under reduced conditions are valuable for the preservation of processed foods like meat, dairy and canned foods where low redox potential prevails.

Pediococcus; LMW antimicrobial peptide; MALDI-TOF MS; DTT effect