Activity of Gut-Derived Nisin-like Lantibiotics against Human Gut Pathogens and Commensals

Zhenrun J. Zhang, Chunyu Wu, Ryan Moreira, Darian Dorantes, Téa Pappas, Anitha Sundararajan, Huaiying Lin, Eric G. Pamer, Wilfred A. van der Donk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in sequencing techniques unveiled the vast potential of ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) encoded in microbiomes. Class I lantibiotics such as nisin A, widely used as a food preservative, have been investigated for their efficacy in killing pathogens. However, the impact of nisin and nisin-like class I lantibiotics on commensal bacteria residing in the human gut remains unclear. Here, we report six gut-derived class I lantibiotics that are close homologues of nisin, four of which are novel. We applied an improved lantibiotic expression platform to produce and purify these lantibiotics for antimicrobial assays. We determined their minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) against both Gram-positive human pathogens and gut commensals and profiled the lantibiotic resistance genes in these pathogens and commensals. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies with analogs revealed key regions and residues that impact their antimicrobial properties. Our characterization and SAR studies of nisin-like lantibiotics against both pathogens and human gut commensals could shed light on the future development of lantibiotic-based therapeutics and food preservatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-369
Number of pages13
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 16 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry


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