The posttranslational modifications involved in lantibiotics are unique in Nature and are essential for their biological activities. After the pioneering structural studies, the past decade has seen the accumulation of a wealth of information about their biogenesis from genetic studies. This review covers available information regarding the mechanisms of biosynthesis and mode of action of this class of compounds. Topics discussed include gene organization, structures of lantibiotics, biosynthesis of lantibiotics, regulation of lantibiotic production, self-immunity of the producing strains, lantibiotic engineering, mode of action, and resistance against Nisin.
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