Enterocin NKR-5-3B, one of the multiple bacteriocins produced by Enterococcus faecium NKR-5-3, is a 64-amino acid novel circular bacteriocin that displays broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Here we report the identification, characterization, and three-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance solution structure determination of enterocin NKR-5-3B. Enterocin NKR-5-3B is characterized by four helical segments that enclose a compact hydrophobic core, which together with its circular backbone impart high stability and structural integrity. We also report the corresponding structural gene, enkB, that encodes an 87-amino acid precursor peptide that undergoes a yet to be described enzymatic processing that involves adjacent cleavage and ligation of Leu24 and Trp87 to yield the mature (circular) enterocin NKR-5-3B.
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