Plantaricin EF and JK are both two-peptide bacteriocins produced by Lactobacillus plantarum C11. The mechanism of plantaricin EF and JK action was studied on L. plantarum 965 cells. Both plantaricins form pores in the membranes of target cells and dissipate the transmembrane electrical potential (Δψ) and pH gradient (ΔpH). The plantaricin EF pores efficiently conduct small monovalent cations, but conductivity for anions is low or absent. Plantaricin JK pores show high conductivity for specific anions but low conductivity for cations. These data indicate that L. plantarum C11 produces bacteriocins with complementary ion selectivity, thereby ensuring efficient killing of target bacteria
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