Quantitative profiling of bacteriocins present in dairy-free probiotic preparations of Lactobacillus acidophilus by nanoliquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Renu Nandakumar, Kesh Talapatra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Bacteriocins are a heterogeneous group of ribosomally synthesized peptides or proteins with antimicrobial activity, produced predominantly by lactic acid bacteria, with potential applications as biopreservatives and probiotics. We describe here a novel strategy based on a bottom-up, shotgun proteomic approach using nanoliquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC-MS/MS) with multiple fragmentation techniques for the quantitative profiling of bacteriocins present in the probiotic preparations of Lactobacillus acidophilus. A direct LC-MS/MS analysis with alternate collision-induced dissociation, high-energy collision dissociation, and electron-transfer dissociation fragmentation following a filter-assisted size-exclusion sample prefractionation has resulted in the identification of peptides belonging to 37 bacteriocins or related proteins. Peptides from lactacin F, helveticin J, lysin, avicin A, acidocin M, curvaticin FS47, and carocin D were predominant. The process of freeze drying under vacuum was observed to affect both the diversity and abundance of bacteriocins. Data acquisition using alternating complementary peptide fragmentation modes, especially electron-transfer dissociation, has significantly enhanced the peptide sequence coverage and number of bacteriocin peptides identified. Multi-enzyme proteolytic digestion was observed to increase the sample complexity and dynamic range, lowering the chances of detection of low-abundant bacteriocin peptides by LC-MS/MS. An analytical platform integrating size exclusion prefractionation, nanoLC-MS/MS analysis with multiple fragmentation techniques, and data-dependent decision tree-driven bioinformatic data analysis is novel in bacteriocin research and suitable for the comprehensive bioanalysis of diverse, low-abundant bacteriocins in complex samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1999-2008
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014



  • Bacteriocin
  • Electron-transfer dissociation
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Nanoliquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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