Recently, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have attracted much attention because of their potential application to probiotics and industrial applications as starters for dairy products or lactic acid fermentation. Additional emphasis is also being paid to them as commensal bacteria in gastrointestinal tract. Since LAB exhibit a stress response, insight into the relationship between stress proteins such as molecular chaperones and stress tolerance or adaptation is increasing gradually along with current research examining these important bacteria. Similar to other bacteria, one of the major stress-response systems in LAB is the expression of molecular chaperones. The recently completed genome sequencing of various LAB strains, combined with the development of advanced molecular techniques, have enabled us to identify molecular chaperones and to understand their regulation systems in response to various stresses. Furthermore, recent biochemical studies provided novel insight into the molecular mechanisms of LAB chaperone systems. This review highlights the physiological consequences and biochemical properties of molecular chaperones (especially sHsps, Hsp70, and Hsp100) in LAB and their use in biotechnological applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology