Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antibacterial peptides produced by bacteria that inhibit the growth of similar or closely related bacterial strains. A number of bacteriocins from a wide variety of bacteria have been discovered, and their diverse structures have been reported. Growing evidence suggests that bacteriocins have diverse structures, modes of action, mechanisms of biosynthesis and self-immunity, and gene regulation. Bacteriocins are considered as an attractive compound in food and pharmaceutical industries to prevent food spoilage and pathogenic bacterial growth. Furthermore, elucidation of their biosynthesis has led to the use of bacteriocin-controlled gene-expression systems and the biosynthetic enzymes of lantibiotics, a class of bacteriocins, as tools to design novel peptides. In this review, we summarize and discuss currently known information on bacteriocins produced by Gram-positive bacteria and their applications.
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