Gram-positive bacterial bacteriocins (nisin and pediocin) and gram-negative bacterial bacteriocins (colicins [Col] E1, E3, E6, E7, and K) were evaluated for cytotoxicity against cultured simian virus 40-transfected human colon (SV40-HC) and Vero monkey kidney (Vero) cells. Bacteriocin-treated cells were assessed for viability by trypan blue staining. Monolayers of SV40-HC and Vero cells were cultured in tissue culture plates (35°C, 10% CO2 in humidified air) with the use of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with 10% (vol/vol) calf serum. Actively growing cells in the log phase (ca. 104 cells per ml) were treated with individual partially purified bacteriocin preparations at 170, 350, and 700 activity units per ml. Duplicate culture plates for each bacteriocin treatment and untreated controls were withdrawn after 16, 32, and 48 h of incubation. Cells were dissociated with trypsin and treated with trypan blue and were then counted in a hemocytometer with the use of a phase-contrast microscope. Viability assays indicated dose-dependent toxicity for some bacteriocins. Nisin, pediocin, and Col E6 were the most cytotoxic bacteriocins; SV40-HC cells demonstrated greater sensitivity than Vero cells did. Some bacteriocins can be toxic to mammalian cells; therefore, bacteriocins intended for use as biopreservatives must be evaluated for toxicity to mammalian cells and for other toxicities. Col E1, Col E3, Col E7, and Col K demonstrated little toxicity at the activities tested, indicating that they are safe and thus have potential for use as food biopreservatives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science