Currently, 76 lantibiotics have been described; the vast majority being produced by members of the Firmicute phylum of bacteria. There is a growing number being identified from the Actinobacteria phylum and some of these exhibit novel modifications leading to an increased functional diversity among lantibiotics. In this review, we discuss the currently characterized lantibiotics highlighting the expanding diversity provided by those from the Actinobacteria. This increased diversity has the potential to expand lantibiotic applications as antimicrobials in foods and pharmaceuticals. In addition, a phylogenetic classification system based on the full prepropeptide sequences showed remarkable consistency with current classification systems and may provide a more rapid and convenient means for classifying lantibiotics.
- Broad spectrum antimicrobial peptides