Valeria Vastano

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BACKGROUND Lactic acid bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are one of the most important health promoting groups of the human intestinal microbiota. Their protective role within the gut consists in out competing invading pathogens for ecological niches and metabolic substrates. Among the features necessary to provide health benefits,(More)
The aim of this study was to identify genes involved in biofilm development in the probiotic lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum. The ability of L. plantarum LM3 and of some derivative mutant strains to form biofilm has been investigated. Biofilm microtitre plate assays showed that L. plantarum LM3-2, carrying a null mutation in the ccpA gene,(More)
The enolase EnoA1 of Lactobacillus plantarum is here shown to interact with human plasminogen (Plg). By sequence alignment of EnoA1 with Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bifidobacterium lactis enolases, we identified BS1 and BS2 Plg-binding sites. A structure prediction of EnoA1 showed lysine residues in position 255 (BS2), and 422 (BS1) exposed on protein(More)
Lactobacillus plantarum is a facultative heterofermentative lactic acid bacterium widely used in the production of most fermented food due to its ability to thrive in several environmental niches, including the human gut. In order to cope with different growth conditions, it has developed complex molecular response mechanisms, characterized by the induction(More)
Multi-functional surface proteins have been observed in a variety of pathogenic bacteria, where they mediate host cell adhesion and invasion, as well as in commensal bacterial species, were they mediate positive interaction with the host. Among these proteins, some glycolytic enzymes, expressed on the bacterial cell surface, can bind human extracellular(More)
The role of probiotics in prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases is now well assessed. The presence of adhesive molecules on the cell surface of probiotics has been related to the ability to confer health benefit to the host. We have previously shown that the enolase EnoA1 of Lactobacillus plantarum, one of the most predominant species in the gut(More)
Lactobacillus plantarum is commonly used in the food industry as a starter in various fermentations, especially in vegetable fermentations, in which starch is a common substrate. This polysaccharide, which is obtained from potatoes or corn and is hydrolysed mainly to maltose and glucose by acids or enzymes, is commercially used for the production of lactate(More)
Lactobacillus plantarum is among the species with a probiotic activity. Adhesion of probiotic bacteria to host tissues is an important principle for strain selection, because it represents a crucial step in the colonization process of either pathogens or commensals. Most bacterial adhesins are proteins, and a major target for them is fibronectin, an(More)
Collagen is a target of pathogens for adhesion, colonization, and invasion of host tissue. Probiotic bacteria can mimic the same mechanism as used by the pathogens in the colonization process, expressing cell surface proteins that specifically interact with extracellular matrix component proteins. The capability to bind collagen is expressed by several(More)
Exopolysaccharides (EPS) from lactic acid bacteria contribute to specific rheology and texture of fermented milk products and find applications also in non-dairy foods and in therapeutics. Recently, four clusters of genes (cps) associated with surface polysaccharide production have been identified in Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, a probiotic and(More)
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