Anti-adhesive properties of fish tropomyosins

Rebecca Munk Vejborg, Nete Bernbom, Lone Gram, Per Klemm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aims: We have recently found that preconditioning of stainless steel surfaces with an aqueous fish muscle extract can significantly impede bacterial adhesion. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize the primary components associated with this bacteria-repelling effect. Methods and Results: The anti-adhesive activity was assayed against Escherchia coli K-12, and bacterial adhesion was quantified by crystal violet staining and sonication methods. Proteolytic digestion, elution and fractionation experiments revealed that the anti-adhesive activity of the extract was linked to the formation of a proteinaceous conditioning film composed primarily of fish tropomyosins. These fibrous proteins formed a considerable anti-adhesive conditioning layer on and reduced bacterial adhesion to several different materials including polystyrene, vinyl plastic, stainless steel and glass. The protein adsorption profiles obtained from the various materials did not differ significantly, but elution was often incomplete making minor qualitative/quantitative differences indiscernible. Conclusions: The data highlights the significance of protein conditioning films on bacterial adhesion and emphasizes the importance of substratum's physiochemical properties and exposure time with regards to protein adsorption/elution efficiency and subsequent bacterial adhesion. Significance and Impact of the Study: Fish tropomyosin-coatings could potentially offer a nontoxic and relatively inexpensive measure of reducing bacterial colonization of inert surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)141-150
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • bacterial adhesion
  • alpha-tropomyosin
  • anti-adhesive
  • protein adsorption
  • fish muscle proteins
  • conditioning film


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