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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Dec;45(12):3287-92.

Systematic analysis of a conserved region of the aminoglycoside 6'-N-acetyltransferase type Ib.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology and Nutrition, Department of Biological Science, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California 92834-6850, USA.


Alanine-scanning mutagenesis was applied to the aminoglycoside 6'-N-acetyltransferase type Ib conserved motif B, and the effects of the substitutions were analyzed by measuring the MICs of kanamycin (KAN) and its semisynthetic derivative, amikacin (AMK). Several substitutions resulted in no major change in MICs. E167A and F171A resulted in derivatives that lost the ability to confer resistance to KAN and AMK. P155A, P157A, N159A, L160A, I163A, K168A, and G170A conferred intermediate levels of resistance. Y166A resulted in an enzyme derivative with a modified specificity; it conferred a high level of resistance to KAN but lost the ability to confer resistance to AMK. Although not as pronounced, the resistance profiles conferred by substitutions N159A and G170A were related to that conferred by Y166A. These phenotypes, taken together with previous results indicating that mutant F171L could not catalyze acetylation of AMK when the assays were carried out at 42 degrees C (D. Panaite and M. Tolmasky, Plasmid 39:123-133, 1998), suggest that some motif B amino acids play a direct or indirect role in acceptor substrate specificity. MICs of AMK and KAN for cells harboring the substitution C165A were high, suggesting that the active form of the enzyme may not be a dimer formed through a disulfide bond. Furthermore, this result indicated that the acetylation reaction occurs through a direct mechanism rather than a ping-pong mechanism that includes a transient transfer of the acetyl group to a cysteine residue. Deletion of fragments at the C terminus demonstrated that up to 10 amino acids could be deleted without a loss of activity.

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