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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 May;54(5):1684-92. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01406-09. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Involvement of the beta subunit of RNA polymerase in resistance to streptolydigin and streptovaricin in the producer organisms Streptomyces lydicus and Streptomyces spectabilis.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología Funcional, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.


Streptomyces lydicus NRRL2433 and S. spectabilis NRRL2494 produce two inhibitors of bacterial RNA polymerase: the 3-acyltetramic acid streptolydigin and the naphthalenic ansamycin streptovaricin, respectively. Both strains are highly resistant to their own antibiotics. Independent expression of the S. lydicus and S. spectabilis rpoB and rpoC genes, encoding the beta- and beta'-subunits of RNA polymerase, respectively, in S. albus showed that resistance is mediated by rpoB, with no effect of rpoC. Within the beta-subunit, resistance was confined to an amino acid region harboring the "rif region." Comparison of the beta-subunit amino acid sequences of this region from the producer strains and those of other streptomycetes and site-directed mutagenesis of specific differential residues located in it (L485 and D486 in S. lydicus and N474 and S475 in S. spectabilis) showed their involvement in streptolydigin and streptovaricin resistance. Other amino acids located close to the "Stl pocket" in the S. lydicus beta-subunit (L555, F593, and M594) were also found to exert influence on streptolydigin resistance.

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