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J Bacteriol. 1990 Sep;172(9):4909-18.

Isolation and characterization of a beta-lactamase-inhibitory protein from Streptomyces clavuligerus and cloning and analysis of the corresponding gene.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Culture filtrates of Streptomyces clavuligerus contain a proteinaceous beta-lactamase inhibitor (BLIP) in addition to a variety of beta-lactam compounds. BLIP was first detected by its ability to inhibit Bactopenase, a penicillinase derived from Bacillus cereus, but it has also been shown to inhibit the plasmid pUC- and chromosomally mediated beta-lactamases of Escherichia coli. BLIP showed no inhibitory effect against Enterobacter cloacae beta-lactamase, and it also showed no activity against an alternative source of B. cereus penicillinase. BLIP was purified to homogeneity, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gave a size estimate for BLIP of 16,900 to 18,000. The interaction between purified BLIP and the E. coli(pUC) beta-lactamase was investigated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and determined to be noncovalent, with an estimated 1:1 molar stoichiometry. The BLIP gene was isolated on a 13.5-kilobase fragment of S. clavuligerus chromosomal DNA which did not overlap a 40-kilobase region of DNA known to contain genes for beta-lactam antibiotic biosynthesis. The gene encoded a mature protein with a deduced amino acid sequence of 165 residues (calculated molecular weight of 17,523) and also encoded a 36-amino-acid signal sequence. No significant sequence similarity to BLIP was found by pairwise comparisons using various protein and nucleotide sequence data banks or by hybridization experiments, and no BLIP activity was detected in the culture supernatants of other Streptomyces spp.

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