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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1980 Nov;18(5):730-7.

Penicillin-binding proteins of penicillin-susceptible and intrinsically resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


The penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were investigated by using [3H]benzylpenicillin of high specific activity. This made it possible to label the PBPs both in cytoplasmic membranes and in the membranes of actively growing cells (in vivo labeling). A total of 20 strains isolated from different geographic locales showed the same pattern of three major PBPs, which had molecular weights of approximately 90,000, 63,000, and 48,000. Five clinical isolates of intrinsically penicillin-resistant gonococci each exhibited reduced penicillin binding of PBPs 1 and 2. The construction of an isogenic set of transformants with increasing levels of penicillin resistance indicated that the penA gene was associated with a decrease in penicillin binding fo PBP 2. Decreased binding to PBP 1 is likely to accompany the newly reported pem and tem genes, which govern to highest level of penicillin resistance.

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