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J Bacteriol. 1995 Nov;177(21):6290-3.

Hybrid proteins of the transglycosylase and the transpeptidase domains of PBP1B and PBP3 of Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Section of Molecular Cytology, BioCentrum Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The construction of hybrid proteins of PBP1B and PBP3 has been described. One hybrid protein (PBP1B/3) contained the transglycosylase domain of PBP1B and the transpeptidase domain of PBP3. In the other hybrid protein, the putative transglycosylase domain of PBP3 was coupled to the transpeptidase domain of PBP1B (PBP3/1B). The hybrid proteins were localized in the cell envelope in a similar way as the wild-type PBP1B. In vitro isolates of the strains containing the hybrid proteins had a transglycosylase activity intermediate between that of wild-type PBP1B-producing strain and that of a PBP1B overproducer. Analysis with specific antibiotics against PBP1A/1B and PBP3 and mutant analysis in strains containing PBP3/1B revealed no detectable effects in vivo compared with wild-type strains. The same was shown for PBP1B/3 when the experiments were performed in a recA background. The data indicate that the hybrid proteins cannot replace native penicillin-binding proteins. This finding suggests that functional high-molecular-weight penicillin-binding protein specificity is at least in part determined by the unique combination of the two functional domains.

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