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J Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;176(17):5574-7.

Penicillin-binding protein 2b of Streptococcus pneumoniae in piperacillin-resistant laboratory mutants.

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  • 1Max-Planck Institut für Molekulare Genetik, Berlin, Germany.


In Streptococcus pneumoniae, alterations in penicillin-binding protein 2b (PBP 2b) that reduce the affinity for penicillin binding are observed during development of beta-lactam resistance. The development of resistance was now studied in three independently obtained piperacillin-resistant laboratory mutants isolated after several selection steps on increasing concentrations of the antibiotic. The mutants differed from the clinical isolates in major aspects: first-level resistance could not be correlated with alterations in the known PBP genes, and the first PBP altered was PBP 2b. The point mutations occurring in the PBP 2b genes were characterized. Each mutant contained one single point mutation in the PBP 2b gene. In one mutant, this resulted in a mutation of Gly-617 to Ala within one of the homology boxes common to all PBPs, and in the other two cases, the same Gly-to-Asp substitution at the end of the penicillin-binding domain had occurred. The sites affected were homologous to those determined previously in the S. pneumoniae PBP 2x of mutants resistant to cefotaxime, indicating that, in both PBPs, similar sites are important for interaction with the respective beta-lactams.

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