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Microbiology. 1999 Aug;145 ( Pt 8):1849-1858. doi: 10.1099/13500872-145-8-1849.

Regulated interactions between partner and non-partner sensors and response regulators that control glycopeptide resistance gene expression in enterococci.


Transcription of the vanA and vanB glycopeptide resistance gene clusters is regulated by the VanRS and VanRBSB two-component regulatory systems, respectively. Histidine to glutamine substitutions were introduced at positions 164 of VanS and 233 of VanSB to prevent autophosphorylation of the sensor kinases and transfer of the phosphate groups to the VanR and VanRB response regulators. VanSH164Q and VanSBH233Q abolished activation of VanR and VanRB by host kinases. The phosphatase activity of VanSBH233Q was negatively modulated by vancomycin whereas VanSH164Q prevented transcription of the resistance genes under all growth conditions. Cross-talk was detected between VanRB and VanS in a vanSB null mutant. VanR is required for activation of promoters PR and PH allowing transcription of the regulatory (vanRS) and resistance (vanHAXYZ) genes, respectively. Under non-inducing conditions, activation of VanR by cross-talk was blocked by the presence of a multicopy plasmid carrying PH. Presence of the high-affinity VanR-binding sites of the regulatory region of PH on the multicopy vector probably sequestered VanR, thereby preventing autoactivation of the PR promoter. Under such circumstances, stimulation of the host kinase by glycopeptides or moenomycin was required for expression of the resistance genes.

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