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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Jul 1;188(1):81-5.

The fib locus in Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for peptidoglycan crosslinking and PBP-mediated beta-lactam resistance.

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Univerit├Ąt Kaiserslautern, Abteilung Mikrobiologie, Paul-Erlich Strasse, Kaiserslautern, Germany.


Penicillin resistance in pneumococci is mediated by modified penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) that have decreased affinity to beta-lactams. In high-level penicillin-resistant transformants of the laboratory strain Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 containing various combinations of low-affinity PBPs, disruption of the fib locus results in a collapse of PBP-mediated resistance. In addition, crosslinked muropeptides are highly reduced. The fib operon consists of two genes, fibA and fibB, homologous to Staphylococcus aureus femA/B which are also required for expression of methicillin resistance in this organism. FibA and FibB belong to a family of proteins of Gram-positive bacteria involved in the formation of interpeptide bridges, thus representing interesting new targets for antimicrobial compounds for this group of pathogens.

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