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J Bacteriol. 2001 Nov;183(22):6525-31.

Complementation of the essential peptidoglycan transpeptidase function of penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP2) by the drug resistance protein PBP2A in Staphylococcus aureus.

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Laboratory of Microbiology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The essential function of penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP2) in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus RN4220 was clearly established by placing the pbp2 gene under control of the inducible P(spac) promoter; the resulting bacteria were unable to grow in the absence of inducer. In contrast, the deficit in PBP2 caused by inhibition of transcription of the pbp2 gene did not block growth of a methicillin-resistant S. aureus strain expressing the extra penicillin-binding protein PBP2A, a protein of extraspecies origin that is central to the mechanism of methicillin resistance. Several lines of evidence indicate that the essential function of PBP2 that can be compensated for by PBP2A is the transpeptidase activity. This provides direct genetic evidence that PBP2A has transpeptidase activity.

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