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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Nov 7;228(1):93-7.

YtsCD and YwoA, two independent systems that confer bacitracin resistance to Bacillus subtilis.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Bactérienne, Institut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie, CNRS, 31 Chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


The Bacillus subtilis yts, yxd and yvc gene clusters encode a putative ABC transporter and a functionally coupled two-component system. When tested for their sensitivity towards a series of antibiotics, null yts mutants were found to be sensitive to bacitracin. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments demonstrated that the presence of bacitracin in the growth medium strongly stimulates the expression of the ytsCD genes encoding the ABC transporter and that this stimulation strictly depends on the YtsA response regulator. The ywoA gene encodes a protein known to confer some resistance to bacitracin on the bacterium. When it was mutated in a null yts background, the ywoA yts double mutant was found to be five times more sensitive than the yts one. We propose that (i) the YtsCD ABC transporter exports the bacitracin; (ii) YwoA, the protein that contains an acidPPc (PAP2 or PgpB) domain, is not part of an ABC transporter but competes with bacitracin for the dephosphorylation of the C55-isoprenyl pyrophosphate (IPP); (iii) the two resistance mechanisms are independent and complementary.

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