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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;631:200-13.

Vancomycin resistance VanS/VanR two-component systems.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Vancomycin is a member of the glycopeptide class of antibiotics. Vancomycin resistance (van) gene clusters are found in human pathogens such as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium and Staphylococcus aureus, glycopeptide-producing actinomycetes such as Amycolotopsis orientalis, Actinoplanes teichomyceticus and Streptomyces toyocaensis and the nonglycopeptide producing actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor. Expression of the van genes is activated by the VanS/VanR two-component system in response to extracellular glycopeptide antibiotic. Two major types of inducible vancomycin resistance are found in pathogenic bacteria; VanA strains are resistant to vancomycin itself and also to the lipidated glycopeptide teicoplanin, while VanB strains are resistant to vancomycin but sensitive to teicoplanin. Here we discuss the enzymes the van genes encode, the range of different VanS/VanR two-component systems, the biochemistry of VanS/VanR, the nature of the effector ligand(s) recognised by VanS and the evolution of the van cluster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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