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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Oct 1;88(19):8553-7.

A bacterial analog of the mdr gene of mammalian tumor cells is present in Streptomyces peucetius, the producer of daunorubicin and doxorubicin.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Sequence analysis of the drrAB locus from Streptomyces peucetius (American Type Culture Collection 29050) reveals the presence of two genes, drrA and drrB, both of which are required for daunorubicin and doxorubicin (Adriamycin) resistance in the heterologous host Streptomyces lividans. The DrrA protein is similar to a large family of ATP-binding transport proteins, including the proteins encoded by the mdr genes from mammalian tumor cells, which confer resistance to daunorubicin, doxorubicin, and some other structurally unrelated chemotherapeutic agents. The DrrB protein shows no significant similarity to other known proteins but is probably very hydrophobic, suggesting that it is located in the bacterial membrane. These two proteins may act jointly to confer daunorubicin and doxorubicin resistance by an analog of the antiport mechanism established for mammalian tumor cells that contain amplified or overexpressed mdr genes. Transcriptional analysis of the drrAB region supports the presence of one transcript containing drrA and drrB and indicates that these genes are expressed only during antibiotic production.

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