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Arch Microbiol. 2009 May;191(5):425-9. doi: 10.1007/s00203-009-0468-9. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Identification of a novel UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvyl transferase (MurA) from Vibrio fischeri that confers high fosfomycin resistance in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Biology, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales NM, 88130, USA.


MurA [UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-NAG) enolpyruvyl transferase] is a key enzyme involved in bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan synthesis and a target for the antimicrobial agent fosfomycin, a structural analog of the MurA substrate phosphoenol pyruvate. In this study, we identified, cloned and sequenced a novel murA gene from an environmental isolate of Vibrio fischeri that is naturally resistant to fosfomycin. The fosfomycin resistance gene was isolated from a genomic DNA library of V. fischeri. An antimicrobial agent hypersensitive strain of Escherichia coli harboring murA from V. fischeri exhibited a high fosfomycin resistance phenotype, with minimum inhibitory concentration of 3,000 microg/ml. The cloned murA gene was 1,269 bp long encoding a 422 amino acid polypeptide with an estimated pI of 5.0. The deduced amino acid sequence of the putative protein was identified as UDP-NAG enolpyruvyl transferase by homology comparison. The MurA protein with an estimated molecular weight of 44.7 kDa was expressed in E. coli and purified by affinity chromatography. MurA of V. fischeri will be a useful target to identify potential inhibitors of fosfomycin resistance in pharmacological studies.

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