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Mol Gen Genet. 1990 Dec;224(3):364-72.

The VANA glycopeptide resistance protein is related to D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase cell wall biosynthesis enzymes.

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Unité des Agents Antibactériens, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Associée 271, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Inducible resistance to the glycopeptide antibiotics vancomycin and teicoplanin is mediated by plasmid pIP816 in Enterococcus faecium strain BM4147. Vancomycin induced the synthesis of a ca. 40 kDa membrane-associated protein designated VANA. The resistance protein was partially purified and its N-terminal sequence was determined. A 1761 bp DNA restriction fragment of pIP816 was cloned into Escherichia coli and sequenced. When expressed in E. coli, this fragment encoded a ca. 40 kDa protein that comigrated with VANA from enterococcal membrane fractions. The ATG translation initiation codon for VANA specified the methionine present at the N-terminus of the protein indicating the absence of signal peptide processing. The amino acid sequence deduced from the sequence of the vanA gene consisted of 343 amino acids giving a protein with a calculated Mr of 37,400. VANA was structurally related to the D-alanyl-D-alanine (D-ala-D-ala) ligases of Salmonella typhimurium (36% amino acid identity) and of E. coli (28%). The vanA gene was able to transcomplement an E. coli mutant with thermosensitive D-ala-D-ala ligase activity. Thus, the inducible resistance protein VANA was structurally and functionally related to cytoplasmic enzymes that synthesize the target of glycopeptide antibiotics. Based on these observations we discuss the possibility that resistance is due to modification of the glycopeptide target.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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