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Biochemistry. 2012 Oct 2;51(39):7755-65. doi: 10.1021/bi300762p. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

PatA and PatB form a functional heterodimeric ABC multidrug efflux transporter responsible for the resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae to fluoroquinolones.

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Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble 1, Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble, France.


All bacterial multidrug ABC transporters have been shown to work as either homodimers or heterodimers. Two possibly linked genes, patA and patB from Streptococcus pneumococcus, that encode half-ABC transporters have been shown previously to be involved in fluoroquinolone resistance. We showed that the ΔpatA, ΔpatB, or ΔpatA/ΔpatB mutant strains were more sensitive to unstructurally related compounds, i.e., ethidium bromide or fluoroquinolones, than the wild-type R6 strain. Inside-out vesicles prepared from Escherichia coli expressing PatA and/or PatB transported Hoechst 33342, a classical substrate of multidrug transporters, only when both PatA and PatB were coexpressed. This transport was inhibited either by orthovanadate or by reserpine, and mutation of the conserved Walker A lysine residue of either PatA or PatB fully abrogated Hoechst 33342 transport. PatA, PatB, and the PatA/PatB heterodimer were purified from detergent-solubilized E. coli membrane preparations. Protein dimers were identified in all cases, albeit in different proportions. In contrast to the PatA/PatB heterodimers, homodimers of PatA or PatB failed to show a vanadate-sensitive ATPase activity. Thus, PatA and PatB need to interact together to make a functional drug efflux transporter, and they work only as heterodimers.

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