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Eur J Biochem. 1975 Jul 1;55(2):465-73.

D-alanyl-D-alanine carboxypeptidase in the bacterial form and L-form of Proteus mirabilis.


Membranes of the bacterial form and the stable and unstable L-forms of Proteus mirabilis contain LD and DD-carboxypeptidase. The DD-carboxypeptidase is inhibited non-competitively by penicillin G. The enzyme of the bacterial form is highly penicillin-sensitive (Ki - 4 X 10(-9) M penicillin G). Inhibition is only partly reversible by treatment with penicillinase or by dialysis against buffer. In contrast, the DD-carboxypeptidase of the unstable L-form, grown in the presence of penicillin, is 175-fold less penicillin-sensitive (Ki = 7 X 10(7) M penicillin G). Inhibition is completely reversed by penicillinase or dialysis. After inhibition by penicillin and subsequent reactivation the penicillin sensitivity of the bacterial DD-carboxtpeptidase is similar to the sensitivity of the enzyme of the unstable L-form. The hypothesis is proposed that P. mirabilis contains two DD-carboxypeptidases of different penicillin sensitivity and with different mechanisms of penicillin binding. Peptidoglycan synthesis in the cell walls of the unstable L-form is probably carried out with the help of only one DD-carboxypeptidase, viz. the completely reactivatable enzyme with the lower penicillin sensitivity.

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