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Mol Microbiol. 2014 Aug;93(3):391-402. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12689. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

The expression of antibiotic resistance genes in antibiotic-producing bacteria.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A8.


Antibiotic-producing bacteria encode antibiotic resistance genes that protect them from the biologically active molecules that they produce. The expression of these genes needs to occur in a timely manner: either in advance of or concomitantly with biosynthesis. It appears that there have been at least two general solutions to this problem. In many cases, the expression of resistance genes is tightly linked to that of antibiotic biosynthetic genes. In others, the resistance genes can be induced by their cognate antibiotics or by intermediate molecules from their biosynthetic pathways. The regulatory mechanisms that couple resistance to antibiotic biosynthesis are mechanistically diverse and potentially relevant to the origins of clinical antibiotic resistance.

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