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Rev Infect Dis. 1988 Jul-Aug;10(4):699-711.

Penicillin-binding proteins of gram-negative bacteria.

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Microbial Genetics Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom.


beta-Lactam antibiotics exert their antibacterial effects by inactivating the high-molecular-weight penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) that are responsible for the final stages of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. The availability of the amino acid sequences of several low-molecular-weight PBPs, high-molecular-weight PBPs, and active-site serine beta-lactamases has provided evidence that these groups of enzymes have a common, but distant, evolutionary origin. This view is strongly supported by the recent finding of a similarity in the three-dimensional structures of a low-molecular-weight PBP and class A beta-lactamases. The high-molecular-weight PBPs of Escherichia coli are believed to possess an amino-terminal peptidoglycan transglycosylase domain and a carboxy-terminal penicillin-sensitive transpeptidase domain. These enzymes are inserted in the cytoplasmic membrane only at their amino termini, and water-soluble forms have been obtained that should be suitable for crystallization and X-ray analysis. Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics mediated by alterations of PBPs has been reported in some gram-negative bacteria. In isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae with chromosomally mediated resistance, penicillin-resistant PBPs have arisen from the introduction of multiple amino acid substitutions within the transpeptidase domain of the enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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