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J Gen Microbiol. 1988 Mar;134(3):697-709.

The nucleotide sequence of Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pT48 conferring inducible macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance and comparison with similar plasmids expressing constitutive resistance.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK.


The complete nucleotide sequence of a naturally occurring Staphylococcus aureus plasmid, pT48 (from S. aureus strain T48), has been determined. The 2475 bp plasmid confers inducible resistance to macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLS) type antibiotics. It is similar to the constitutive MLS resistance plasmid, pNE131, from Staphylococcus epidermidis and shows homology with S. aureus plasmids pSN2 and pE194. It contains a palA structure homologous to that on S. aureus plasmid pT181. The open reading frame, ORF B, within the pSN2 homologous region has a frameshifted C-terminus, relative to pNE131, resulting in a smaller, 158 amino acid putative polypeptide. The pE194 homologous region has the ermC resistance determinant and retains the leader region, deleted in pNE131, required for inducible expression of an adenine methylase. Another naturally occurring S. aureus strain, J74, shows constitutive resistance to erythromycin and contains a small plasmid, pJ74, which is similar to pNE131 but with a different deletion in the leader sequence. The results are consistent with the translational attenuation model for ermC expression.

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