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Microb Drug Resist. 1997 Spring;3(1):53-64.

Induction of VanA vancomycin resistance genes in Enterococcus faecalis: use of a promoter fusion to evaluate glycopeptide and nonglycopeptide induction signals.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.


To characterize induction of VanA resistance a plasmid was constructed in which the gene for firefly luciferase lucA was placed under the control of the promoter for the VanA resistance genes, the vanH promoter. This system afforded convenient quantitative measurement of induction of the VanA genes. Glycopeptide antibiotics and antibiotics representing 19 different mechanisms of action were evaluated for their ability to induce. Antibiotics that acted as inducers were all inhibitors of late steps of peptidoglycan synthesis. These included moenomycin, bacitracin, tunicamycin, ramoplanin and glycopeptides, but not penicillin or other beta-lactam antibiotics. Glycopeptide antibiotics were the most potent inducers. Both glycopeptides with little or no antimicrobial activity and semisynthetic glycopeptides active against VanA resistant enterococci were inducers. Overall, results suggest that an induction response may involve both an internal signal, such as precursor accumulation, and the glycopeptide molecule itself as a signal. The system may be useful as a screen for new antimicrobial agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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