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Microb Drug Resist. 1996 Summer;2(2):269-72.

beta-Lactamases are absent from Archaea (archaebacteria).

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Fachbereich 10-Biologie-Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany.


beta-Lactamases, enzymes that hydrolyze and inactive beta-lactam antibiotics, are of widespread occurrence in Bacteria and are related to the metabolism of bacterial cell wall murein. So far, no information exists on beta-lactamases in Archaea, a separate domain of prokaryotes with diverse types of unique cell wall polymers. Different mesophilic methanogenic and extremely halophilic Archaea containing methanochondroitin, pseudomurein, or S-layer protein or glycoprotein cell walls, were tested for beta-lactamase activity with the chromogenic beta-lactam nitrocefin as substrate. Also tested were representative microbial Eucarya from algae, yeasts, and protozoa. No beta-lactamase activity was detected in any of the archaeal and eukaryotic organisms. This supports the view that beta-lactamases are restricted to the domain of Bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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