Molecular mechanisms of β-lactam resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Future Microbiol

Department of Microbiology, University of Kaiserslautern, Paul Ehrlich Strasse 23, D-67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Future Microbiology (Impact Factor: 4.28). 03/2012; 7(3):395-410. DOI: 10.2217/fmb.12.2
Source: PubMed


Alterations in the target enzymes for β-lactam antibiotics, the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), have been recognized as a major resistance mechanism in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Mutations in PBPs that confer a reduced affinity to β-lactams have been identified in laboratory mutants and clinical isolates, and document an astounding variability of sites involved in this phenotype. Whereas point mutations are selected in the laboratory, clinical isolates display a mosaic structure of the affected PBP genes, the result of interspecies gene transfer and recombination events. Depending on the selective β-lactam, different combinations of PBP genes and mutations within are involved in conferring resistance, and astoundingly in non-PBP genes as well.

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    • "It was soon documented that this development was linked to the appearance of highly altered genes encoding the target enzymes for beta-lactams, the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). The mosaic gene structures of PBP2x, PBP2b and PBP1a – the main players in the evolution of penicillin resistance – were recognized as the result of interspecies gene transfer, resulting in PBP variants with highly decreased affinities to the beta-lactam inhibitors (for review, seeHakenbeck et al., 2012). PBPs are modular proteins catalysing late steps during murein biosynthesis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Interspecies gene transfer has been implicated as the major driving force for the evolution of penicillin resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Genomic alterations of S. pneumoniae R6 introduced during four successive transformations with DNA of the high-level penicillin-resistant Streptococcus mitis B6 with beta-lactam selection have now been determined and the contribution of genes to high resistance levels was analysed genetically. Essential for high level resistance to penicillins of the transformant CCCB was the combination of murM(B) (6) and the 3' region of pbp2b(B) (6) . Sequences of both genes were detected in clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae, confirming the participation of S. mitis in the global gene pool of beta-lactam resistance determinants. The S. mitis PBP1b gene which contains an authentic stop codon within the transpeptidase domain is now shown to contribute only marginal to resistance, but it is possible that the presence of its transglycosylase domain is important in the context of cognate PBPs. The genome sequence of CCCB revealed 36 recombination events, including deletion and acquisition of genes and repeat elements. A total of 78 genes were affected representing 67 kb or 3.3% of the genome, documenting extensive alterations scattered throughout the genome.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Molecular Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Penicillin-binding protein 2x (PBP2x) mutations that occur during the selection with beta-lactams are located within the central penicillin-binding/transpeptidase (TP) domain, and are believed to mediate resistance by interfering with the formation of a covalent complex of the active site serine with the antibiotic. We now investigated the effect of two point mutations found in two independently obtained laboratory mutants that are located at the surface of the TP domain with their side chains facing outside (G422D respectively R426C). They have no significant effect on resistance to cefotaxime in vivo or on binding to Bocillin™FL to the active site in vitro using purified PBP2x derivatives, thus apparently do not affect the active site directly. In contrast, in silico modeling revealed that they affect van der Waal's interactions with the PASTA1 (PBP and serine/threonine kinase associated) domain of the C-terminal extension and a noncovalent cefuroxime molecule found in the X-ray structure of an acylated PBP2x, suggesting some effect of the mutations on the interaction of the TP domain with PASTA1 and/or with the antibiotic associated with PASTA1. The effect of the PASTA domains on covalent binding of PBP2x to Bocillin FL was then investigated using a series of soluble truncated PBP2x derivatives. Deletion of 127 C-terminal residues, that is, of both PASTA domains, decreased binding dramatically by ∼90%. Surprisingly, deletion of only 40 amino acids resulted in the same phenotype, whereas the absence of 30 amino acids affected binding marginally by 10%, documenting a crucial role of the C-terminal domain for beta-lactam binding.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Microbial drug resistance (Larchmont, N.Y.)
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    ABSTRACT: β-Lactam antibiotics are the most commonly used antibacterial agents and growing resistance to these drugs is a concern. Metallo-β-lactamases are a diverse set of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of a broad range of β-lactam drugs including carbapenems. This diversity is reflected in the observation that the enzyme mechanisms differ based on whether one or two zincs are bound in the active site that, in turn, is dependent on the subclass of β-lactamase. The dissemination of the genes encoding these enzymes among Gram-negative bacteria has made them an important cause of resistance. In addition, there are currently no clinically available inhibitors to block metallo-β-lactamase action. This review summarizes the numerous studies that have yielded insights into the structure, function, and mechanism of action of these enzymes.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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