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Chemical Compound Review

Zwittermicin A     4,8-diamino-N-[1- aminocarbonyl-2...

Synonyms: AC1L2SV5, 155547-95-8
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Disease relevance of Zwittermicin A


High impact information on Zwittermicin A

  • The rpoB and rpoC mutants suggested that zwittermicin A might inhibit transcription, DNA replication, DNA gyrase or topoisomerase I; however, we found no further evidence to support any of these as the target for zwittermicin A [1].
  • A second class of zwittermicin A-resistant mutants was aminoglycoside sensitive and was affected in rpoB and rpoC, genes that encode subunits of RNA polymerase [1].
  • Zwittermicin A is a novel aminopolyol antibiotic that represents a new structural class of antibiotic and has diverse biological activities, including the suppression of plant disease and the ability to inhibit prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells [1].
  • The mutant analysis, coupled with physiological data, indicated an association between the electrical membrane potential (deltapsi) component of PMF and zwittermicin A sensitivity [1].
  • The results suggest that deltapsi drives zwittermicin A uptake, and that, unlike other antibiotics for which resistance maps in rpoB or rpoC, zwittermicin A does not cause the rapid cessation of DNA or RNA synthesis, suggesting a unique mechanism of antibiosis [1].

Biological context of Zwittermicin A


Associations of Zwittermicin A with other chemical compounds


Gene context of Zwittermicin A

  • The assay for phage P7 sensitivity was particularly useful because of its simplicity and rapidity and because 22 of the 23 P7-sensitive isolates tested produced zwittermicin A [5].
  • Additionally, nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) homologs are present, suggesting that zwittermicin A is synthesized by a mixed NRPS/PKS pathway [3].
  • Insertional inactivation demonstrated that orf2 is necessary for zwittermicin A production and that zmaR is necessary for high-level resistance to zwittermicin A but is not required for zwittermicin A production [6].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Zwittermicin A

  • Sixteen random oligonucleotide primers were tested in PCR, and one primer was identified that generated a fragment of 0.48 kb or 0.49 kb from total DNA from 26 of 28 strains known to produce zwittermicin A, whereas PCR with this primer did not generate bands of that size from 16 of 20 non-producing strains [8].
  • In an in vitro seedling bioassay of disease suppression, the antibiotics, zwittermicin A and kanosamine, suppressed disease singly or together, although UW85 culture suppressed disease more effectively than did the antibiotics [7].


  1. Genetic analysis of zwittermicin A resistance in Escherichia coli: effects on membrane potential and RNA polymerase. Stabb, E.V., Handelsman, J. Mol. Microbiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. Zwittermicin A resistance gene from Bacillus cereus. Milner, J.L., Stohl, E.A., Handelsman, J. J. Bacteriol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  3. Genetics of zwittermicin a production by Bacillus cereus. Emmert, E.A., Klimowicz, A.K., Thomas, M.G., Handelsman, J. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. ZmaR, a novel and widespread antibiotic resistance determinant that acetylates zwittermicin A. Stohl, E.A., Brady, S.F., Clardy, J., Handelsman, J. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Zwittermicin A-producing strains of Bacillus cereus from diverse soils. Stabb, E.V., Jacobson, L.M., Handelsman, J. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  6. Zwittermicin A biosynthetic cluster. Stohl, E.A., Milner, J.L., Handelsman, J. Gene (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Behavior of pythium Torulosum zoospores during their interaction with tobacco roots and Bacillus cereus. Shang, H., Chen, J., Handelsman, J., Goodman, R.M. Curr. Microbiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of zwittermicin A-producing strains of Bacillus cereus. Raffel, S.J., Stabb, E.V., Milner, J.L., Handelsman, J. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1996) [Pubmed]
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