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Gene Review

blaZ  -  beta-lactamase

Staphylococcus aureus

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Disease relevance of blaZ


Psychiatry related information on blaZ


High impact information on blaZ

  • Tolerance is thus a common, clinically important form of penicillin resistance, that differs from previously described forms of pencillin resistance, that due to beta-lactamase, and that due to "intrinsic" (e.g., methicillin resistance) mechanisms [7].
  • In the second type of fusion, blaZ was translationally fused to the C-terminal end of repC [8].
  • Borderline resistance, a low-level type of resistance to methicillin exhibited by strains lacking mecA, is associated with modifications in native PBPs, beta-lactamase hyperproduction, or possibly a methicillinase [9].
  • The resistance phenotype is influenced by numerous factors, including mec and beta-lactamase (bla) regulatory elements, fem factors, and yet to be identified chromosomal loci [9].
  • One approach to counteracting this resistance mechanism has been through the development of beta-lactamase inactivators. beta-Lactamase inhibitors include clavulanic acid and sulbactam, molecules with minimal antibiotic activity [10].

Chemical compound and disease context of blaZ


Biological context of blaZ

  • We have prepared and analyzed two types of gene fusion between the replication initiator gene, repC, and the reporter gene, blaZ, in order to investigate the relationship between pT181 plasmid copy number and RepC initiator protein production [8].
  • In one type of gene fusion used in this study, blaZ was translationally coupled to the C-terminal end of the repC coding sequence such that native forms of both proteins were produced [8].
  • The plasmids harboring both qacA/B and blaZ genes varied from approximately 20 to 40 kb [15].
  • In all eight type B beta-lactamase-producing isolates, blaZ was located on the chromosome [1].
  • Although a common gene pool seems to exist among staphylococci, exchange of blaZ between strains and species is judged to be an extremely rare event [2].

Anatomical context of blaZ

  • These bacteria were all isolates of S. aureus (11) and B. fragilis (2), 8 of 22 B. melaninogenicus group, 4 of 11 B. oralis, and two of 8 H. influenza type B. Our findings indicate the polymicrobial nature of deep adenoid flora and demonstrate the presence of many beta lactamase-producing organisms in children with recurrent adenotonsillitis [16].
  • METHODS: beta-Lactamase activity of whole cells and purified enzymes was estimated spectrophotometrically and in isolated cytoplasmic membranes by bioassay with Bacillus subtilis as test strain [17].
  • Emergence and persistence of beta-lactamase-producing bacteria in the oropharynx following penicillin treatment [18].
  • Beta-lactamase production was noted in 56 isolates recovered from 37 tonsils [19].
  • Overall, the excellent activity of imipenem is the result of (1) the lack of a permeability barrier; (2) high affinity for PBP-2, a critical protein in cell wall synthesis in gram-negative bacteria, and for critical penicillin-binding proteins of gram-positive species; and, above all, (3) its great beta-lactamase stability [20].

Associations of blaZ with chemical compounds

  • MecI (methicillin repressor) blocks mecA but also blaZ transcription and that of itself and the co-transcribed sensor/transducer [21].
  • We conclude that type A blaZ is common in MSSA PJI and that cefazolin therapy for blaZ MSSA PJI can be successful when combined with 2-stage reimplantation and local antimicrobial therapy [22].
  • Testing beta-lactamase production with nitrocefin was more predictive for the presence of the blaZ gene than the agar dilution method and the results of the former agreed highly with the presence of the blaZ gene in the isolates [23].
  • N-Carboxylated lysine also catalyzes hydrolytic deacylation of the acyl-enzyme species in the beta-lactamase [24].
  • Susceptibility and bactericidal activity studies of four Bla+ enterococci against potential alternative antibiotics, including ampicillin-sulbactam, daptomycin, teicoplanin, and vancomycin, are presented [4].

Other interactions of blaZ

  • Complete pbp2 sequences were determined for three BORSA, corresponding to ST25, ST1 and ST47, which were selected on the basis of lacking blaZ-encoded beta-lactamase [25].
  • RESULTS: All penicillin-resistant strains carried blaZ and showed a similar organization of blaR1 and blaZ [2].
  • Furthermore, the presence of blaZ and blaR1 and the location of blaZ was determined by PCR and hybridisation [5].
  • A novel plasmid (designated pUB102) harbouring far1, tetK and blaZ was characterised and partially sequenced [26].
  • Southern hybridisation analysis indicated that sin is located on alpha-, beta- and gamma-families of Bla plasmids and on pSK1 family plasmids [27].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of blaZ


  1. Characterization of a chromosomal gene encoding type B beta-lactamase in phage group II isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Voladri, R.K., Kernodle, D.S. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. Diversity and evolution of blaZ from Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. Olsen, J.E., Christensen, H., Aarestrup, F.M. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Cloning and expression of the penicillinase from a borderline methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strain in Escherichia coli. Massidda, O., Montanari, M.P., Mingoia, M., Varaldo, P.E. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. Susceptibility and bactericidal activity studies of four beta-lactamase-producing enterococci. Patterson, J.E., Zervos, M.J. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1989) [Pubmed]
  5. Occurrence of the blaZ gene in penicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis in Denmark. Vesterholm-Nielsen, M., Olhom Larsen, M., Elmerdahl Olsen, J., Moller Aarestrup, F. Acta Vet. Scand. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Development, characterization, and initial evaluations of S1. A new chromogenic cephalosporin for beta-lactamase detection. Sutton, L.D., Biedenbach, D.J., Yen, A., Jones, R.N. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. A new type of penicillin resistance of Staphylococcus aureus. Sabath, L.D., Wheeler, N., Laverdiere, M., Blazevic, D., Wilkinson, B.J. Lancet (1977) [Pubmed]
  8. Measurement of gene expression by translational coupling: effect of copy mutations on pT181 initiator synthesis. Bargonetti, J., Wang, P.Z., Novick, R.P. EMBO J. (1993) [Pubmed]
  9. Methicillin resistance in staphylococci: molecular and biochemical basis and clinical implications. Chambers, H.F. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Beta-lactamase inhibitors from laboratory to clinic. Bush, K. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. (1988) [Pubmed]
  11. beta-Lactamase-mediated inactivation and efficacy of cefazolin and cefmetazole in Staphylococcus aureus abscesses. Fields, M.T., Herndon, B.L., Bamberger, D.M. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1993) [Pubmed]
  12. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from subgingival plaque in a norwegian population with refractory marginal periodontitis. Handal, T., Caugant, D.A., Olsen, I. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Penicillinase plasmid-linked genetic determinants for enterotoxins B and C1 production in Staphylococcus aureus. Altboum, Z., Hertman, I., Sarid, S. Infect. Immun. (1985) [Pubmed]
  14. Behaviour of beta-lactamase-positive and -negative Staphylococcus aureus isolates in susceptibility tests with piperacillin/tazobactam and other beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations. Bonfiglio, G., Livermore, D.M. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (1993) [Pubmed]
  15. Frequency of disinfectant resistance genes and genetic linkage with beta-lactamase transposon Tn552 among clinical staphylococci. Sidhu, M.S., Heir, E., Leegaard, T., Wiger, K., Holck, A. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2002) [Pubmed]
  16. Aerobic and anaerobic bacteriology of adenoids in children: a comparison between patients with chronic adenotonsillitis and adenoid hypertrophy. Brook, I. Laryngoscope (1981) [Pubmed]
  17. Investigation of oxacillin-hydrolyzing beta-lactamase in borderline methicillin-resistant clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Gál, Z., Kovács, P., Hernádi, F., Barabás, G., Kiss, L., Iglói, A., Szabó, I. Chemotherapy. (2001) [Pubmed]
  18. Emergence and persistence of beta-lactamase-producing bacteria in the oropharynx following penicillin treatment. Brook, I. Arch. Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. (1988) [Pubmed]
  19. Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in tonsils of children with recurrent tonsillitis. Brook, I., Yocum, P., Friedman, E.M. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. (1981) [Pubmed]
  20. Carbapenems: special properties contributing to their activity. Neu, H.C. Am. J. Med. (1985) [Pubmed]
  21. On the transcriptional regulation of methicillin resistance: MecI repressor in complex with its operator. García-Castellanos, R., Mallorquí-Fernández, G., Marrero, A., Potempa, J., Coll, M., Gomis-Rüth, F.X. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  22. Lack of association of Staphylococcus aureus type A beta-lactamase with cefazolin combined with antimicrobial spacer placement prosthetic joint infection treatment failure. Shuford, J.A., Piper, K.E., Hein, M., Trampuz, A., Steckelberg, J.M., Patel, R. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. (2006) [Pubmed]
  23. Comparison of phenotypic and genotypic detection of penicillin G resistance of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine intramammary infection. Haveri, M., Suominen, S., Rantala, L., Honkanen-Buzalski, T., Pyörälä, S. Vet. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  24. Lysine N(zeta)-Decarboxylation in the BlaR1 Protein from Staphylococcus aureus at the Root of Its Function As an Antibiotic Sensor. Cha, J., Mobashery, S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2007) [Pubmed]
  25. Identification of different clonal complexes and diverse amino acid substitutions in penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP2) associated with borderline oxacillin resistance in Canadian Staphylococcus aureus isolates. Nadarajah, J., Lee, M.J., Louie, L., Jacob, L., Simor, A.E., Louie, M., McGavin, M.J. J. Med. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  26. Microarray-based characterisation of a Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive community-acquired strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Monecke, S., Slickers, P., Hotzel, H., Richter-Huhn, G., Pohle, M., Weber, S., Witte, W., Ehricht, R. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. (2006) [Pubmed]
  27. Characterisation of sin, a potential recombinase-encoding gene from Staphylococcus aureus. Paulsen, I.T., Gillespie, M.T., Littlejohn, T.G., Hanvivatvong, O., Rowland, S.J., Dyke, K.G., Skurray, R.A. Gene (1994) [Pubmed]
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