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Gene Review

femB  -  methicillin resistance factor protein

Staphylococcus aureus RF122

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Disease relevance of femB


High impact information on femB

  • Expression of the fmhB, femA, and femB genes of S. aureus in E. faecalis led to the production of peptidoglycan precursors substituted by mosaic side chains that were efficiently used by the penicillin-binding proteins for cross-bridge formation [2].
  • S. aureus strains carrying mutations in the femA, femB, femAB, or the femAX genes synthesize altered cross-bridges, and each of these strains displayed decreased sorting activity [3].
  • The inactivation of FemB by insertion of Tn551 in the central part of the femB open reading frame was shown to increase susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains toward beta-lactam antibiotics to the same extent as did inactivation of femA [4].
  • Upon growth of both strains in the presence of TX-100, no effects on the production of the essential methicillin-resistance factor FemA were detected, whereas phosphoglucosamine mutase (GlmM) production was reduced in COL alone [5].
  • The lysostaphin immunity factor Lif was able to complement FemB, as could be shown by serine incorporation and by an increase in lysostaphin resistance in the wild-type as well as in a femB mutant [6].

Biological context of femB

  • All strains containing an intact mec element in their chromosomes were found to be defective in adhesion to fibrinogen and fibronectin immobilized on polymethylmethacrylate coverslips, regardless of the presence or absence of additional mutations in the femA, femB, or femC gene, known to decrease expression of methicillin resistance in S. aureus [7].

Anatomical context of femB


Associations of femB with chemical compounds

  • Inactivation of either femA or femB causes decreased resistance to methicillin, increased resistance to lysostaphin, and decreased glycine content in the interpeptide chains of peptidoglycan [9].
  • While the PCR product of femA (509 bp) or femB (651 bp) was obtained from almost all the S. aureus strains except for five oxacillin-resistant strains (2.5%), neither of these genes were detected in CNS [10].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of femB

  • The femB PCR fragment allows the specific identification of S. aureus [11].


  1. Survey of the methicillin resistance-associated genes mecA, mecR1-mecI, and femA-femB in clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Hürlimann-Dalel, R.L., Ryffel, C., Kayser, F.H., Berger-Bächi, B. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Synthesis of mosaic peptidoglycan cross-bridges by hybrid peptidoglycan assembly pathways in gram-positive bacteria. Arbeloa, A., Hugonnet, J.E., Sentilhes, A.C., Josseaume, N., Dubost, L., Monsempes, C., Blanot, D., Brouard, J.P., Arthur, M. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Anchor structure of staphylococcal surface proteins. III. Role of the FemA, FemB, and FemX factors in anchoring surface proteins to the bacterial cell wall. Ton-That, H., Labischinski, H., Berger-Bächi, B., Schneewind, O. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Influence of femB on methicillin resistance and peptidoglycan metabolism in Staphylococcus aureus. Henze, U., Sidow, T., Wecke, J., Labischinski, H., Berger-Bächi, B. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  5. Comparative proteomics of Staphylococcus aureus and the response of methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive strains to Triton X-100. Cordwell, S.J., Larsen, M.R., Cole, R.T., Walsh, B.J. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2002) [Pubmed]
  6. Lif, the lysostaphin immunity factor, complements FemB in staphylococcal peptidoglycan interpeptide bridge formation. Tschierske, M., Ehlert, K., Strandén, A.M., Berger-Bächi, B. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (1997) [Pubmed]
  7. Introduction of the mec element (methicillin resistance) into Staphylococcus aureus alters in vitro functional activities of fibrinogen and fibronectin adhesins. Vaudaux, P.E., Monzillo, V., Francois, P., Lew, D.P., Foster, T.J., Berger-Bächi, B. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1998) [Pubmed]
  8. Identification of Staphylococcus aureus virulence genes in a murine model of bacteraemia using signature-tagged mutagenesis. Mei, J.M., Nourbakhsh, F., Ford, C.W., Holden, D.W. Mol. Microbiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  9. epr, which encodes glycylglycine endopeptidase resistance, is homologous to femAB and affects serine content of peptidoglycan cross bridges in Staphylococcus capitis and Staphylococcus aureus. Sugai, M., Fujiwara, T., Ohta, K., Komatsuzawa, H., Ohara, M., Suginaka, H. J. Bacteriol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Detection of mecA, femA, and femB genes in clinical strains of staphylococci using polymerase chain reaction. Kobayashi, N., Wu, H., Kojima, K., Taniguchi, K., Urasawa, S., Uehara, N., Omizu, Y., Kishi, Y., Yagihashi, A., Kurokawa, I. Epidemiol. Infect. (1994) [Pubmed]
  11. Multiplex PCR for simultaneous identification of Staphylococcus aureus and detection of methicillin and mupirocin resistance. Pérez-Roth, E., Claverie-Martín, F., Villar, J., Méndez-Alvarez, S. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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