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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biochemical-genetic characterization and regulation of expression of an ACC-1-like chromosome-borne cephalosporinase from Hafnia alvei.

A naturally occurring AmpC beta-lactamase (cephalosporinase) gene was cloned from the Hafnia alvei 1 clinical isolate and expressed in Escherichia coli. The deduced AmpC beta-lactamase (ACC-2) had a pI of 8 and a relative molecular mass of 37 kDa and showed 50 and 47% amino acid identity with the chromosome-encoded AmpCs from Serratia marcescens and Providentia stuartii, respectively. It had 94% amino acid identity with the recently described plasmid-borne cephalosporinase ACC-1 from Klebsiella pneumoniae, suggesting the chromosomal origin of ACC-1. The hydrolysis constants (k(cat) and K(m)) showed that ACC-2 was a peculiar cephalosporinase, since it significantly hydrolyzed cefpirome. Once its gene was cloned and expressed in E. coli (pDEL-1), ACC-2 conferred resistance to ceftazidime and cefotaxime but also an uncommon reduced susceptibility to cefpirome. A divergently transcribed ampR gene with an overlapping promoter compared with ampC (bla(ACC-2)) was identified in H. alvei 1, encoding an AmpR protein that shared 64% amino acid identity with the closest AmpR protein from P. stuartii. beta-Lactamase induction experiments showed that the ampC gene was repressed in the absence of ampR and was activated when cefoxitin or imipenem was added as an inducer. From H. alvei 1 cultures that expressed an inducible-cephalosporinase phenotype, several ceftazidime- and cefpirome-cross-resistant H. alvei 1 mutants were obtained upon selection on cefpirome- or ceftazidime-containing plates, and H. alvei 1 DER, a ceftazidime-resistant mutant, stably overproduced cephalosporinase. Transformation of H. alvei 1 DER or E. coli JRG582 (ampDE mutant) harboring ampC and ampR from H. alvei 1 with a recombinant plasmid containing ampD from E. coli resulted in a decrease in the MIC of beta-lactam and recovery of an inducible phenotype for H. alvei 1 DER. Thus, AmpR and AmpD proteins may regulate biosynthesis of the H. alvei cephalosporinase similarly to other enterobacterial cephalosporinases.[1]


  1. Biochemical-genetic characterization and regulation of expression of an ACC-1-like chromosome-borne cephalosporinase from Hafnia alvei. Girlich, D., Naas, T., Bellais, S., Poirel, L., Karim, A., Nordmann, P. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2000) [Pubmed]
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