The relationship between glycopeptide production and resistance in the actinomycete Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727.

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Glycopeptides and beta-lactams inhibit bacterial peptidoglycan synthesis in Gram-positive bacteria; resistance to these antibiotics is studied intensively in enterococci and staphylococci because of their relevance to infectious disease. Much less is known about antibiotic resistance in glycopeptide-producing actinomycetes that are likely to represent the evolutionary source of resistance determinants found in bacterial pathogens. Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727, the producer of A40926 (the precursor for the semisynthetic dalbavancin), does not harbor the canonical vanHAX genes. Consequently, we investigated the role of the -lactamsensitive D ,D-peptidase/D,D-carboxypeptidase encoded by vanYn, the only van -like gene found in the A40926 biosynthetic gene cluster, in conferring immunity to the antibiotic in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727. Taking advantage of the tools developed recently to genetically manipulate this uncommon actinomycete, we varied vanYn gene dosage and expressed vanHatAatXat from the teicoplanin producer Actinoplanes teichomyceticus in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727. Knocking out vanYn , complementing a vanY n mutant, or duplicating vanYn had no effect on growth but influenced antibiotic resistance and, in the cases of complementation and duplication, antibiotic production. Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727 was found to be resistant to penicillins, but its glycopeptide resistance was diminished in the presence of penicillin G, which inhibits VanY n activity. The heterologous expression of vanHatAatXat increased A40926 resistance in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727 but did not increase antibiotic production, indicating that the level of antibiotic production is not directly determined by the level of resistance. The vanYn -based self-resistance in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727 resembles the glycopeptide resistance mechanism described recently in mutants of Enterococcus faecium selected in vitro for high-level resistance to glycopeptides and penicillins.