Microb Drug Resist. 2016 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]
Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane-associated enzymes, which are involved in the last two steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, and some of them are key players in cell division. Furthermore, they are targets of β-lactams, the most widely used antibiotics. Nevertheless, very little is known about the expression and regulation of PBP genes. Using transcriptional mapping, we now determined the promoter regions of PBP genes from the laboratory strain Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 and examined the expression profile of these six promoters. The extended -10 region is highly conserved and complies with a σA-type promoter consensus sequence. In contrast, the -35 region is poorly conserved, indicating the possibility for differential PBP regulation. All PBP promoters were constitutively expressed and highly active during the exponential and early stationary growth phase. However, the individual expression of PBP promoters varied approximately fourfold, with pbp1a being the highest and pbp3 the lowest. Furthermore, the deletion of one nucleotide in the spacer region of the PBP3 promoter reduced pbp3 expression ∼10-fold. The addition of cefotaxime above the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) did not affect PBP expression in the penicillin-sensitive R6 strain. No evidence for regulation of S. pneumoniae PBP genes was obtained.
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