The sequenced chromosome of Caulobacter crescentus CB15 encodes a hypothetical protein that exhibits significant similarity (30 to 35% identical residues) to metallo-β-lactamases of subclass B3. An allelic variant of this gene (divergent by 3% of its nucleotides) was cloned in Escherichia coli from C. crescentus type strain DSM4727. Expression studies confirmed the metallo-β-lactamase activity of its product, CAU-1. The enzyme produced in E. coli was purified by two ion-exchange chromatography steps. CAU-1 contains a 29.kDa polypeptide with an alkaline isoelectric pH (> 9), and unlike the L1 enzyme of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, the native form is monomeric. Kinetic analysis revealed a preferential activity toward penicillins, carbapenems, and narrow-spectrum cephalosporins, while oxyimino cephalosporins were poorly or not hydrolyzed. Affinities for the various β-lactams were poor overall (Km values were always > 100 μM and often > 400 μM). The interaction with divalent ion chelators appeared to occur by a mechanism similar to that prevailing in other members of subclass B3. In C. crescentus, the CAU-1 enzyme is produced independently of β-lactam exposure and, interestingly, the blaCAU determinant is bracketed by three other genes, including two genes encoding enzymes involved in methionine biosynthesis and a gene encoding a putative transcriptional regulator, in an operon-like structure. The CAU-1 enzyme is the first example of a metallo-β-lactamase in a member of the α subdivision of the class Proteobacteria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)