Amino Acid Sequence Determinants of Extended Spectrum Cephalosporin Hydrolysis by the Class C P99 β-Lactamase

Zhen Zhang, Yang Yu, James M. Musser, Timothy Palzkill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Class C β-lactamases are commonly encoded on the chromosome of Gram-negative bacterial species. Mutations leading to increased expression of these enzymes are a common cause of resistance to many cephalosporins including extended spectrum cephalosporins. Recent reports of plasmid- and integrin-encoded class C β-lactamases are a cause for concern because these enzymes are likely to spread horizontally to susceptible strains. Because of their increasing clinical significance, it is critical to identify the determinants of catalysis and substrate specificity of these enzymes. For this purpose, the codons of a set of 21 amino acid residues that encompass the active site region of the P99 β-lactamase were individually randomized to create libraries containing all possible amino acid substitutions. The amino acid sequence requirements for the hydrolysis of ceftazidime, an extended spectrum cephalosporin commonly used to treat serious infections, were determined by selecting resistant mutants from each of the 21 libraries. DNA sequencing identified the residue positions that are critical for ceftazidime hydrolysis. In addition, it was found that certain amino acid substitutions in the ω-loop region of the P99 enzyme result in increased ceftazidime hydrolysis suggesting the loop is an important determinant of substrate specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46568-46574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 7 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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