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Identification Of The SatA Gene Encoding A Streptogramin A Acetyltransferase In Enterococcus Faecium BM4145

R Rende-Fournier, R Leclercq, M Galimand, J Duval, P Courvalin

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Enterococcus faecium BM4145, a clinical isolate from urine, was resistant to streptogramin group A antibiotics by inactivation. The strain harbored a plasmid containing a gene, satA, responsible for this resistance; this gene was cloned and sequenced. It encoded SatA, a protein deduced to be 23,634 Da in mass and homologous with a new family of chloramphenicol acetyltransferases described in Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. The similarity of SatA to other acetyltransferases, LacA (thiogalactoside acetyltransferase) and CysE (serine acetyltransferase) from E. coli, and to two putative acetyltransferases, NodL from Rhizobium leguminosarum and Urf1 from E. coli, was also observed in a region considered to be the enzyme's active site. Acetylation experiments indicated that acetyl coenzyme A was necessary for SatA activity and that a single acetylated derivative of pristinamycin IIA was produced. Other members of the streptogramin A group such as virginiamycin M and RP54476 were also substrates for the enzyme. We conclude that resistance to the streptogramin A group of antibiotics in E. faecium BM4145 is due to acetylation by an enzyme related to the novel chloramphenicol acetyltransferase family.