DdlN from vancomycin-producing Amycolatopsis orientalis C329.2 is a VanA homologue with D-alanyl-D-lactate ligase activity.
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Vancomycin-resistant enterococci acquire high-level resistance to glycopeptide antibiotics through the synthesis of peptidoglycan terminating in D-alanyl-D-lactate. A key enzyme in this process is a D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase homologue, VanA or VanB, which preferentially catalyzes the synthesis of the depsipeptide D-alanyl-D-lactate. We report the overexpression, purification, and enzymatic characterization of DdlN, a VanA and VanB homologue encoded by a gene of the vancomycin-producing organism Amycolatopsis orientalis C329.2. Evaluation of kinetic parameters for the synthesis of peptides and depsipeptides revealed a close relationship between VanA and DdlN in that depsipeptide formation was kinetically preferred at physiologic pH; however, the DdlN enzyme demonstrated a narrower substrate specificity and commensurately increased affinity for D-lactate in the C-terminal position over VanA. The results of these functional experiments also reinforce the results of previous studies that demonstrated that glycopeptide resistance enzymes from glycopeptide-producing bacteria are potential sources of resistance enzymes in clinically relevant bacteria.
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