Kinetic parameters of efflux of penicillins by the multidrug efflux transporter AcrAB-TolC of Escherichia coli.Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 May; 54(5):1800-6.AA
The multidrug efflux transporter AcrAB-TolC is known to pump out a diverse range of antibiotics, including beta-lactams. However, the kinetic constants of the efflux process, needed for the quantitative understanding of resistance, were not available until those accompanying the efflux of some cephalosporins were recently determined by combining efflux with the hydrolysis of drugs by the periplasmic beta-lactamase. In the present study we extended this approach to the study of a wide range of penicillins, from ampicillin and penicillin V to ureidopenicillins and isoxazolylpenicillins, by combining efflux with hydrolysis with the OXA-7 penicillinase. We found that the penicillins had a much stronger apparent affinity to AcrB and higher maximum rates of efflux than the cephalosporins. All penicillins showed strong positive cooperativity kinetics for export. The kinetic constants obtained were validated, as the MICs theoretically predicted on the basis of efflux and hydrolysis kinetics were remarkably similar to the observed MICs (except for the isoxazolylpenicillins). Surprisingly, however, the efflux kinetics of cloxacillin, for example, whose MIC decreased 512-fold in Escherichia coli upon the genetic deletion of the acrB gene, were quite similar to those of ampicillin, whose MIC decreased only 2-fold with the same treatment. Analysis of this phenomenon showed that the extensive decrease in the MIC for the acrB mutant is primarily due to the low permeation of the drug and that comparison of the MICs between the parent and the acrB strains is a very poor measure of the ability of AcrB to pump a drug out.