Six different R-factors conferring trimethoprim resistance had been isolated from a variety of sources. The trimethoprim-resistant dihydrofolate reductases (EC from strains containing these R-factors were purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and DEAE-cellulose ion-exchange chromatography. The enzymes showed no significant differences in molecular weight, pH profile, substrate profile, heat sensitivity, inhibition profile and Michaelis-Menten kinetics. There was, however, considerable variation in the specific activity of these enzymes in the same bacterial host. When two trimethoprimsensitive dihydrofolate reductases were examined as controls, considerable differences between their properties and those of the enzymes mediated by R-factors were detected. The data suggest that one trimethoprim resistance gene could be spreading through the bacterial population, possibly situated on a transposon.


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