A fluorescent derivative of polymyxin (DANSP) was prepared by coupling 1-dimethylaminonaphthalene-5-sulphonyl chloride with the γ amino group of αγ diaminobutyric acid radicals in the polymyxin molecule. As in the case of polymyxin, DANSP is readily absorbed by polymyxin-sensitive organisms and is rapidly bactericidal; cells can be protected against this bactericidal activity by pretreatment with certain cations. Mechanical disintegration of DANSP-treated cells showed that the fluorescent compound was associated with two fractions: () cell walls and () small particles. Fractionation of three strains of showed that the fluorescent conjugate was equally distributed between the two fractions, but in the case of three Gram-positive, lysozyme-sensitive, organisms 90 % of the fluorescent conjugate was found in the small particle fraction; controlled lysozyme treatment of these cells showed that the DANSP was associated with a membrane underlying the cell wall from which the small particle fraction is formed on mechanical disintegration.


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