SUMMARY: The ability of four genetically distinct plasmid-located tetracycline resistance determinants (Tet A, B, C and D) to confer decreased accumulation of tetracycline and some of its analogues by K12 was examined. Accumulation of oxytetracycline, tetracycline, demethylchlorotetracycline, 6-demethyl-6-deoxy-5-hydroxy-6-methylene-tetracycline, chlorotetracycline, doxycycline and 6-demethyl-6-deoxytetracycline was examined by fluorescence spectroscopy. The determinants varied in their ability to promote decreased accumulation of tetracyclines, defined as an R/R fluorescence ratio of <0·85. Plasmid pIP7 (TetA) caused reduced accumulation of only oxytetracycline, tetracycline and chlorotetracycline, but plasmid pDU301 (TetB) promoted reduced accumulation of all the compounds tested except 6-demethyl-6-deoxytetracycline. The TetC determinant of pBR322 caused decreased uptake of five derivatives, but not doxycycline or 6-demethyl-6-deoxytetra-cycline. Plasmid RA1 (TetD) encoded reduced accumulation of oxytetracycline, tetracycline, 6-demethyl-6-deoxy-5-hydroxy-6-methylenetetracycline and chlorotetracycline. In general, the resistance determinants were more efficient in promoting decreased accumulation of hydrophilic tetracyclines. These accumulation studies provide a satisfactory method for the phenotypic identification of Tet resistance determinants.


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