Resistance of to antimicrobial hydrophobic agents (HAs) has been ascribed to the transferable operon. This operon is composed of the gene, which encodes a transcriptional repressor (MtrR), and a three-gene complex , which encodes cell envelope proteins (MtrC-MtrD-MtrE) that form an energy-dependent efflux pump. HA-hypersusceptible strains are often isolated from patients, but the genetic basis for such hypersusceptibility was heretofore unknown. The genetic basis of HA hypersusceptibility in laboratory-derived strains BR54 and BR87 was studied to learn if this trait could be linked to mutations in the operon. Mutations in the gene of these strains that could be phenotypically suppressed by mutations in their or genes were identified. Thus, small deletions (4-10 bp) in the or genes of strains BR87 and BR54 that would result in the production of truncated efflux pump proteins that serve as a membrane fusion protein (MtrC) or transporter of HAs (MtrD) were found to be responsible for their HA-hypersusceptible property.


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