Summary: Albicidin antibiotics specifically block prokaryote DNA replication. The albicidin resistance gene () cloned from a soil isolate of encodes a 23 kDa protein capable of detoxifying albicidin by reversible binding. This mechanism operates intracellularly to protect DNA replication in albicidin-sensitive expressing the cloned resistance gene, which can be induced fivefold in the presence of 1·5 μg albicidin ml in the surrounding medium. The coding region of 621 bp has regions with partial DNA sequence homology to an albicidin resistance gene () from but with rearrangements and frame-shifts resulting in loss of protein homology. There is a short region of N-terminal homology between the albicidin resistance (Alb) proteins from . and , although the two genes use different codons for shared amino acids. The N-terminal homology suggested a common functional domain; this was confirmed by deletion analysis, translational fusions and albicidin binding by a synthetic oligopeptide. Antibiotic binding provides a high level of albicidin resistance in . The gene appears to be a useful candidate for transfer to plants to protect plastid DNA replication from inhibition by albicidin phytotoxins involved in sugarcane leaf scald disease.


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