1. The β-lactamase specified by the R-1818 resistance factor in Escherichia coli was purified 300-fold; the resulting preparation gave a single peak on Sephadex G-100 and a single band on polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. 2. The β-lactamase specified by the same R-factor in Proteus mirabilis was purified over 2000-fold, but was still far from pure. The specific activity of this preparation was one-fifth that of the purified enzyme from E. coli. 3. The two enzymes were shown to be identical as regards substrate specificity, pH optimum, Km values and molecular weight. 4. It is suggested that the low β-lactamase activity of extracts of P. mirabilis (R-1818), about 5% of that from E. coli (R-1818) in crude extracts, could be due to inefficient transcription of the R-factor DNA by Proteus RNA polymerase.

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