The active-site serine of the extracellular beta-lactamases of Streptomyces cacaoi and Streptomyces albus G has been labelled with beta-iodopenicillanate. The determination of the sequence of the labelled peptides obtained after trypsin digestion of the denatured proteins indicate both enzymes to be class A beta-lactamases. Surprisingly the two Streptomyces enzymes do not appear to be especially homologous, and none of them exhibited a high degree of homology with the Streptomyces R61 DD-peptidase. Our data confirm that, as a family of homologous enzymes, class A is rather heterogeneous, with only a small number of conserved residues in all members of the class.

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