The beta-lactamase of Enterobacter cloacae P99 consists of one polypeptide chain of Mr 39000 devoid of disulphide bridges and free thiol groups. It contains an unusually high proportion of tyrosine and tryptophan. The N-terminal sequence exhibits overlaps with the tryptic peptide obtained after labelling the active site with 6 beta-iodopenicillanate. The active-site serine residue is at position 64. The homology with the chromosomal beta-lactamase of Escherichia coli K 12 (ampC gene) is lower within the 25 residues of the N-terminal portion than around the active-site serine residue. The P99 beta-lactamase is inactivated by 6 beta-bromo- and 6 beta-iodo-penicillanate, with a second-order rate constant of 110-140M-1 X s-1 at 30 degrees C and pH 7.0, a value that is much lower than that observed with class-A beta-lactamases.

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