Avoidance of suicide in antibiotic-producing microbes
Streptomyces tenebrarius ISP 5477, which produces nebramycins, was highly resistant to the following aminoglycoside antibiotics: neamine, ribostamycin, butirosin A, neomycin B, paromomycin, kanamycin A, dibekacin, gentamicin C complex, lividomycin A, istamycin B and streptomycin. Polyphenylalanine synthesis on the ribosomes of this strain was highly resistant to neamine, ribostamycin, butirosin A, kanamycins A, B and C, dibekacin, gentamicin C complex and istamycin B, moderately resistant to lividomycin A and streptomycin, but sensitive to neomycin B and paromomycin. Moreover, cell free extract of the strain contained phosphotransferase and N-acetyltransferase. The former enzyme was confirmed to be an aminoglycoside 6-phosphotransferase which inactivated streptomycin; the latter inactivated kanamycins B and C, dibekacin, neamine, neomycin B, paromomycin, lividomycin A, butirosin A and ribostamycin, but did not inactivate kanamycin A, gentamicin C complex and sagamicin, suggesting an aminoglycoside 2'-acetyltransferase. These results indicated that the high resistance of S. tenebrarius ISP 5477 to a wide range of aminoglycoside antibiotics is due to ribosomal resistance and to the inactivating enzymes, aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferase(s) and aminoglycoside 6-phosphotransferase.