Vancomycin was found to coinduce DD-carboxypeptidase activity, together with resistance, in eight low- or high-level glycopeptide-resistant strains of enterococci. The constitutively resistant mutant (MT10) of a low-level-resistant strain of Enterococcus faecium (D366) spontaneously expressed a level of carboxypeptidase similar to that of the induced strain D366. Pentapeptide, UDP-MurNac-pentapeptide, as well as D-alanyl-D-alanine were in vitro substrates for the carboxypeptidase which was not inhibited by penicillin. The level of vancomycin resistance correlated roughly with the level of carboxypeptidase activity. We infer from these results that the carboxypeptidase is one component of the glycopeptide resistance mechanism
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