The kinetics of penicillinase induction in Bacillus cereus 569 was investigated. An increase in the rate of penicillinase synthesis was demonstrated within 30 sec of the addition of inducer (benzylpenicillin); however, the maximum induced rate of penicillinase synthesis was not attained until at least 30 min after the addition of inducer. In contrast to earlier claims, a quantitative estimate showed that the penicillinase messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) half-life is approximately 2 min. These findings strongly suggest that the rate of synthesis of penicillinase mRNA increases continuously during most of the 30-min latent period. A model for the regulation of penicillinase synthesis in three gram-positive organisms is presented which is consistent with a nondiffusible inducer, a short-lived mRNA, a relatively long latent period (i.e., an apparently slow inactivation of penicillinase repressor), and the existence of at least two regulatory genes
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