Cloning and sequencing of the beta-lactamase gene and surrounding DNA sequences of Citrobacter braakii, Citrobacter murliniae, Citrobacter werkmanii, Escherichia fergusonii and Enterobacter cancerogenus

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Sep 24;215(1):81-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2002.tb11374.x.


To further identify the origins of plasmid-mediated cephalosporinases that are currently spreading worldwide, the chromosomal beta-lactamase genes of Citrobacter braakii, Citrobacter murliniae, Citrobacter werkmanii reference strains and of Escherichia fergusonii and Enterobacter cancerogenus clinical isolates were cloned and expressed into Escherichia coli and sequenced. These beta-lactamases had all a single pI value >8 and conferred a typical AmpC-type resistance pattern in E. coli recombinant strains. The cloned inserts obtained from genomic DNAs of each strain encoded Ambler class C beta-lactamases. The AmpC-type enzymes of C. murliniae, C. braakii and C. werkmanii shared 99%, 96% and 95% amino acid sequence identity, respectively, with chromosomal AmpC beta-lactamases from Citrobacter freundii. The AmpC-type enzyme of E. cancerogenus shared 85% amino acid sequence identity with the chromosomal AmpC beta-lactamase of Enterobacter cloacae OUDhyp and the AmpC-type enzyme of E. fergusonii shared 96% amino acid sequence identity with that of E. coli K12. The ampC genes, except for E. fergusonii, were associated with genes homologous to regulatory ampR genes of other chromosomal class C beta-lactamases that explain inducibility of beta-lactamase expression in these strains. This work provides further evidence of the molecular heterogeneity of class C beta-lactamases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Citrobacter / enzymology
  • Citrobacter / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Enterobacter / enzymology
  • Enterobacter / genetics*
  • Escherichia / enzymology
  • Escherichia / genetics*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • beta-Lactam Resistance
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • beta-Lactamases