gyrB mutations which confer coumarin resistance also affect DNA supercoiling and ATP hydrolysis by Escherichia coli DNA gyrase

Mol Microbiol. 1992 Jun;6(12):1617-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1992.tb00886.x.


Coumarins are inhibitors of the ATP hydrolysis and DNA supercoiling reactions catalysed by DNA gyrase. Their target is the B subunit of gyrase (GyrB), encoded by the gyrB gene. The exact mode and site of action of the drugs is unknown. We have identified four mutations conferring coumarin resistance to Escherichia coli: Arg-136 to Cys, His or Ser and Gly-164 to Val. In vitro, the ATPase and supercoiling activities of the mutant GyrB proteins are reduced relative to the wild-type enzyme and show resistance to the coumarin antibiotics. Significant differences in the susceptibility of mutant GyrB proteins to inhibition by either chlorobiocin and novobiocin or coumermycin have been found, suggesting wider contacts between coumermycin and GyrB. We discuss the significance of Arg-136 and Gly-164 in relation to the notion that coumarin drugs act as competitive inhibitors of the ATPase reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / physiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Coumarins / pharmacology*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / physiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / drug effects
  • DNA, Superhelical / drug effects
  • DNA, Superhelical / physiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Hydrolysis / drug effects
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Mutation / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Coumarins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Superhelical
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II