Functional analysis of active site residues of the fosfomycin resistance enzyme FosA from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

J Biol Chem. 2005 May 6;280(18):17786-91. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M501052200. Epub 2005 Mar 1.


The metalloglutathione transferase FosA catalyzes the conjugation of glutathione to carbon-1 of the antibiotic fosfomycin, rendering it ineffective as an antibacterial drug. Codon randomization and selection for the ability of resulting clones to confer fosfomycin resistance to Escherichia coli were used to identify residues critical for FosA function. Of the 24 codons chosen for randomization, 16 were found to be essential because only the wild type amino acid was selected. These included ligands to the Mn(2+) and the K(+), residues that furnish hydrogen bonds to fosfomycin, and residues located in a putative glutathione/fosfomycin-binding site. The remaining eight positions randomized were tolerant to substitutions. Site-directed mutagenesis of some of the essential and tolerant amino acids to alanine was performed, and the activity of the purified proteins was determined. Mutation of the residues that are within hydrogen bonding distance to the oxirane or phosphonate oxygens of fosfomycin resulted in variants with very low or no activity. Mutation of Ser(94), which bridges one of the phosphonate oxygens with a potassium ion, resulted in insoluble protein. The Y39A mutation in the putative glutathione-binding site resulted in a 4-fold increase in the apparent K(m) for glutathione. Only two of the amino acids in the substrate-binding site are conserved in the related fosfomycin resistance proteins FosB and FosX, whereas no amino acids in the putative glutathione-binding site are conserved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / chemistry*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Glutathione Transferase