Structural basis of activity against aztreonam and extended spectrum cephalosporins for two carbapenem-hydrolyzing class D β-lactamases from Acinetobacter baumannii

Biochemistry. 2015 Mar 17;54(10):1976-87. doi: 10.1021/bi501547k. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


The carbapenem-hydrolyzing class D β-lactamases OXA-23 and OXA-24/40 have emerged worldwide as causative agents for β-lactam antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter species. Many variants of these enzymes have appeared clinically, including OXA-160 and OXA-225, which both contain a P → S substitution at homologous positions in the OXA-24/40 and OXA-23 backgrounds, respectively. We purified OXA-160 and OXA-225 and used steady-state kinetic analysis to compare the substrate profiles of these variants to their parental enzymes, OXA-24/40 and OXA-23. OXA-160 and OXA-225 possess greatly enhanced hydrolytic activities against aztreonam, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and ceftriaxone when compared to OXA-24/40 and OXA-23. These enhanced activities are the result of much lower Km values, suggesting that the P → S substitution enhances the binding affinity of these drugs. We have determined the structures of the acylated forms of OXA-160 (with ceftazidime and aztreonam) and OXA-225 (ceftazidime). These structures show that the R1 oxyimino side-chain of these drugs occupies a space near the β5-β6 loop and the omega loop of the enzymes. The P → S substitution found in OXA-160 and OXA-225 results in a deviation of the β5-β6 loop, relieving the steric clash with the R1 side-chain carboxypropyl group of aztreonam and ceftazidime. These results reveal worrying trends in the enhancement of substrate spectrum of class D β-lactamases but may also provide a map for β-lactam improvement.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii / enzymology*
  • Aztreonam / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cephalosporins / chemistry*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Kinetics
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • beta-Lactamases / chemistry*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cephalosporins
  • beta-Lactamases
  • Aztreonam