Resistance in inhibitors of RNA polymerase in actinomycetes which produce them

J Gen Microbiol. 1984 Nov;130(11):2883-91. doi: 10.1099/00221287-130-11-2883.


Resistance to the endogenous antibiotic was studied in three actinomycetes that produce inhibitors of RNA polymerase. The three producers, Nocardia mediterranei (rifamycin producer), Streptomyces spectabilis (streptovaricin producer) and Streptomyces lydicus (streptolydigin producer), were each highly resistant to the antibiotic they produce (MIC greater than 200 micrograms ml-1) and in vivo RNA synthesis was also resistant. However, cross-resistance to the other RNA polymerase inhibitors was not found. Resistance to these antibiotics was due to target site modification, since the RNA polymerase enzymes of the three producing organisms were highly resistant in vitro to the corresponding antibiotic, and no antibiotic-inactivating enzymes were detected. A mutant was isolated from S. spectabilis which was sensitive to steptovaricin (its own product) and also showed an increased sensitivity to rifamycin and streptolydigin. This mutant had RNA polymerase which was extremely sensitive to the three antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales / drug effects
  • Actinomycetales / metabolism*
  • Aminoglycosides*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Nocardia / drug effects
  • Nocardia / metabolism
  • RNA, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Rifamycins / biosynthesis
  • Rifamycins / pharmacology
  • Streptomyces / drug effects
  • Streptomyces / metabolism
  • Streptovaricin / biosynthesis
  • Streptovaricin / pharmacology


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Rifamycins
  • Streptovaricin
  • streptolydigin
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases