We have isolated spontaneous mutant strains of Escherichia coli KL16 showing different levels of nalidixic acid (NAL) resistance. From 40 independent mutants, 36 had gyrA and four had gyrB mutations. Most of the gyrA mutations (30/36) conferred high level NAL resistance. In contrast, the only gyrB mutation that conferred a relatively high level of NAL resistance also determined enhanced susceptibility to quinolones with a piperazinyl substituent at C7 position of the quinolone ring (amphoteric quinolones). This gyrB mutation (denoted gyrB1604), jointly with a gyrA mutation (denoted gyrA972) which confers a high level of quinolone resistance, were used to construct strain IC2476, carrying the two gyr mutant alleles. The susceptibility of this strain to amphoteric quinolones (pipemidic acid, norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin) was similar to that of the gyrA972 single mutant. This result indicates that the change in GyrA subunit which determines a high level of quinolone-resistance has the capacity to mask the hypersusceptibility to amphoteric quinolones promoted by the GyrB1604 mutant subunit. This capacity was further confirmed by studying the effects of ciprofloxacin (CFX) on gyrase inhibition in the gyrA972 gyrB1604 strain.