Plasmid-encoded metallo-β-lactamase (IMP-6) conferring resistance to carbapenems, especially meropenem

H. Yano, A. Kuga, R. Okamoto, H. Kitasato, T. Kobayashi, M. Inoue

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127 Citations (Scopus)


In 1996, Serratia marcescens KU3838 was isolated from the urine of a patient with a urinary tract infection at a hospital in northern Japan and was found to contain the plasmid pKU501. Previously, we determined that pKU501 carries blaIMP and the genes for TEM-1-type β-lactamases as well as producing both types of β-lactamases (H. Yano, A. Kuga, K. Irinoda, R. Okamoto, T. Kobayashi, and M. Inoue, J. Antibiot. 52:1135-1139. 1999). pKU502 is a recombinant plasmid that contains a 1.5-kb DNA fragment, including the metallo-β-lactamase gene, and is obtained by PCR amplification of pKU501. The sequence of the metallo-β-lactamase gene in pKU502 was determined and revealed that this metallo-β-lactamase gene differed from the gene encoding IMP-1 by one point mutation, leading to one amino acid substitution: 640-A in the base sequence of the IMP-1 gene was replaced by G, and Ser-196 was replaced by Gly in the mature enzyme. This enzyme was designated IMP-6. The strains that produced IMP-6 were resistant to carbapenems. The MICs of panipenem and especially meropenem were higher than the MIC of imipenem for these strains. The kcat/Km value of IMP-6 was about sevenfold higher against meropenem than against imipenem, although the MIC of meropenem for KU1917, which produced IMP-1, was lower than that of imipenem, and the MIC of panipenem was equal to that of imipenem. These results support the hypothesis that IMP-6 has extended substrate profiles against carbapenems. However, the activity of IMP-6 was very Iow against penicillin G and piperacillin. These results suggest that IMP-6 acquired high activity against carbapenems, especially meropenem, via the point mutation but in the process lost activity against penicillins. Although IMP-6 has reduced activity against penicillins due to this point mutation, pKU501 confers resistance to a variety of antimicrobial agents because it also produces TEM-1-type enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1348
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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