Phenotypic and enzymatic comparative analysis of the novel KPC variant KPC-5 and its evolutionary variants, KPC-2 and KPC-4

Daniel J. Wolter, Philip M. Kurpiel, Neil Woodford, Marie France I. Palepou, Richard V. Goering, Nancy D. Hanson

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94 Scopus citations


A novel Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) variant, designated blaKPC-5, was discovered in a carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate from Puerto Rico. Characterization of the upstream region of blaKPC-5 showed significant differences from the flanking regions of other blaKPC variants. Comparison of amino acid sequences with those of other KPC enzymes revealed that KPC-5 was an intermediate between KPC-2 and KPC-4, differing from KPC-2 by a single amino acid substitution (Pro103→Arg), while KPC-4 contained Pro103→Arg plus an additional amino acid change (Val239→Gly). Transformation studies with an Escherichia coli recipient strain showed differences in the properties of the KPC variants. KPC-4 and KPC-5 both had pIs of 7.65, in contrast with the pI of 6.7 for KPC-2. KPC-2 transformants were less susceptible to the carbapenems than KPC-4 and KPC-5 transformants. These data correlated with higher rates of imipenem hydrolysis for KPC-2 than for KPC-4 and KPC-5. However, KPC-4 and KPC-5 transformants had higher ceftazidime MICs, and the enzymes from these transformants had slightly better hydrolysis of this drug than KPC-2. KPC-4 and KPC-5 were more sensitive than KPC-2 to inhibition by clavulanic acid in both susceptibility testing and hydrolysis assays. Thus, KPC enzymes may be evolving through stepwise mutations to alter their spectra of activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-562
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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