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Studies on the action of streptomycin Blair, A. Huntley


The mode of action of streptomycin has been investigated with specific emphasis on the effect of the antibiotic on adaptive enzyme formation by Escherichia coli. The first phase of this study was to investigate the possibility that streptomycin interferes with the action of a metabolite required by E. coli for enzyme synthesis and growth. A resistant variant of E. coli, which exhibited partial dependence on the drug for enzyme formation, was used to test for the presence of a metabolite in other variants which did not exhibit this dependence. Subcellular fractions derived from susceptible and resistant cells were tested for the presence of a substance which would satisfy the streptomycin requirement of partially dependent organisms for enzyme induction. All attempts to demonstrate such a metabolite were unsuccessful. In the second phase of the study, the effect of streptomycin on the protein and nucleic acid content of partially dependent cells during enzyme induction was studied. By the standard techniques employed, it was shown that the antibiotic did not affect either the gross protein or nucleic acid content of the cells during the period in which the formation of a specific enzyme was demonstrated.

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