Duramycin is a polypeptide antibiotic (molecular weight 2012) obtained from culture filtrates of Streptomyces cinnamomeus forma azacoluta. In this work, we show that low concentrations of duramycin induced aggregation of lipid vesicles containing unsaturated phosphatidylethanolamine and unsaturated monogalactosyl diglyceride, and of sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles from rabbit skeletal muscle. Furthermore, duramycin inhibited the ATP-dependent Ca2+ uptake in sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles without affecting the hydrolysis of ATP or the permeability of Ca2+. Also, duramycin only inhibited the bacteriorhodopsin proton pump reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles containing phosphatidylethanolamine. We have isolated a duramycin-resistant strain of Bacillus subtilis and have mapped the location of duramycin resistance. In this strain, the secretion of protons and influx of calcium were resistant to duramycin, and its lipid composition was profoundly different from that of the parent strain. No phosphatidylethanolamine was detected in the resistant strain. Our findings are consistent with the idea that duramycin recognizes a particular membrane conformation determined by the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine or monogalactosyl diglyceride.
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