Published on Oct. 15, 2015 in Nucleic Acids Res volume 43(18).
PubMed ID: 26365244
Adenine at position 752 in a loop of helix 35 from positions 745 to 752 in domain II of 23S rRNA is involved in binding to the ribosome of telithromycin (TEL), a member of ketolides. Methylation of guanine at position 748 by the intrinsic methyltransferase RlmA(II) enhances binding of telithromycin (TEL) to A752 in Streptococcus pneumoniae. We have found that another intrinsic methylation of the adjacent uridine at position 747 enhances G748 methylation by RlmA(II), rendering TEL susceptibility. U747 and another nucleotide, U1939, were methylated by the dual-specific methyltransferase RlmCD encoded by SP_1029 in S. pneumoniae. Inactivation of RlmCD reduced N1-methylated level of G748 by RlmA(II) in vivo, leading to TEL resistance when the nucleotide A2058, located in domain V of 23S rRNA, was dimethylated by the dimethyltransferase Erm(B). In vitro methylation of rRNA showed that RlmA(II) activity was significantly enhanced by RlmCD-mediated pre-methylation of 23S rRNA. These results suggest that RlmCD-mediated U747 methylation promotes efficient G748 methylation by RlmA(II), thereby facilitating TEL binding to the ribosome.