Molecular basis for resistance to silver cations in Salmonella

Amit Gupta*, Kazuaki Matsui, Jeng Fan Lo, Simon Silver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

406 Scopus citations


Here we report the genetic and proposed molecular basis for silver resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. The silver resistance determinant from a hospital burn ward Salmonella plasmid contains nine open reading frames, arranged in three measured and divergently transcribed RNAs. The resistance determinant encodes a periplasmic silver-specific binding protein (SilE) plus apparently two parallel efflux pumps: one, a P-type ATPase (SilP); the other, a membrane potential-dependent three-polypeptide cation/proton antiporter (SilCBA). The sil determinant is governed by a two- component membrane sensor and transcriptional responder comprising silS and silR, which are co-transcribed. The availability of the sil silver-resistance determinant will be the basis for mechanistic molecular and biochemical studies as well as molecular epidemiology of silver resistance in clinical settings in which silver is used as a biocide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


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