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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 980572, 7 pages
Research Article

Identification of Family Specific Fingerprints in β-Lactamase Families

1Department of Biophysics, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi 110 021, India
2Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi 110 021, India

Received 31 August 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013; Published 11 February 2014

Academic Editors: I. F. Hung and C. Woods

Copyright © 2014 Abhishikha Srivastava et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Beta-lactamases are a superfamily of enzymes which degrade the β-lactam class of antibiotics. They are produced endogenously by the bacterial cells, which when exposed to the β-lactam class of antibiotics inactivate them by cleaving the β-lactam ring. Based on the presence or absence of metallic ligand, β-lactamases have been divided into two broad functional classes. β-Lactamases are a constitutively evolving and expanding superfamily of enzymes, which could be further subdivided on the basis of presence/absence of conserved motifs. In the present study we have used the MEME/MAST suit to identify the patterns/motifs which are specific to a particular family or subfamily of β-lactamases. The family specific patterns/motifs can be also useful in recognizing and assigning newly discovered β-lactamases to one or the other family or subfamily. Cross-validation showed that the proposed method is highly sensitive and specific. We have also designed a webserver, LactFP, for this purpose.