[en] To study the properties of the BlaR penicillin-receptor involved in the induction of the Bacillus licheniformis beta-lactamase, the water-soluble carboxy terminal domain of the protein (BlaR-CTD) was overproduced in the periplasm of Escherichia coli JM105 and purified to protein homogeneity. Its interactions with various beta-lactam antibiotics were studied. The second-order acylation rate constants k(2)/K' ranged from 0.0017 to more than 1 muM(-1) s(-1) and the deacylation rate constants were lower than 4x10(-5) s(-1) . These values imply a rapid to very rapid formation of a stable acylated adduct. BlaR-CTD is thus one of the most sensitive penicillin-binding proteins presently described. In the light of these results, the kinetics of beta-lactamase induction in Bacillus licheniformis were re-examined. When starting with a rather high cell density, a good beta-lactamase substrate such as benzylpenicillin is too sensitive to beta-lactamase-mediated hydrolysis to allow full induction. By contrast, a poor beta-lactamase substrate (7-aminocephalosporanic acid) can fully derepress beta-lactamase expression under conditions where interference of the antibiotic with cell growth is observed. These results suggest that acylation of the penicillin receptor is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for full induction.