The natural resistance of Escherichia coli to pyrazinoic acid (POA), the active derivative of pyrazinamide, was investigated. The TolC mutant was found to be more susceptible to POA and other weak acids than the wild-type strain. Mutation in EmrB but not AcrB efflux protein slightly increased POA susceptibility, Two transposon mutants with increased susceptibility to POA were found to harbor mutations in acnA encoding aconitase-1 and ygiY encoding a putative two-component sensor protein. Complementation of the AcnA and YgiY mutants conferred resistance to POA, whereas the complemented TolC mutant became resistant to POA and other weak acids. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.