Peptidoglycan - Antibiotic Inhibition

Antibiotic Inhibition

Some antibacterial drugs such as penicillin interfere with the production of peptidoglycan by binding to bacterial enzymes known as penicillin-binding proteins or transpeptidases. Penicillin-binding proteins form the bonds between oligopeptide crosslinks in peptidoglycan. For a bacterial cell to reproduce through binary fission, more than a million peptidoglycan subunits (NAM-NAG+oligopeptide) must be attached to existing subunits. Mutations in transpeptidases that lead to reduced interactions with an antibiotic are a significant source of emerging antibiotic resistance.

Considered the human body's own antibiotic, lysozymes found in tears work by breaking the β-(1,4)-glycosidic bonds in peptidoglycan (see below) and thereby destroying many bacterial cells. Antibiotics such as penicillin commonly target bacterial cell wall formation (of which peptidoglycan is an important component) because animal cells do not have cell walls.

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