Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breakdown Of Penicillin By Resistant Bacteria Elucidated

Date:
April 7, 2000
Source:
University Of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Almost as soon as penicillin was discovered, more than 70 years ago, certain bacteria had learned how to resist this common antibiotic. These resistant bacteria make beta-lactamase, an enzyme that quickly breaks down penicillin. Now, seven decades later, scientists at the University of Chicago led by Marvin W. Makinen, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry & molecular biology, have discovered exactly how b-lactamases deactivate penicillin.

Almost as soon as penicillin was discovered, more than 70 years ago, certain bacteria had learned how to resist this common antibiotic. These resistant bacteria make beta-lactamase, an enzyme that quickly breaks down penicillin. Now, seven decades later, scientists at the University of Chicago led by Marvin W. Makinen, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry & molecular biology, have discovered exactly how b-lactamases deactivate penicillin.

Related Articles


Their findings, published in the March 28 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to improved antibiotic design.

"While we cannot predict how these results may lead to improved antibiotics, the chemical principles governing the reactivity of penicillin that we have found are fundamental for designing compounds of pharmacologic importance," says Makinen.

Penicillin-resistant organisms are currently among the most important sources of hospital-acquired infections. Some bacteria have acquired the genetic blueprints for producing a very effective zinc-containing b-lactamase enzyme that is being encountered with increasing frequency in hospitals and in the community.

Makinen and colleagues used analysis of electrostatic forces between individual atoms of the penicillin and b-lactamase enzyme and computational simulation of their interactions. They concluded that b-lactamase attacks penicillin in a way different than previously thought.

An intact penicillin molecule contains a characteristic segment known as the b-lactam ring. Destruction of one crucial bond in the ring causes the penicillin to become deactivated. But instead of the b-lactamase breaking the bond by attacking a key carbon atom that forms part of the bond, b-lactamase destroys the bond by first adding a single proton to it to destabilize it and make it easier to break.

"Knowing more accurately the chemical and physical basis of the interaction of penicillin and b-lacatamses will help in structure-based drug design," Makinen says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Breakdown Of Penicillin By Resistant Bacteria Elucidated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000331092952.htm>.
University Of Chicago Medical Center. (2000, April 7). Breakdown Of Penicillin By Resistant Bacteria Elucidated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000331092952.htm
University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Breakdown Of Penicillin By Resistant Bacteria Elucidated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000331092952.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins