Tetracycline antibiotics and resistance mechanisms

Biological Chemistry, 2014, DOI: 10.1515/hsz-2013-0292, 395(5): 559–575, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, published on 05.02.2014
Biological Chemistry, online article
The ribosome and protein synthesis are major targets within the cell for inhibition by antibiotics, such as the tetracyclines. The tetracycline family of antibiotics represent a large and diverse group of compounds, ranging from the naturally produced chlortetracycline, introduced into medical usage in the 1940s, to second and third generation semi-synthetic derivatives of tetracycline, such as doxycycline, minocycline and more recently the glycylcycline tigecycline. Here we describe the mode of interaction of tetracyclines with the ribosome and mechanism of action of this class of antibiotics to inhibit translation. Additionally, we provide an overview of the diverse mechanisms by which bacteria obtain resistance to tetracyclines, ranging from efflux, drug modification, target mutation and the employment of specialized ribosome protection proteins.

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