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See detailWhen Drug Inactivation Renders the Target Irrelevant to Antibiotic Resistance: A Case Story with Beta-Lactams
Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Dubus, Alice ULg; Lepage, Sylvie ULg et al

in Molecular Microbiology (1999), 31(1), 89-101

By challenging the efficiency of some of our most useful antimicrobial weapons, bacterial antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasingly worrying clinical problem. A good antibiotic is expected to ... [more ▼]

By challenging the efficiency of some of our most useful antimicrobial weapons, bacterial antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasingly worrying clinical problem. A good antibiotic is expected to exhibit a high affinity for its target and to reach it rapidly, while escaping chemical modification by inactivating enzymes and elimination by efflux mechanisms. A study of the behaviour of a beta-lactamase-overproducing mutant of Enterobacter cloacae in the presence of several penicillins and cephalosporins showed that the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for several compounds were practically independent of the sensitivity of the target penicillin binding protein (PBP), even for poor beta-lactamase substrates. This apparent paradox was explained by analysing the equation that relates the antibiotic concentration in the periplasm to that in the external medium. Indeed, under conditions that are encountered frequently in clinical isolates, the factor characterizing the PBP sensitivity became negligible. The conclusions can be extended to all antibiotics that are sensitive to enzymatic inactivation and efflux mechanisms and must overcome permeability barriers. It would be a grave mistake to neglect these considerations in the design of future antibacterial chemotherapeutic agents. [less ▲]

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See detailSaturation of Penicillin-Binding Protein 1 by Beta-Lactam Antibiotics in Growing Cells of Bacillus Licheniformis
Lepage, Sylvie ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Galleni, Moreno ULg et al

in Molecular Microbiology (1995), 16(2), 365-72

With the help of a new highly sensitive method allowing the quantification of free penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and of an integrated mathematical model, the progressive saturation of PBP1 by various ... [more ▼]

With the help of a new highly sensitive method allowing the quantification of free penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and of an integrated mathematical model, the progressive saturation of PBP1 by various beta-lactam antibiotics in growing cells of Bacillus licheniformis was studied. Although the results confirmed PBP1 as a major lethal target for these compounds, they also underlined several weaknesses in our present understanding of this phenomenon. In growing cells, but not in resting cells, the penicillin target(s) appeared to be somewhat protected from the action of the inactivators. In vitro experiments indicated that amino acids, peptides and depsipeptides mimicking the peptide moiety of the nascent peptidoglycan significantly interfered with the acylation of PBP1 by the antibiotics. In addition, the level of PBP1 saturation at antibiotic concentrations corresponding to the minimum inhibitory concentrations was not constant, suggesting that additional, presently undiscovered, factors might be necessary to account for the experimental observations. [less ▲]

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