MEGAResFrom MEG, the Microbial Ecology Group


The core structure of beta-lactam antibiotics is the beta-lactam nucleus, or 6-aminopenicillanic acid (7-aminocephalosporanic acid for the cephalosporins). Side chains are added to this core structure to produce novel beta-lactam antibiotics. The mechanism of action of beta-lactams is the inhibition of the penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) that cross-link components of the bacterial cell wall, a function necessary for bacterial proliferation. There are many beta-lactam antibiotics, but common drug classes within the beta-lactams include the penams (penicillin derivatives), cephalosporins, carbapenems, and monobactams.





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