Bacterial Protein Synthesis as a Target for Antibiotic Inhibition

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med., doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a025361
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med., online article

Protein synthesis occurs on macromolecular machines, called ribosomes. Bacterial ribosomes and the translational machinery represent one of the major targets for antibiotics in the cell. Therefore, structural and biochemical investigations into ribosome-targeting antibiotics provide not only insight into the mechanism of action and resistance of antibiotics, but also insight into the fundamental process of protein synthesis. This review summarizes the recent advances in our understanding of protein synthesis, particularly with respect to X-ray and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of ribosome complexes, and highlights the different steps of translation that are targeted by the diverse array of known antibiotics. Such findings will be important for the ongoing development of novel and improved antimicrobial agents to combat the rapid emergence of multidrug resistant pathogenic bacteria.

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry