User:Wayne Decatur/Interactions between Antibiotics and the Ribosome

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Brief Summary of the Scope and Approach of this Set of Pages

A major class of antibiotics are those that target protein synthesis. Structures of antibiotics bound to ribosomal subunits and full ribosomes have now revealed at atomic-resolution the details of binding and the mechanisms of inhibition of several members of this important class of small molecules[1][2][3][4][5][6]. Several of these structures highlighted below.

Given the numerous solved structures of antibiotics complexed with ribosomes and ribosomal subunits and the massive size and complexity of the ribosome and the derived coordinate files, several technical and pedagogical issues are obstacles appreciating the elegance and insight provided by these structures. Towards that end this set of pages feature:

  • Consistent representation and color scheme for the ribosomal subunits, elements and ligands enabling easy visualization of where a particular antibiotic binds.
  • Links to Proteopedia pages covering the essentials of the structures of each subunit and complete ribosome.
  • Data optimized for viewing online in Jmol. This includes limiting much of the files to simply alpha carbon and phosphate atoms and, significantly, combining data split split across multiple PDB coordinate files so the entire ribosome structure is visible at once, an issue the RCSB Protein Data Bank has recently attempted to address, as described here.

Pages for the Antibiotics bound to the Ribosome

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Azithromycin (zithromax)
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More coming soon...


  1. Tenson T, Mankin A. Antibiotics and the ribosome. Mol Microbiol. 2006 Mar;59(6):1664-77. PMID:16553874 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05063.x
  2. Auerbach T, Bashan A, Yonath A. Ribosomal antibiotics: structural basis for resistance, synergism and selectivity. Trends Biotechnol. 2004 Nov;22(11):570-6. PMID:15491801 doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2004.09.006
  3. Wilson DN. The A-Z of bacterial translation inhibitors. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Nov-Dec;44(6):393-433. PMID:19929179 doi:10.3109/10409230903307311
  4. Poehlsgaard J, Douthwaite S. The bacterial ribosome as a target for antibiotics. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005 Nov;3(11):870-81. PMID:16261170 doi:10.1038/nrmicro1265
  5. Sutcliffe JA. Improving on nature: antibiotics that target the ribosome. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Oct;8(5):534-42. PMID:16111914 doi:10.1016/j.mib.2005.08.004
  6. Steitz TA. On the structural basis of peptide-bond formation and antibiotic resistance from atomic structures of the large ribosomal subunit. FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 7;579(4):955-8. PMID:15680981 doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2004.11.053

Additional Literature and Resources

Proteopedia Page Contributors and Editors (what is this?)

Wayne Decatur

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