Structural Mechanisms of β-Lactam Antibiotic Resistance in Penicillin-Binding Proteins

  • Robert A. NicholasEmail author
  • Christopher Davies


The effectiveness of β-lactam antibiotics is under siege by multiple pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria can produce β-lactamases that hydrolyze the antibiotic, alter their permeability by increasing efflux or decreasing influx (Gram-negative-specific), and structurally alter existing penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) to lower the rate of acylation or obtain a completely new penicillin-binding protein with extremely low rates of acylation by most β-lactam antibiotics. This chapter focuses on the genetic, biochemical, and structural mechanisms involved in PBP-mediated resistance, with a particular emphasis on resistance mechanisms in the pathogenic Gram-negative pathogen, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


Penicillin Resistance TGase Activity Strain FA6140 Acylation Rate TPase Activity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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