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Chem Biol. 2002 Apr;9(4):455-63.

Aminoglycosides modified by resistance enzymes display diminished binding to the bacterial ribosomal aminoacyl-tRNA site.

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Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Understanding the basic principles that govern RNA binding by aminoglycosides is important for the design of new generations of antibiotics that do not suffer from the known mechanisms of drug resistance. With this goal in mind, we examined the binding of kanamycin A and four derivatives (the products of enzymic turnovers of kanamycin A by aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes) to a 27 nucleotide RNA representing the bacterial ribosomal A site. Modification of kanamycin A functional groups that have been directly implicated in the maintenance of specific interactions with RNA led to a decrease in affinity for the target RNA. Overall, the products of reactions catalyzed by aminoglycoside resistance enzymes exhibit diminished binding to the A site of bacterial 16S rRNA, which correlates well with a loss of antibacterial ability in resistant organisms that harbor these enzymes.

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