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Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Sep;27(9):438.

The PASTA domain: a beta-lactam-binding domain.

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The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK CB10 1SA.


The PASTA domain (for penicillin-binding protein and serine/threonine kinase associated domain) is found in the high molecular weight penicillin-binding proteins and eukaryotic-like serine/threonine kinases of a range of pathogens. We describe this previously uncharacterized domain and infer that it binds beta-lactam antibiotics and their peptidoglycan analogues. We postulate that PknB-like kinases are key regulators of cell-wall biosynthesis. The essential function of these enzymes suggests an additional pathway for the action of beta-lactam antibiotics.

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