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Nano Lett. 2007 Mar;7(3):796-801. Epub 2007 Feb 23.

Single-molecule force spectroscopy and imaging of the vancomycin/D-Ala-D-Ala interaction.

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Unité de Chimie des Interfaces, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2/18, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


The clinically important vancomycin antibiotic inhibits the growth of pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus by blocking cell wall synthesis through specific recognition of nascent peptidoglycan terminating in D-Ala-D-Ala. Here, we demonstrate the ability of single-molecule atomic force microscopy with antibiotic-modified tips to measure the specific binding forces of vancomycin and to map individual ligands on living bacteria. The single-molecule approach presented here provides new opportunities for understanding the binding mechanisms of antibiotics and for exploring the architecture of bacterial cell walls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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