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Kanamycin sulfate ® is an aminoglycoside antibiotic, available in both oral and intravenous forms, and used to treat a wide variety of infections. Kanamycin is isolated from Streptomyces kanamyceticus.
Kanamycin works by affecting the 30S ribosomal subunit and causing a frameshift mutation or it prevents the translation of RNA. This means that instead of a codon CAT (for example in sequence CATG), a codon ATG is read by aminoacyl tRNA (aa-tRNA). Aminoacyl tRNA is consequently carrying a different amino acid, because the anticodon on the aa-tRNA is different. The protein needed cannot be synthesized: depending on the site and severity of the frame shift, either a completely different protein is synthesized, or a protein similar to the one needed is synthesized, but is folded incorrectly. A bacterium is destroyed because it cannot produce any of its proteins correctly.
Because of over-usage of antibiotics many bacteria have developed a resistance against kanamycin, and, consequently, it is not used much anymore.
Common side effects include changes in hearing (either hearing loss or ringing in the ears), toxicity to kidneys, and allergic reactions to the drug.
Use in Research
Genes encoding kanamycin resistance are commonly used as selectable markers in molecular biology.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kanamycin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|