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Methicillin (USAN) or meticillin (INN, BAN) is a narrow spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic of the penicillin class. It was developed by Beecham in 1959. It was previously used to treat infections caused by susceptible Gram-positive bacteria, particularly beta-lactamase-producing organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus that would otherwise be resistant to most penicillins, but is no longer clinically used. Its role in therapy has been largely replaced by flucloxacillin and dicloxacillin, however the term methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continues to be used to describe Staphylococcus aureus strains resistant to all penicillins.
Mode of action
Main article: Beta-lactam antibiotic
Like other beta-lactam antibiotics, methicillin acts by inhibiting the synthesis of bacterial cell walls. It inhibits cross-linkage between the linear peptidoglycan polymer chains that make up a major component of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. It does this by binding to and competitively inhibiting the transpeptidase enzyme used by bacteria to cross-link the peptide (D-alanyl-alanine) used in peptidogylcan synthesis. Methicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics are structural analogs of D-alanyl-alanine, and the transpeptidase enzymes that bind to them are sometimes called penicillin binding proteins (PBPs). (Gladwin and Trattler, 2004)
Methicillin is insensitive to beta-lactamase (also known as penicillinase) enzymes secreted by many penicillin-resistant bacteria. The presence of the ortho-dimethoxyphenyl group directly attached to the side chain carbonyl group of the penicillin nucleus facilitates the β-lactamase resistance, since those enzymes are relatively intolerant of side-chain steric hindrance. Thus it is able to bind to penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) and inhibit peptidoglycan crosslinking, but is not bound by or inactivated by β-lactamases.
Methicillin is not commonly used in clinical practice, but serves a purpose in the laboratory to determine antibiotic sensitivity in microbiological culture.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Methicillin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|