AAT Bioquest

What antibiotics affect peptidoglycan?

Posted September 14, 2021


There are two classes of antibiotics that affect peptidoglycan.

The first is β-Lactam antibiotics. This is a broad class of antibiotics that contains a β-lactam nucleus in their molecular structures. β-Lactam antibiotics include penicillin and its derivatives, monobactams, carbapenems, and cephalosporins. These antibiotics are bactericidal. They work by hindering the synthesis of the peptidoglycan layer of bacterial cell walls.

The second is glycopeptide antibiotics. This class of antibiotics are composed of glycosylated cyclic or polycyclic nonribosomal peptides. Glycopeptide antibiotics include teicoplanin, ramoplanin, vancomycin, bleomycin, decaplanin, and telavancin. These antibiotics hinder peptidoglycan synthesis in susceptible microbes by binding to the amino acids within the cell wall. This prevents new units from getting added on to the peptidoglycan.

Additional resources

Amplite® Colorimetric Beta-Lactamase Activity Assay Kit