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How Ampiox works?

  1. Apr 24, 2014 #1
    So, the Ampiox suppress the synthesis of peptidoglycane that are absolutely necessary for cell walls, also it inhibits the enzyme called transpeptidase that “cross-links peptidoglycan chains to form rigid cell walls” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD-transpeptidase ) and all these action leads to bacterial lysis. This is clear, but imagine some certain (one) bacterium that already has got both transpeptidase and peptidoglycanes in its cell wall in a necessary amount and therefore this bacterium does not need any additional transpeptidase and/or peptidoglycanes. The question: can Ampiox cause lysis of this bacterium? If transpeptidase and/or peptidoglycanes are degraded (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_degradation ) from time to time (because of various reasons) then they need to be synthesized and replaced by new molecules. If so, then I can understand why Ampiox causes lysis: old transpeptidase and peptidoglycanes molecules are degraded, new ones cannot be created and the bacteria die.

    But if both transpeptidase and peptidoglycanes are relatively long-live then Ampiox cannot cause the lysis, at least Ampiox cannot destroy the already-existing bacteria. As for newly created bacteria (after/during Cell division) that are growing and probably need more and more transpeptidase and peptidoglycanes they (bacteria) can be subjected to Ampiox action.

    So, could you please tell me how exactly Ampiox act on bacteria? :rolleyes:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2014 #2
  4. Apr 28, 2014 #3


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    You hit on a very important point: in order for most antibiotic drugs to kill bacteria, the bacteria must be actively growing and metabolizing. This point is important because many bacterial populations include a small subset of dormant cells which are not killed by antibiotic treatment. We call these cells that escape treatment persisters. These persisters are not resistant – if you let the persister population re-expand then treat with antibiotics, you will kill still kill most of the population and leave a similar fraction of persister cells – but rather they tolerate antibiotic treatment because they are metabolically dormant.
  5. May 3, 2014 #4
    Let’s see:
    So, generally the peptidoglycans are degraded and then they are regenerated newly. Actually this is what I wanted to know, thanks :smile:

    Well, now I am earning my Master’s degree and my thesis is about action mechanism of various antibiotics on bacterial proliferation. Exactly during proliferation we observe antibiotic’s action. However, sometimes we add antibiotic BEFORE beginning of bacterial proliferation.
    Yes, not all bacteria are killed by antibiotics.
    Well, I did not know if they had a special name.
    Very true! We observed the same result.
    But could you please tell me what exactly means “metabolically dormant”? Are they dead? Are there biochemical reactions occurring? :rolleyes:
  6. May 3, 2014 #5


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  7. May 11, 2014 #6
    Thanks :smile:
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