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Inhibitors of the Elongation Cycle of Protein Synthesis

  1. Daniel N Wilson1,
  2. Agata L Starosta1,
  3. Hiroshi Yamamoto2,
  4. Knud H Nierhaus2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000550.pub2



How to Cite

Wilson, D. N., Starosta, A. L., Yamamoto, H. and Nierhaus, K. H. 2009. Inhibitors of the Elongation Cycle of Protein Synthesis. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Munich, Gene Center and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Munich, Germany

  2. 2

    Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


The protein synthetic machinery is a highly complex apparatus that offers many potential sites for functional interference and represents a major target in the cell for antibiotics. The knowledge of ribosomal structure and function has progressed enormously in recent years, which has, in turn, accelerated our understanding of the mechanism of drug action. Conversely, drugs have been used as tools to probe the translation cycle, thus providing a means to further dissect the multitude of steps involved in protein synthesis. In an era where bacteria are showing an ever-increasing resistance to many clinically relevant antibiotics, the importance of understanding their mechanism of inhibition is essential to the development of novel and more effective replacements.

Key concept:

  • A large number of antibiotics target the ribosome and inhibit specific steps during the elongation cycle.


  • antibiotics;
  • ribosomes;
  • RNA;
  • antibiotic resistance