Structure and function of “metalloantibiotics”

Authors

  • Li-June Ming

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Institute for Biomolecular Science, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620-5250
    • Department of Chemistry and Institute for Biomolecular Science University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620-5250.
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Abstract

Although most antibiotics do not need metal ions for their biological activities, there are a number of antibiotics that require metal ions to function properly, such as bleomycin (BLM), streptonigrin (SN), and bacitracin. The coordinated metal ions in these antibiotics play an important role in maintaining proper structure and/or function of these antibiotics. Removal of the metal ions from these antibiotics can cause changes in structure and/or function of these antibiotics. Similar to the case of “metalloproteins,” these antibiotics are dubbed “metalloantibiotics” which are the title subjects of this review. Metalloantibiotics can interact with several different kinds of biomolecules, including DNA, RNA, proteins, receptors, and lipids, rendering their unique and specific bioactivities. In addition to the microbial-originated metalloantibiotics, many metalloantibiotic derivatives and metal complexes of synthetic ligands also show antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-neoplastic activities which are also briefly discussed to provide a broad sense of the term “metalloantibiotics.” © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev, 23 No. 6, 697–762, 2003

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