Structure and Mechanism of Action

Bacitracin is a mixture of polypeptide antibiotics produced by Bacillus subtilis. As with penicillin, it contains a thiazolidine nucleus attached through L-leucine to a pep-tide composed of both D- and L-amino acids. However, it does not contain a (3-lactam ring. Bacitracin prevents cell wall synthesis by binding to a lipid pyrophosphate carrier that transports cell wall precursors to the growing cell wall.

Bacitracin inhibits the dephosphorylation of this lipid carrier, a step essential to the carrier molecule's ability to accept cell wall constituents for transport.

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