The mechanisms of action of ribosome-targeting peptide antibiotics

The ribosome is one of the major targets in the cell for clinically used antibiotics. However, the increase in multidrug resistant bacteria is rapidly reducing the effectiveness of our current arsenal of ribosome-targeting antibiotics, highlighting the need for the discovery of compounds with new scaffolds that bind to novel sites on the ribosome. One possible avenue for the development of new antimicrobial agents is by characterization and optimization of ribosome-targeting peptide antibiotics. Biochemical and structural data on ribosome-targeting peptide antibiotics illustrates the large diversity of scaffolds, binding interactions with the ribosome as well as mechanism of action to inhibit translation. The availability of high-resolution structures of ribosomes in complex with peptide antibiotics opens the way to structure-based design of these compounds as novel antimicrobial agents.