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Enzymes to Produce Penicillin

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Morgan Mitchell

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Enzymes to Produce Penicillin

By: Morgan Mitchell Enzymes to Produce Penicillin Antibiotics are chemical substances that are derived from living organisms. Antibiotics History Penicillin is not a single compound. It is a group of closely related compounds with a similar ring structure. Structure Enzymes and Penicillin Since penicillin is so commonly used, some strains of bacteria have become resistant to it. These cells produce a substance called Penicillinase. Fun Facts about Penicillin! They are capable of inhibiting the life of other organisms. Over 3,000 antibiotics have been identified but only a few are actually used in the medical field. They make up 12% of the drugs prescribed in the United States. One of the most common antibiotics is penicillin. Penicillin was one of the first antibiotics ever discovered. It was discovered in 1928, by Sir Alexander Fleming at St. Mary's hospital in London. Penicillin occurs naturally as a type of mold called Penicillium. Prior to the discovery of penicillin, there was no treatment for illnesses including pneumonia, extremely high fevers, etc. Luckily, penicillin was discovered by the end of the second World War and was mass produced to help wounded soldiers. The basic penicillin structure is made up of a beta-lactum ring, a thiazolidine ring and a side chain. This side chain contains an R group, which will give each penicillin a unique identity. The formula for penicillin is C16H18N2O5S The most common type of penicillin is Penicillin G, or benzylpenicillin. When bacteria reproduce they double their DNA and then produce a cell wall, that divides the chromosomes into two identical cells. Penicillin will stop the formation of this new cell wall by inhibiting enzyme activity. The enzyme transpeptidase, is the enzyme that helps form peptide bonds found in the cell walls of bacteria. Penicillin will covalently bond with the active site of the enzyme instead of the expected protein. This results in a weak cell wall in certain areas, that can easily be broken and rendered useless. In response to this, doctors have created semi-synthetic penicillins, which are chemically modified to fight this problem. Penicillin can only fight bacteria that have a specific type of cell wall, so this excludes all animal cells, which only possess cell membranes. Penicillin functions at an optimal temperature of 25-27 degrees Celsius and at a pH of 6.5 Since our stomachs are so acidic, penicillin cannot be taken orally. The acids in our stomach would destroy the medication before it could reach our bloodstream. References American Chemical Society. (2012). In Discovery of Penicillin. Retrieved on October 8th, 2012 from http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&nod e_id=926&content_id=CTP_004451&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1

Biotechnology Notes. (2011 December 6). In Penicillin Production. Retrieved on October 8th, 2012 from http://microbiologyprocesses.blogspot.ca/2011/12/penicillin-production.html

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O'Hare, T., White, L. (2012). Dublin City University. In Penicillin Production. Retrieved on October 8th,
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