Antibiotics Targeting Bacterial Ribosomal Subunit Biogenesis

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This article describes 20 years of research that investigated a second novel target for ribosomal antibiotics, the biogenesis of the two subunits. Over that period, we have examined the effect of 52 different antibiotics on ribosomal subunit formation in six different microorganisms. Most of the antimicrobials we have studied are specific, preventing the formation of only the subunit to which they bind. A few interesting exceptions have also been observed. Forty-one research publications and a book chapter have resulted from this investigation. This review will describe the methodology we used and the fit of our results to a hypothetical model. The model predicts that inhibition of subunit assembly and translation are equivalent targets for most of the antibiotics we have investigated.