Combating Vancomycin Resistance in Bacteria: Targeting the D-ala-D-ala Dipeptidase VanX

Author(s): Michael W. Crowder

Journal Name: Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - Infectious Disorders

Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 2006

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In the past 20 years, vancomycin and other glycopeptide antibiotics have been administered to patients with Streptococcal and Staphylococcal infections that were resistant to all other antibiotics or to patients who were allergic to penicillins and cephalosporins. After extensive use of vancomycin and other glycopeptide antibiotics in humans, several strains of Enterococcus have developed high-level vancomycin resistance (collectively called VRE, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus), and this resistance phenotype has spread to other organisms. The spread of vancomycin resistance to other pathogens and, potentially, to bacterial strains on the CDCs bioterrorism watch list is a major biomedical concern. Bacteria most often become resistant to vancomycin by acquiring a transposon containing genes that encode for a number of proteins, five of which are essential for the high-level resistance phenotype. The five essential gene products are called VanR, VanS, VanH, VanA, and VanX. Previous studies have shown that the inactivation of VanX results in an organism that is sensitive to vancomycin and that VanX is an excellent inhibitor target. In this review the known inhibitors and structural and mechanistic properties of VanX will be discussed. These data will be used to offer suggestions for novel, rationally-designed or -redesigned inhibitors, which could potentially be used in combination with existing glycopeptide antibiotics as a treatment for vancomycin-resistant bacterial infections.

Keywords: Vancomycin resistance., VanX, inhibitors, glycopeptide antibiotics

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Article Details

Year: 2006
Page: [147 - 158]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/187152606784112146
Price: $65

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