October 12, 2019 - 2 min read 🍵

Tags: lifebiochemistry

What is clindamycin?

Clindamycin is a lincosamide antibiotic that causes a bacteriostatic effect (a biological or chemical effect that stops bacterial from reproducing instead of killing them). It is used to treat a variety of anaerobic infections which include bone or joint infections, strep throat, pneumonia, middle ear infections and acne. It was first made in the 1960s and is on the list of most effective and safe medicines found on the World Health Organization's

How does clindamycin work?

Clindamycin works by binding to a 50S ribosomal subunit of bacteria and therefore disrupts the protein synthesis that allow transpeptidation reaction. Proteins are the primary constituents of life, by inhibiting and preventing protein synthesis, the bacteria will not have the molecular machinery to survive. The inhibition of the 50S ribosomal subunit causes the bacteriostatic effect and prevents the bacteria from reproducing, thus making clindamycin an effective antibiotic[1].

What is the 50S ribosomal subunit?

Ribosomes are a very complex macromolecular machine found in all living cells. Their purpose is to serve as the site to create biological proteins. They link amino acids together via instructions from messenger RNA (mRNA)[2]. Ribosomes have two large components, the small and large ribosomal subunit. Some bacterial ribosomes are called the 70S ribosome which contains the small (30S) subunit and the larger (50S) subunit. Clindamycin’s role is to interrupt one of the subunits, thus, preventing function to create new proteins[3].

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