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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cellular and molecular aspects of drugs of the future: meropenem.

Meropenem, first synthesized in the late eighties, has become one of the most important beta-lactam antibiotics of the carbapenem subclass used for the treatment of a variety of life-threatening infections. Due to its unique chemical structure, meropenem is not inactivated by the kidney dehydropeptidase I and the majority of microbial beta-lactamases. Its antimicrobial activity is based on its high affinity for the majority of cell wall-synthesizing enzymes, the so-called penicillin-binding proteins, of Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. However, bacteria have evolved several approaches to resist meropenem: (i) by reducing the affinity of the penicillin-binding proteins for the antibiotics, (ii) by decreasing the permeability of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, (iii) by using efflux pumps, and (iv) by activating zinc-dependent carbapenemases. Meropenem has a low toxicity profile and, in contrast to imipenem, no central nervous system toxicity.[1]


  1. Cellular and molecular aspects of drugs of the future: meropenem. Cottagnoud, P. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
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