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The biogenesis of β-lactamase enzymes

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tracy Palmer FRS FRSE FMedSciORCiD, Maria Mavridou



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming marked a new era for modern medicine, allowing not only the treatment of infectious diseases, but also the safe performance of life-saving interventions, like surgery and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, resistance against penicillin, as well as more complex β-lactam antibiotics, has rapidly emerged since the introduction of these drugs in the clinic, and is largely driven by a single type of extra-cytoplasmic proteins, hydrolytic enzymes called β-lactamases. While the structures, biochemistry and epidemiology of these resistance determinants have been extensively characterized, their biogenesis, a complex process including multiple steps and involving several fundamental biochemical pathways, is rarely discussed. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the journey of β-lactamases, from the moment they exit the ribosomal channel until they reach their final cellular destination as folded and active enzymes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kaderabkova N, Bharathwaj M, Furniss RCD, Gonzalez D, Palmer T, Mavridou DAI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microbiology

Year: 2022

Volume: 168

Issue: 8

Online publication date: 09/08/2022

Acceptance date: 10/06/2022

Date deposited: 01/09/2022

ISSN (print): 1350-0872

ISSN (electronic): 1465-2080

Publisher: Microbiology Society


DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.001217

PubMed id: 35943884


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Funder referenceFunder name
BB/S005307/1Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Monash-Newcastle Postgraduate Scholarship
MR/S009213/1Medical Research Council (MRC)