Structural features of aminoglycoside antibiotics

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Chapter: Medicinal Chemistry : Antibiotics

The aminoglycoside antibiotics contain two important structural features. They are amino sugar portion and centrally placed hexose ring, which is either 2-deoxystreptamine or streptidine.


The aminoglycoside antibiotics contain two important structural features. They are amino sugar portion and centrally placed hexose ring, which is either 2-deoxystreptamine or streptidine.

1. Amino sugar portion


i. The bacterial inactivating enzymes targets C-6 and C-2 position, and the substitution with methyl group at C-6 increases the enzyme resistance.

ii. Cleavage of 3-hydroxyl or the 4-hydroxyl or both groups does not affect the activity.

2. Centrally placed hexose ring (aminocyclitol ring)


i.Various modiļ¬cations at C-1 amino group have been tested. The acylation (e.g. amikacyn) and ethylation (e.g. 1-N-ethylsisomycin) though does not increase the activity helps to retain the antibacterial potency.

ii. In sisomicin series, 2-hydroxylation and 5-deoxygenation result in the increased inhibition of bacterial inactivating enzyme systems. Thus, very few modiļ¬cations of the central ring are possible, which do not violate the activity spectrum of aminoglycosides.

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