Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics with broad-spectrum activity (activity against a wide range of microorganisms including gram positive and gram negative bacteria, protozoa and chlamydiae). They were discovered in the 1940s and the first tetracyclines were obtained or derived from Streptomyces bacteria. Although still in widespread use, both in human and veterinary medicine, bacterial resistance is of major concern.
Tetracyclines inhibit protein synthesis in the microbial RNA by reversibly binding to the 30S ribosome and preventing the attachment of aminoacyl-tRNA to the ribosomal acceptor site. They are primarily bacteriostatic (prevent bacteria from reproducing but don't necessarily kill them).
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