Letter | Published:

Adaptive Chain in the Conversion of Antimetabolites into Metabolites

Naturevolume 187pages10411043 (1960) | Download Citation



THE adaptation of micro-organisms1 and insects2 to antimetabolites used in the control of the latter is an important contemporary problem. It has been conjectured that a possible mechanism for such adaptation might be : formation of new metabolic pathways, creation of inhibitors or enzymes neutralizing antimetabolites, or modification of the permeability of structures sensitive towards antimetabolites3,4. These mechanisms, in so far as they concern penicillin, would involve an induced biosynthesis of penicillinase which suppresses the antimetabolic activity of penicillin, an autotrophic biosynthesis of amino-acids the assimilation of which by the milieu is inhibited by penicillin5, or a modification of bacterial surface structure6. All or any of these mechanisms might make the antimetabolite innocuous to the living cell.

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  1. Department of Microbiology

    • K. I. MARKOV
  2. Department of Biochemistry

    • G. K. SAEV
  3. Department of Medical Chemistry, Higher Medical Institute, Sofia 32



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