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. 2005 Dec;87(12):1137-47.
doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2005.04.012.

Bacterial Efflux Systems and Efflux Pumps Inhibitors

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Bacterial Efflux Systems and Efflux Pumps Inhibitors

Béatrice Marquez. Biochimie. .

Abstract

It is now well established that bacterial resistance to antibiotics has become a serious problem of public health that concerns almost all antibacterial agents and that manifests in all fields of their application. Among the three main mechanisms involved in bacterial resistance (target modification, antibiotic inactivation or default of its accumulation within the cell), efflux pumps, responsible for the extrusion of the antibiotic outside the cell, have recently received a particular attention. Actually, these systems, classified into five families, can confer resistance to a specific class of antibiotics or to a large number of drugs, thus conferring a multi-drug resistance (MDR) phenotype to bacteria. To face this issue, it is urgent to find new molecules active against resistant bacteria. Among the strategies employed, the search for inhibitors of resistance mechanisms seems to be attractive because such molecules could restore antibiotic activity. In the case of efflux systems, efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) are expected to block the pumps and such EPIs, if active against MDR pumps, would be of great interest. This review will focus on the families of bacterial efflux systems conferring drug resistance, and on the EPIs that have been identified to restore antibiotic activity.

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