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Terms in this set (17)

Size: The smaller size of prokaryotes allows them to enter smaller spaces. It also means that the cells have a smaller chromosome.

Nuclear structures: The lack of a nuclear membrane allows chromosome replication, transcription, and translation to be tied together. Inhibition of any one of them affects the others to a greater degree.

Chromosomes: The bacterial chromosome is a single, circular genome. As a circular chromosome, topoisomerases are very important to relieve stress on the structure and to maintain its function. As a result, these enzymes are excellent targets for antibacterial drugs e.g., quinolones. Having only one copy of each gene (haploid genome) instead of a diploid genome means that a single mutation will inactivate a function, because there is no "backup copy."

Cytoplasmic structures: Prokaryotes lack organelles, but this does not have a big effect on bacterial infection and treatment.

Ribosomes: The 70S (50S + 30S) provides an excellent target for antibacterial drugs because it differs so significantly from the 80S eukaryotic ribosome.

Cytoplasmic membrane: The prokaryotic membrane contains different phospholipids, which makes it susceptible to polymyxin action.

Cell wall: The bacterial cell wall is a complex structure containing protein, lipids, and peptidoglycan, which is unique to bacteria. The cell wall provides sufficient strength against osmotic shock to allow bacteria to exist in distilled water. It contains structures that promote interactions with tissues and target cells to promote and define the types of infections and diseases caused by bacteria; the enzymes which synthesize these structures are sufficiently unique to be excellent targets for antibacterial drugs (e.g., beta-lactams, vancomycin, bacitracin). Pili are very important for promoting adhesion which allows the bacteria to attach and maintain their location in the body (e.g., in the bladder).