penicillin pen`i*cil"lin, n. [From Penicillium, the fungus genus from which it was first isolated.] (Chem.) Any of a variety of substances having a structure containing a beta-lactam ring fused to a thiirane ring, to which a carboxyl group is attached, most commonly referring to {benzyl penicillin}. They are notable as powerful antibacterial agents of relatively low toxicity which have found extensive use in medicine for treating bacterial infections. They are categorized as one of the classes of beta-lactam antibiotic. They are produced naturally by some fungi and bacteria, and industrial production processes almost invariably start from some form of the penicillin nucleus produced by fermentation of microorganisms. The fermentation products are then chemically modified to produce derivatives of enhanced potency, safety, or antibacterial spectrum. The first penicillin to see extensive use clinically (during World War II) was {penicillin G}, also called {benzypenicillin}, and commonly simply ``penicillin''. [PJC]

Note: [hand]The characteristic portion of the structure characterizing a penicillin is the bicyclic structure 3,3-Dimethyl-7-oxo-4-thia-1-azabicylo[3.2.0]heptane-2-carboxylic acid. The different penicillins have varying acyl groups forming an amide bond with a nitrogen attached to the 6-carbon of this nucleus. This distinguishes it from the other classes of beta-lactam antibiotic, the {cephalosporins}, {thienamycins} and {sulfazecin}. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Penicillin — Sn (ein Antibiotikum) erw. fach. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. penicillin, dieses aus l. Penicillium notatum, dem Namen eines Schimmelpilzes, aus l. pēnicillium Pinsel, Wundfäden, gezupfte Leinwand , einem Diminutivum zu l. pēniculus m.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • penicillin — penicillin. См. пенициллин. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Penicillin — Penicillin, erstes ⇒ Antibiotikum; 1923 von Alexander Fleming als gegen grampositive Eubakterien wirksames Peptid entdeckt. P. wird von Arten des Pinselschimmels Penicillium produziert; es konnte erst 1940 isoliert werden. Die Wirksamkeit der… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • penicillin — 1929, coined in English by Alexander Fleming (1881 1955), who first recognized its antibiotic properties, from Mod.L. Penicillium notatum (1867), the name of the mould from which it was first obtained, from L. penicillus paintbrush (see PENCIL… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Penicillin — ↑ Penizillin …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • penicillin — ► NOUN ▪ an antibiotic produced naturally by certain blue moulds and now usually prepared synthetically. ORIGIN from Latin penicillum paintbrush …   English terms dictionary

  • penicillin — [pen΄i sil′in] n. [< PENICILLIUM + IN1] any of a group of isomeric, antibiotic compounds with the general formula C9H11N2O4SR, obtained from the filtrates of certain molds (esp., Penicillium notatum and P. chrysogenum) or produced… …   English World dictionary

  • Penicillin — For the Japanese band, see Penicillin (band). Penicillin core structure. The R is the variable group. Penicillin (sometimes abbreviated PCN or pen) is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi.[1] They include …   Wikipedia

  • Penicillin — Strukturformel Strukturformeln der Penicillin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Penicillin — Historically, the most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mould Penicillium notatum from which it is derived. Penicillin acts by destroying the cell wall in those bacteria that are sensitive have been developed (not resistant) to its …   Medical dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”