Hygrovetine; Hygrovectine; D-streptamine
Hygromycin B is an aminoglycoside antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces hygroscopicus. It is commonly used to study protein synthesis. Aside from its efficacy against bacteria, fungi, and higher eukaryotic cells, hygromycin B is also an antiviral agent inhibiting translation upon selectively entering cells made permeable due to viral infection.
It works as a standard selection antibiotic in gene experiments, especially for the selection of hygromycin resistance gene transformed cells. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are composed of amino groups attached to glycosides. They bind the 30s ribosomal subunit, causing misreading of the mRNA sequence and inhibition of translocation. Consequently, protein synthesis is inhibited.
Antibiotics are often used in clinical in-vitro tests known as antimicrobial susceptibility tests or ASTs to determine their efficacy against certain bacterial species. Hygromycin's longstanding application as a gene selection antibiotic has a powerful new role in genome editing utilizing the CRISPR/CAS9 system.
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