Nocardicin A and mecillinam are two beta-lactam antibiotics with poor bacteriolytic activity against Escherichia coli. However, the combined use of these drugs resulted in the induction of a fast lytic response in E. coli cells. For this cooperative effect to take place, the formation of a complex between penicillin-binding protein 2 and mecillinam is apparently necessary. This suggests that penicillin-binding protein 2 might be actively involved in the response of E. coli to bacteriolytic beta-lactam antibiotics
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