The Vancomycin molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions

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Vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic.

Like penicillin, it acts to prevent cell wall formation in Gram-positive bacteria but it binds with the substrate (terminal dipeptide D-alanyl-D-alanine of peptidoglycan precursors) instead of inactivating the enzyme that cross-links these units.

It consists of sugars joined to amino-acids, connected in rings. The amino-sugar vancosamine and D-glucose are attached to hydroxy phenyl glycine which has loops formed from (mostly unusual) amino acids.

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