Molecule of the Week
March 4, 2013
Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic produced by Streptomyces spp. Tetracycline is also the term for a family of drugs with the same basic structure. The compounds were discovered by B. M. Duggar in 1945. In 1953, J. H. Boothe et al. and L. H. Conover et al., working independently, prepared tetracycline by the reductive dehalogenation of naturally occurring chlorotetracycline; 6 years later, the Boothe group reported the total synthesis of a tetracycline derivative.
The major early use of tetracycline was to reduce cholera fatalities. Today, it is marketed under many trade names; its primary use is to treat acne and rosacea.