Lymecycline inhibits cell growth by inhibiting translation. It binds to the 30S ribosomal subunit and prevents the amino-acyl tRNA from binding to the A site of the ribosome. The binding is reversible in nature. Lymecycline is lipophilic and can easily pass through the cell membrane or passively diffuses through porin channels in the bacterial membrane. Cells become resistant to lymecycline by at least two mechanisms: efflux and ribosomal protection. In efflux, a resistance gene encodes a membrane protein that actively pumps lymecycline out of the cell. This is the mechanism of action of the tetracycline resistance gene on the artificial plasmid pBR322. In ribosomal protection, a resistance gene encodes a protein which binds to the ribosome and prevents lymecycline from acting on the ribosome.
Lymecycline is a tetracycline broad-spectrum antibiotic. It is approximately 5000 times more soluble than tetracycline base and is unique amongst tetracyclines in that it is absorbed by the "active transport" process across the intestinal wall, making use of the same fast and efficient mechanism by which carbohydrates are absorbed. It inhibits cell growth by inhibiting translation.
Adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, glossitis, enterocolitis, dysphagia, dermatitis, hypersensitivity reactions, proctitis, and vaginitis.