Organization of two mbt clusters involved in the biosynthesis of lipophilic mycobactins. Illustration: Tarun Chopra
Scientists in India, led by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar, have identified five key genes that enable Mycobacterium tuberculosis to acquire the iron it needs to sustain growth and promote infection.
“Targeting genes within this cluster represents a good strategy for preventing tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections,” said Rajesh S. Gokhale, an HHMI international research scholar at the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, India, and lead investigator on the study. “Because some of these genes are conserved across a number of related bacterial families, they are promising targets for drugs to treat TB and other bacterial diseases.”
The tuberculosis bacterium, which infects more than one third of the world’s inhabitants, is a leading cause of death and disease worldwide.
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