They have identified how the killer bacterium makes itself immune to a key component of the only effective treatment against the disease.
Earlier this month, a separate team of TB researchers at Leicester announced a new advance in their fight against the resurgence of TB in Britain. They isolated the molecular ‘weapons’ of the bacterium and are assessing ways to make the bacterium impotent.
Now, in new research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, another team from the Departments of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University has shown how the TB bacteria becomes resistant to one of the only available treatments for the killer disease.
Dr Peter Moody of the Biochemistry Department said: “Isoniazid is a pro-drug that an enzyme in the deadly bacteria itself makes active.”
“Using the technique of protein crystallography and the incredibly bright X-ray source of the European Synchrotron at Grenoble, my team and that of Professor Emma Raven of the Chemistry Department at Leicester along with Dr Katherine Brown of Imperial College have shown how the pro-drug binds to two very similar enzymes - and from this we can see how mutations in the bacterial enzyme protect it from the treatment.”
This is the first time anyone has seen the way the pro-drug binds to activating enzymes.
Dr Moody said "Drug-resistant forms of TB are approaching 10% of the 8000 cases a year in the UK, so understanding how this works is very important."
The researchers hope that this new understanding will help drug companies devise treatments for the resistant strains.
The study, funded by BBSRC, is published this week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry*.
Dr Moody added: “Unfortunately, development of the UK synchrotron source (Diamond) is under threat because of the shortfall in funding, which could limit our ability to do this sort of fundamental medical research in the future”.
Ather Mirza | alfa
New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals
22.05.2019 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases
22.05.2019 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy