Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential treatment for TB solves puzzle

08.07.2008
Scientists have uncovered a new target for the potential treatment of TB, finally resolving a long-running debate about how the bacterial cell wall is built. The research, published in the July issue of Microbiology reveals several molecules that could be developed into drugs to treat tuberculosis.

Multi drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, sparked concern but the recent emergence of extensively drug-resistant strains (XDR-TB) means the search for new treatments is imperative.

Unlike human cells, bacteria have cell walls. Molecules called mycolic acids form a vital part of these walls. To produce them, bacteria carry out several processes but until recently, scientists were unsure of the genes that control each step. One vital step is dehydration - the removal of a water molecule to lengthen the acid chain. Researchers from the University of Birmingham have shown that the gene Rv0636 controls this step, which provides new avenues for the development of treatments for TB.

"FAS-II is a group of enzymes that work together to carry out dehydration," said Professor Gurdyal Besra from the University of Birmingham. "We know that the molecules NAS-21 and NAS-91 can stop these enzymes from building cell walls, so we looked at their effect on Mycobacteria. We also wanted to find out if one of the enzymes is coded for by the gene Rv0636."

... more about:
»Besra »Molecule »Rv0636 »Tuberculosis »enzyme

Professor Besra and his colleagues made modifications to NAS-21 and NAS-91, making several analogues based on the original molecules. They then tested these analogues to see if they stopped the enzymes from working. "Both series of compounds demonstrated activity against the FAS-II enzymes alone," said Professor Besra. "When we tested them against live bacterial cells we noticed that some of the analogues stopped the cells from building mycolic acids, which effectively killed them.

"We also tested them on bacteria that were overexpressing Rv0636, which meant they were producing extra enzymes. These cells were resistant to NAS-21 and NAS-91, suggesting that the gene Rv0636 does code for an enzyme in the FAS-II complex," said Professor Besra. "So we have solved the mystery.

The researchers have also identified a new class of compounds that could be developed into successful treatments for tuberculosis that are urgently required in the future. "The emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has highlighted the need for new TB drugs. We hope our discovery will lead to a new rationale for the design of treatments," said Professor Besra.

Lucy Goodchild | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

Further reports about: Besra Molecule Rv0636 Tuberculosis enzyme

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>