Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Identify Molecular Target For Tuberculosis Drug Treatment

Date:
June 10, 1998
Source:
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
In a study with major implications for improving tuberculosis (TB) treatment, researchers have identified the exact part of the disease-causing microbe that is targeted by isoniazid, the most widely used TB medication.

In a study with major implications for improving tuberculosis (TB) treatment, researchers have identified the exact part of the disease-causing microbe that is targeted by isoniazid, the most widely used TB medication.

Related Articles


Tuberculosis now infects some 1.9 billion people worldwide, one-third of the world's population. The World Health Organization projects that in the next decade, 300 million more people will become infected, 90 million will develop tuberculosis and 30 million will die from it. As the number of new cases increases, multi-drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have made treatment more and more difficult.

"Tuberculosis cannot be fully controlled with existing medications," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "We desperately need new drugs to combat this worldwide public health problem."

The new findings will allow scientists to understand and predict how certain strains of M. tuberculosis become drug-resistant. The research also has generated a way to screen potential anti-TB drugs very fast, accelerating the pace of drug development.

"With tests based on these findings, we'll be able to screen thousands of anti-TB compounds in an assay that takes only a few minutes, instead of the three weeks required for normal tests," says Clifton E. Barry III, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). "I think we have the perfect new tool for developing new drugs against TB."

The research was a collaborative project of Dr. Barry's team and NIAID grantee James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Their report appears in the June 5, 1998, issue of Science.

Although isoniazid has been widely used to treat people with tuberculosis, until now no one knew exactly how it worked, and why it no longer works on certain TB strains. Dr. Barry and his colleagues discovered that the drug attacks a protein, called KasA, that the bacterium needs to build its cell wall, thus preventing the growth of M. tuberculosis cells. They also found that mutations in the gene that codes for this protein render TB cells invulnerable to the drug, resulting in antibiotic-resistant TB strains.

With the knowledge that KasA is critical to bacterial growth, scientists can work on designing drugs that specifically attack this molecule. They also can devise tests, or assays, to screen new anti-TB drugs for their power to target the KasA protein.

Such tests are already in the works. Through a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement), NIAID scientists and researchers at Pharmacopeia in Princeton, N.J., have devised a fast, high-volume method for screening potential anti-TB compounds. Together they plan to test more than 2 million compounds for anti-TB action.

NIAID supports biomedical research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available via the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Identify Molecular Target For Tuberculosis Drug Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082143.htm>.
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (1998, June 10). Scientists Identify Molecular Target For Tuberculosis Drug Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082143.htm
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Identify Molecular Target For Tuberculosis Drug Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082143.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins