Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential Treatment For TB Solves Puzzle

Date:
July 7, 2008
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
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 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 means the search for new treatments is imperative.

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."

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Potential Treatment For TB Solves Puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703203251.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2008, July 7). Potential Treatment For TB Solves Puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703203251.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Potential Treatment For TB Solves Puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703203251.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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