Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New approach to battling tuberculosis

Date:
June 18, 2013
Source:
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a drug that cripples tuberculosis bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) in a novel way, by dissolving the protecting fatty coating of the bacteria. The drug killed the bacterium in culture without the emergence of drug resistance.

Most humans would like to shed their fatty exteriors, but tuberculosis (TB)-causing bacteria rely on theirs for survival. Scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School have now discovered a drug that cripples the TB bug by dissolving its protective fatty coating, a finding that could eventually be used to improve TB treatment in humans. The study has been posted online by Nature Chemical Biology.

TB is caused by infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and is the second biggest cause of death worldwide, second only to HIV/AIDS. And with drug-resistant strains of Mtb on the rise, there is a critical need for more effective anti-TB agents.

"Mtb is a little ball of soap," says lead author David Alland, MD, a professor of medicine and Director of the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens at New Jersey Medical School, describing the meshwork of long fatty acids that make up the bug's protective cell wall. There are a few anti-TB drugs that disrupt this coat, but so far no single drug has been able to kill the bacteria completely. So his group went in search of new and better drugs by using a simple and rapid approach. They screened for agents that trigger expression of a bacterial gene that gets turned on when cell wall synthesis is compromised.

They discovered a class of compound called thiophenes that killed the Mtb in culture without the emergence of drug resistance. And the combination of thiophene and the existing coat-busting drug isoniazid achieved 100% bacterial killing. Thiophenes worked by crippling an enzyme called Pks13 that hitches two long fatty acids together to create the bug's fatty coat. With additional information on the molecular structure of these drugs bound to Pks13, Alland hopes to discover ways to tweak the compounds to make them even more potent and less toxic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Regina Wilson, Pradeep Kumar, Vijay Parashar, Catherine Vilchθze, Romain Veyron-Churlet, Joel S Freundlich, S Whitney Barnes, John R Walker, Michael J Szymonifka, Emily Marchiano, Shubhada Shenai, Roberto Colangeli, William R Jacobs, Matthew B Neiditch, Laurent Kremer, David Alland. Antituberculosis thiophenes define a requirement for Pks13 in mycolic acid biosynthesis. Nature Chemical Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1277

Cite This Page:

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "New approach to battling tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113654.htm>.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). (2013, June 18). New approach to battling tuberculosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113654.htm
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "New approach to battling tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113654.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
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