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article imageNew approach to tackle tuberculosis

By Tim Sandle     Dec 11, 2013 in Science
Pyridomycin, a substance produced by non- pathogenic soil bacteria, has been found to be a potent antimicrobial against a related strain of bacteria that cause tuberculosis.
The potential of pyridomycin for tackling tuberculosis (TB) was found by chance. The substance has a complex three-dimensional structure and this property allows it to act simultaneously on two parts of a key enzyme found in the tuberculosis bacterium. As the molecule functions to kill the TB causing bacterium it also dramatically reduces the risk that the bacteria will develop multiple resistances.
Essentially, Nature magazine notes, what the research has shown is that pyridomycin inhibits the action of the "InhA" enzyme, which causes the thick outer membrane of the bacterium to burst.
One interesting feature is that this naturally-derived molecule works better than synthetic drugs. The researchers argue that three-dimensional structures of naturally occurring molecules are often more complex, more twisted, than synthetic molecules.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis may infect any part of the body, but most commonly occurs in the lungs. Globally, tuberculosis is the second most common cause of death from infectious disease (after those due to HIV/AIDS).
The new molecule has been described in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, in a paper titled “Pyridomycin bridges the NADH- and substrate-binding pockets of the enoyl reductase InhA.”
More about Tb, Tuberculosis, Antimicrobial, Pyridomycin
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