Friday, February 19, 2010

TB disease mechanism and the molecule to block It - discovered ......

We know about the drug resistant tuberculosis and the havoc its causing, so there is an urgent need to  develop new drugs that can be useful. (have covered some articles on  drug development  for drug resistant TB in my earlier blogs). Many groups have tried to explain the resistance,  but now  researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine have identified a mechanism used by the tuberculosis bacterium to evade the body's immune system and have identified a compound that blocks the bacterium's ability to survive in the host, which could lead to new drugs to treat tuberculosis

The focus of the research was TB actions inside macrophages (infection fighting cells in the body's immune system). Macrophage cells' tools include the production of special proteins called cytokines to attack foreign invaders. Infected macrophages can also initiate a self-destruction mechanism called apoptosis, which signals other immune system cells to mount a defense against the infection. 

TB bacteria are able to disable the macrophage defenses by secreting virulent factors into the host. The IU team found that the actions of a particular virulent factor a protein phosphatase enzyme called mPTPB  blocked both the production of the infection-fighting cytokines, and the macrophage's self-destruct system. 

As for as my knowledge goes,  phosphatases  (VE-PTP, Cdc25A, PTP1b, VHR, Shp-2, MptpA und MptpB) the  key regulators of various life processes are being studied for the diverse activities. The following is the brief summary ;

a). VE-TPT inhibition is very promising in the development of antiangiogenesis inhibitors in cancer therapy.
b). Cdc25A influences cell cycle regulation and may also be a target of interest in cancer therapy.
c). The phosphatase MptpB, from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, influences the host's immune 
     reaction in a tuberculosis infection.
d) VHR dephosphorylates MAP kinases in the activation loop THX, which plays an important role in signal
    transduction processes.
e) Inhibiting MptpB and Shp-2 opens up new directions in the search for antibiotics and
f) The Ptp1B enzyme plays an important role in developing a medicine against type 2 diabetes and the
   metabolic syndrome.

Though many researchers  tried to study the mechanism of action by which the  tuberculosis bacterium is getting resistance,  this group has come up with a drug and this is of great significance in my opinion.

Using combinatorial chemical synthesis and high-throughput screening, (HTS) the researchers developed the I-A09 compound, which successfully blocked the action of mPTPB. Tests involving live TB bacteria were conducted at the Institute of Tuberculosis Research, University of Illinois at Chicago

As per the claim by the lead researcher, Dr. Zhong-Yin Zhang, compound I-A09 is being evaluated in a TB animal model at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. More potent forms of the I-A09 compound are being pursued by the IU team for possible future clinical testing. Hope the team  will come up with a solution to this problem in the days to come...

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