Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of the PIM/LAM biosynthetic pathway in Mycobacteria. [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Also known as: Analysis of Compounds in the Cell Wall of Mycobacteria.

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Ross Coppel (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Paul Crellin Prof Mark Von Itzstein

Brief description Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most devastating diseases in human history. TB kills approximately two millions people each year worldwide, more than any other disease caused by a single infectious agent. The disease has re-emerged in recent years due to the AIDS epidemic and the appearance of TB bacteria that are not killed by currently available antibiotics. New antibiotics must be developed to combat this global health threat. This requires the identification of targets on the bacteria on which antibiotics can act. One particularly attractive target is the outer coat of the bacterium. Several existing antibiotics target the bacterial coat, yet the ways in which coat is assembled are poorly understood. Two related compounds in the bacterial coat, and unique to TB bacteria, are called PIMs and LAMs. The structures of these compounds are known, and the compounds appear to be essential for the survival of the bacteria in the human host. However, the mechanisms by which PIMs and LAMs are made by the bacteria are very poorly understood. The aim of our research proposal is to better understand the process by which these compounds are made. If this process can be blocked by an antibiotic, then this represents a potential anti-TB therapy which could save millions of lives worldwide.

Funding Amount $AUD 272,250.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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