Potential new drug for tuberculosis

August 5, 2013
Some strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, have become resistant to most antibiotics — but researchers hope that a new synthetic molecule will be a more formidable weapon to fight them. Credit: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler

A new drug capable of inhibiting growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is reported this week in Nature Medicine. The findings may improve therapeutic options for the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB).

One-third of the world's population is latently infected with M. tuberculosis and more than a million people die of TB each year. Multidrug- of M. tuberculosis are spreading, and therefore the need to develop new and improved drugs is urgent.

Kevin Pethe and colleagues screened a chemical library for inhibitors of M. tuberculosis growth in and identified imidazopyrimidine amides as potential candidates. The team then optimized these chemicals in order to generate the compound Q203. This compound, which showed efficacy in vitro and in a mouse model of established TB, targets part of the M. tuberculosis electron chain and therefore inhibits ATP synthesis—which is needed for cellular energy production.

The findings support the concept of targeting ATP synthesis to potentially eradicate both active and latent M. tuberculosis and provide a new candidate for clinical validation.

Explore further: Research reveals new drug target urgently needed for tuberculosis therapy

More information: Nature Medicine (2013) doi:10.1038/nm.3262

Related Stories

FDA approves first new tuberculosis in 40 years

December 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection in more than four decades.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.