Tuberculosis drug shows promise against latent bacteria

Sep 12, 2008

A new study has shown that an investigational drug (R207910, currently in clinical trials against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis strains) is quite effective at killing latent bacteria. This revelation suggests that R207910 may lead to improved and shortened treatments for this globally prevalent disease.

Despite numerous treatment advances, tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious disease –fueled by co-infection of HIV patients, the rise of drug-resistant strains, and the ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to become dormant and linger in the lungs. In fact, one third of the world population is infected, asymptomatically, with latent TB and is at risk of developing active TB disease during their life time.

Anil Koul and colleagues at Johnson & Johnson tested R207910 on dormant M. tuberculosis in three different laboratory models of latency. R207910 targets a protein (ATP synthase) essential for making cellular energy (ATP) in actively replicating TB. The researchers reasoned that even dormant bacteria, which are essentially physiologically "turned off", still need to produce small quantities of ATP to survive. As such, a block in ATP synthesis might be an Achilles heel for killing dormant bacteria.

This reasoning proved to be correct and R207190 was able to kill dormant bacteria by greater than 95% whereas current drugs like isoniazid had no effect. Surprisingly, they found that R207910 is slightly more effective in killing dormant bacteria as compared to actively replicating ones, a unique spin as all known TB drugs are more effective on replicating bugs. Koul and colleagues hope to validate these results clinically, and note that ATP synthase should be looked at as a drug target for other persistent bacterial infections.

Citation: "Diarylquinolines are bactericidal for dormant mycobacteria as a result of disturbed ATP homeostasis" by Anil Koul, Luc Vranckx, Najoua Dendouga, Wendy Balemans, Ilse Van den Wyngaert, Karen Vergauwen, Hinrich Göhlmann, Rudy Willebrords, Alain Poncelet, Jerome Guillemont, Dirk Bald and Koen Andries

Article URL: www.jbc.org/cgi/content/full/283/37/25273

Source: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Explore further: FDA approves second vaccine against meningitis strain

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Standalone wireless info display device an easy fit

31 minutes ago

A Latvian team has come up with a good-looking WiFi display device, connecting to the Internet using WiFi, which runs on a high-capacity built-in battery and tracks what's important to you. This is a standalone ...

Technology improves avalanche gear for backcountry skiers

2 hours ago

As outdoor recreation companies increasingly cater to skiers and snowboarders who like to venture beyond the groomed slopes at ski resorts and tackle backcountry terrain, they've put a special emphasis on gear and equipment ...

The elephant poaching business in numbers

2 hours ago

From the pittance paid to local poachers to a multi-billion dollar industry, here are some of the key numbers related to Africa's endangered elephants:

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

2 hours ago

UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

Recommended for you

Medical charity warns India over patent rules

Jan 21, 2015

Doctors without Borders on Wednesday warned the Indian government not to bow to US pressure to amend patent regulations that allow millions access to affordable medicines, ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama.

Why are some generic drugs getting so expensive?

Jan 21, 2015

More than eight out of every 10 prescriptions dispensed in the US is generic. This growth is due to a large number of top-selling drugs going off patent over the past decade, as well as innovations in t ...

Supreme Court sides with Teva in drug dispute

Jan 20, 2015

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in the company's high-profile patent dispute with rival firms over the top-selling multiple sclerosis drug.

User comments : 0

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.