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Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers study the structure of drug resistance in tuberculosis
Date:8/22/2012

AMES, Iowa Edward Yu took note of the facts nearly 2 million deaths each year, 9 million infected each year, developments of multidrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant and now totally drug-resistant strains and decided to shift his research focus to tuberculosis.

Yu, an Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researcher, has described in the journal Nature the three-part structure that allows E. coli bacteria to pump out toxins and resist antibiotics.

And now, in a paper published online by the journal Nucleic Acids Research, a research team led by Yu describes the structure of a regulator that controls the expression of the multidrug efflux pump in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Yu a professor of physics and astronomy, of chemistry, of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology in Iowa State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory said the latest study is a starting point for a better understanding of how the tuberculosis bacterium is able to resist drugs.

The development of strains totally resistant to drugs "inspired us to move in this direction and try to understand the mechanism in developing drug resistance," Yu said.

"It is obvious that the emergence of these drug-resistant TB strains has evolved into a major threat and challenges our global prospects for TB control," Yu's research team wrote in its latest paper. "Thus, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance in M. tuberculosis is essential for the development of new strategies to combat this disease."

Yu's research is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers' use of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

In addition to Yu, the research team includes Qijing Zhang
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Contact: Edward Yu
ewyu@iastate.edu
515-294-4955
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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