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Infectious disease


Mycobacterium tuberculosis membrane protein MmpS4 (mmpS4); mmpS5

In vitro studies suggest inhibiting siderophore secretion in M. tuberculosis could help treat tuberculosis. MmpS4 and mmpS5 are required for M. tuberculosis siderophore export, which facilitates iron scavenging. In M. tuberculosis, mutant mmpS4 and mmpS5 led to defective siderophore export, iron uptake and cell growth. In M. tuberculosis with the mutant membrane proteins, compared with M. tuberculosis with wild-type membrane proteins, exogenous siderophores did not restore cell growth and led to increased cell death. Next steps could include identifying points of therapeutic intervention in the siderophore pathway.

SciBX 7(5); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.147
Published online Feb. 6, 2014

Findings unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Jones, C.M. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Jan. 13, 2013;
Contact: Michael Niederweis, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.