TB R&D Weekly Update: P27-P55 Operon of Mtb and Drug Resistance

BiBianco MV , Blanco FC, Imperiale B, Forrellad MA , Rocha RV, Klepp LI , Cataldi AA , Morcillo N, Bigi F. Role of P27 -P55 operon from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the resistance to toxic compounds. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2011 Jul 16; 11:195. [Epub ahead of print]

This week, we present an article from researchers from the Instituto de Biotecnologia and TB Control Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The article focuses on the P27-P55 operon which has been shown in mice to be essential for M. tuberculosis (M. tb) to survive in the host. P27 encodes a glycoprotein used to modulate the immune response against M.tb and P55 encodes an efflux pump that may have a role in drug resistance in TB. The authors set out to determine the role of P27 and P55 to resistance and in cell wall integrity of M. tb. Key points from the article:

  • P27 is secreted outside of the bacterium and is also a component of the cell wall.
  • Through their experiments, the authors provide evidence that P55 is also involved in maintaining the cell wall impermeability of M. tb.
  • Using mutants that do not express P-27-P55 and various sensitivity assays, the authors showed that M. tb became more sensitive to various toxic compounds.
  • The presence of P55 alone can restore resistance of M. tb to the various toxic compounds.
  • P27 and P55 are functionally connected to maintaining cell wall impermeability and in resistance to toxic compounds like drugs
  • P27-P55 may be a target for drug development for M. tb.

Additional TB R&D News:

WHO: Blood tests for tuberculosis are unreliable

Mayo Clinic Licenses Patent Rights for M. tuberculosis Complex Speciation

HIV and TB Co-Infection: A Perfect Storm

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis β-oxidation genes echA5 and fadB3 are dispensable for growth in vitro and in vivo

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