New target for infectious diseases unravelled

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bacteria, Infectious disease, Malaria

Scientists have determined the structure of a key target enzyme for
novel drug development to treat infectious diseases, including
malaria and tuberculosis.

A European team of scientists has determined the structure of a key target enzyme for novel drug development to treat infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted bacterial infections.

The results of their collaboration are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers, from the University of Dundee in the UK, Germany's Technical University of Munich and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF1) in France, worked out the structure of the enzyme, called 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-D-erythritol kinase (CDP-ME kinase), with the help of one of the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the ESRF.

The kinase is involved in the synthesis of many of the factors that bacteria and parasites need to survive and reproduce inside the host, according to the researchers.

The determination of the structure of the enzyme provides a template for the design of small molecules that will inhibit its action and prevent it from working normally. In the future, the structure may help lead to the development of new therapies for a wide range of microbial infections, including not only malaria and tuberculosis but also toxoplasmosis, chlamydia, meningitis and cholera.

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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