Tuberculosis Protein New Discovery 2020 // Cornelius GATI


We were studying a protein involved in
tuberculosis and we have discovered a strange new feature of a molecule that’s
important to disease progression. It turns out to be a generalist in shuttle
many different molecules into the bacteria. We’ve never seen anything like
that before. Now the question is what purpose does protein serve and could it
help us fight tuberculosis in the long run. Tuberculosis bacteria actually grow
very slowly. It can take up to two years to treat with antibiotics and this also
means that it’s very hard to study. Everything people study on the bug
itself just takes a very long time Tuberculosis is genetically very different from
other material, making it hard to translate what we learned from other
bacteria on to the disease. It naturally lives inside cells of the immune system.
It’s like a criminal hiding in the trunk of a police car. It’s hiding in plain
sight which makes it impossible for the immune system to fight. Passing the cell membrane is one of the
main bottlenecks in antibiotic research. Our hypothesis is that this molecule is
one of the key transporters to shuttle antibiotics into the cell. The hope is
that we will use this knowledge to design new antibiotics that can enter
the cell through this specific channel. This study has raised as many questions
as it answers. Questions about tuberculosis. The bigger questions about
biology in general. It’s an exciting moment

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