Aids Weekly Plus
Medical Science News reports that pyridomycin, a natural antibiotic produced by non-pathogenic soil bacteria, could be very effective in fighting TB. Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne’s Global Health Institute, discovered pyridomycin’s effect on TB in 2012. The antibiotic inhibited the action of the “InhA” enzyme, an important enzyme for the TB bacterium.
TB bacterium needs the InhA enzyme as well as a cofactor to create the cell membrane. Pyridomycin binds with the cofactor and neutralizes it. Pyridomycin also blocks the InhA binding site, which is another element the bacterium uses for forming the membrane. Pyridomycin’s inhibition of the InhA enzyme causes the bacterium’s membrane to burst. The dual action reduces the possibility of TB resistance, since two mutations must exist simultaneously to develop resistance.
According to the research, pyridomycin binds effectively to the molecules; however, it cannot be used therapeutically yet, because it would not last long enough in the patient’s body. Researchers are working on developing a more robust version of the molecule. Stewart Cole, director of the Global Health Institute and leader of the research, believes that eventually they could multiply the binding sites and inhibit critical functions of other pathogenic bacteria.
The full report, “Pyridomycin Bridges the NADH- and Substrate-Binding Pockets of the Enoyl reductase InhA,” was published online in the journal Nature Chemical Biology (2013; doi:10.1038/nchembio.1405).