Chemical approaches to unraveling the biology of mycobacteria.

Cell chemical biology, Volume: 30, Issue: 5
May 18, 2023
Peter Finin P, R M Naseer Khan RMN, Sangmi Oh S, Helena I M Boshoff HIM, Clifton E Barry CE

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), perhaps more than any other organism, is intrinsically appealing to chemical biologists. Not only does the cell envelope feature one of the most complex heteropolymers found in nature but many of the interactions between Mtb and its primary host (we humans) rely on lipid and not protein mediators. Many of the complex lipids, glycolipids, and carbohydrates biosynthesized by the bacterium still have unknown functions, and the complexity of the pathological processes by which tuberculosis (TB) disease progress offers many opportunities for these molecules to influence the human response. Because of the importance of TB in global public health, chemical biologists have applied a wide-ranging array of techniques to better understand the disease and improve interventions.

Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine