Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the etiologic agent responsible for the worldwide spread of Tuberculosis (TB) that remains the world’s worst bacterial disease in terms of number of annual deaths (2 to 3 millions).
The recent recrudescence of infections is associated with the emergence of multidrug-resistant Mtb strains. The discovery of new essential functions in pathways different to those targeted by conventional antibiotics thus appears essential to combat this disease. In the last decade there has been a worldwide increased awareness of the importance of iron and sulfur in the development of TB1,2.
This has led to the identification of a set of genes possibly encoding for the only and essential iron-sulphur (Fe-S) cluster biogenesis machinery known in Mtb, that show a considerable homology with E. coli Suf genes3,4.
We are aiming to achieve the molecular characterization of the Fe-S biogenesis in Mtb to identify new targets for drug design.
Keywords: Tuberculosis, protein biochemistry, iron-sulfur cluster, infection