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Exploration of Ion Channels in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Implication on Drug Discovery and Potent Drug Targets Against Tuberculosis

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Scientific interest in mycobacteria has been sparked by the medical importance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that is known to cause severe diseases in mammals, i.e. tuberculosis and by properties that distinguish them from other microorganisms which are notoriously difficult to treat. The treatment of their infections is difficult because mycobacteria fortify themselves with a thick impermeable cell envelope. Channel and transporter proteins are among the crucial adaptations of Mycobacterium that facilitate their strength to combat against host immune system and anti-tuberculosis drugs. In previous studies, it was investigated that some of the channel proteins contribute to the overall antibiotic resistance in Mtb. Moreover, in some of the cases, membrane proteins were found responsible for virulence of these pathogens. Given the ability of M. tuberculosis to survive as an intracellular pathogen and its inclination to develop resistance to the prevailing anti-tuberculosis drugs, its treatment requires new approaches and optimization of anti-TB drugs and investigation of new targets are needed for their potential in clinical usage. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate the survival of Mtb. in stressed conditions with different behavior of particular channel/ transporter proteins. Comprehensive understanding of channel proteins and their mechanism will provide us direction to find out preventive measures against the emergence of resistance and reduce the duration of the treatment, eventually leading to plausible eradication of tuberculosis.
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Keywords: Ion channels; Mycobacterium; drug discovery; membrane proteins; potent drug targets; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

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    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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