Hyderabad: Scientists at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) have discovered a novel protein which could lead to development of a therapy for tuberculosis.
Rv1988, the mycobacterial protein identified by a team of scientists, modulates the human cell's response to the mycobacterium tuberclulosis (Mtb), a breakthrough which can lead to development of a drug or become a potential diagnostic biomarker for active tuberculosis.
The team led by Sanjeev Khosla, group head, Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics, CDFD, conducted the study, which was recently been published in the prestigious journal "Nature Communications".
CDFD director Giriraj R. Chandak said they have filed the patent for the discovery and the centre will now work with clinicians to explore the possibility of developing a drug.
"We will now talk to clinicians and private partners like pharma companies or who have complete know how in drug development," he said, adding the the task before them was to find how to inhibit this protein or bind an enzyme which can reverse what this protein does.
"This is an important discovery because we have come to know what this organism does. It's a double whammy here. It not only causes toxicity but also releases a protein which reduces your capability to respond to that infection," he said.
The pathogenic organism produces protein which enters nucleus of host cell, binds two specific sequences in a gene and regulate some expressions of specific gene product which are related to immune function.
During the five month long study, the team tried to understand the interaction between the pathogenic mycobacteria with the human cell during infection.