Drug Target Discovery
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the causative agent of Tuberculosis (TB ) and responsible for approximately two million deaths and nine million new cases per year (http://www.tballiance.org). Due to the rising prevalence of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis strains and the recent outbreak of extreme drug resistant strains new drugs are urgently needed. The current drugs given are more than 40 years old emphasising the need to identify new Mtb protein targets and drugs using novel methods.
We have downloaded the whole genome sequences from these three South Africa strains (XDR (KZN 605), MDR (KZN 1435), and DS (KZN 4207)) from the Broad institute website and identified drug resistance metabolic pathways of first and second-line anti-TB drugs. Novel drug targets in these metabolic pathways have been investigated and certain drug targets have been selected for investigation based on a selective criteria. We intend setting up an in house protocol for modeling the three-dimensional structures of these Mtb candidate proteins by performing homology modelling using MODELLER software and in-silico docking studies using (Autodock-vina) in order to identify novel drugs. This work might contribute to an understanding of protein interaction and speed up the drug discovery process in the fight against TB.