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Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

CLONING AND EXPRESSION OF LuxR FAMILY GENES IN Mycobacteriumtuberculosis

Neha Kumari

Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai

Prof. Sharmistha Banerjee

Professor, Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is a transmissible human disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). TB typically affects the lungs, but it can also spread to other organs of the body Tuberculosis spreads through air.Once it is inhaled, our body’s immune system is stimulated. In most of the people, their immune system either kills the bacteria or builds a defensive barrier around the infected site called a granuloma. Inside the granuloma, the TB bacteria are not killed and lie in a dormant state, which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. If the immune system fails to build the defensive barrier, or the barrier fails later, the bacteria get active and invade the immune system. “In the past recent years, TB has become the number one cause of death from an infectious disease” . Though there exist various lines of drugs to treat it, there is a need for new targets to overcome the challenge of treating multidrug resistant and extreme drug resistant bacteria. So, we aim to study quorum sensing in mycobacterium as a possible target. Quorum sensing (QS) is a mode of communication commonly found in bacteria. Using chemical signaling molecules they sense the cell density around them and regulate the expression of genes according to it. Many microbial processes are dependent on this pathway, for example Sporulation, Biofilm formation, Virulence and Conjugation. QS in mycobacterium has not been studied in detail. Our earlier in-silico analysis suggests the presence of some QS components of established QS systems in the genome of Mycobacterium. Although some of the main components were lacking, we did find the rest of the components. We now hypothesize that presence of LuxR family genes in the genome of mycobacteria is linked to quorum sensing. We aim to clone the candidate genes in a suitable vector. The construct(s) will be used to express and purify the recombinant proteins for biochemical studies.

Keywords: Quorum Sensing (QS), Multidrug resistance bacteria.

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