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JNU and BHU research could help beat drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria | India News


NEW DELHI: Over the years, tuberculosis and malaria have developed resistance to most drugs, including antibiotics. This is because most drug research focuses on attacking the pathogen: the tuberculosis bacteria or the malaria parasite. Now 22 researchers from JNU and BHU have shifted the focus to host cells that are infected and isolated a molecule that may help counteract drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria.
What they have done is use the defense mechanisms of the pathogens against themselves. “Intracellular pathogens sequester essential intracellular pathways from the host to establish infection and spread,” the study said. For example, after invading a host, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis produce a toxin called TNT (necrotizing tuberculosis toxin) that kills immune cells by depleting a cell molecule, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +), which aids metabolism. . Too little NAD + can kill immune cells. But TNT can also kill bacteria.
The bacteria then produce another chemical, a natural inhibitor of the toxin, called IFT (immunity factor for TNT). “We use the IFT inhibitor to attack toxins within human cells. We prevented the death of these cells, we were able to maintain NAD + levels and reduce the growth of tuberculosis bacteria, “said Anand Ranganathan, professor, special center for molecular medicine, JNU, and co-author of the study published in Nature magazine ‘Cell Death & Discovery’ on Thursday. Since malaria parasites operate similarly, they tested the effect of NAD + regulation on host cells. “We found that NAD + deprived red blood cells do not support invasion by malaria parasites,” said co-author Shailja Singh, associate professor, Special Center for Molecular Medicine, JNU. The regulation of this molecule could open avenues to develop drugs. So they started looking for ways to design and synthesize “look-alike” NAD +. “These compounds were tested against the activity of the tuberculosis toxin and its inhibitory activity against both pathogens,” said co-author Ram Sagar Misra, associate professor in the department of chemistry at BHU. “They did not show host cell toxicity, establishing their potential as drug candidates.” His next line of research will be to develop these compounds into drugs.

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