New Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Study Offers Novel Paradigm for Understanding Bacterial Transcription

The mycobacterium behind tuberculosis is a wily foe, adept at bobbing and weaving around the immune system and antibiotics alike. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has been notoriously difficult to eradicate, often dormant in the body for years only to reactivate when the time is ripe.  Now, new research reveals how Mtb controls its gene expression, which may provide clues as to how it adapts to challenging environmental conditions. The findings, published February 28, 2024 in Nature, could ultimately offer drug targets that would stop Mtb in its tracks. “It’s a very smart bacterium, with a lot of tricks,” says Rockefeller’s Shixin Liu, PhD. “Now that we have exposed how it regulates gene expression, we can use that information to think about how we might inhibit its lifecycle.” The open-access article is titled “Incomplete Transcripts Dominate the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Transcriptome.”

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