Metabolosomes: The Organizing Principle of Latency in Mtb
Kyu Rhee of Weill Cornell Medical College in the U.S. will test the theory that the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium uses protein-based structures termed metabolosomes to enter into, maintain, and exit from latency or non-replication. Understanding how metabolosomes work will aid in development of drugs that target TB. This project's Phase I research demonstrated that latent or non-replicating M. tuberculosis undergo a metabolic remodeling that is accompanied by the reversible formation of enzyme-based metabolosomes. In Phase II, Rhee and colleagues will characterize and determine how essential these metabolosomes are to entering and exiting latency or non-replication, which could help identify them as targets for new drug therapies for TB.