Nature releases first blueprint for tuberculosis regulation

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the pathogenic bacteria of tuberculosis TB. People have conducted research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis for many years, but so far it has not been able to fully analyze its adaptive mechanism. Now, a large-scale study by a number of research institutions has shown the basic regulatory network of TB pathogens. The article was published in this week's Nature magazine. Analyzing the bacterial gene regulation network can help people understand the survival mechanism of bacteria in the host body, and develop effective new treatment based on this. It is estimated that about one-third of people in the world are latent in TB pathogens, most of which are dormant in the lungs. In 2011 alone, 8.7 million people worldwide suffered from tuberculosis, of which 1.4 million people died from the disease. It is believed that in the pathogenesis of TB, the adaptation of pathogenic bacteria to hypoxic conditions is critical.

"We hope to understand the mechanism by which TB pathogens respond to changes in host environmental conditions, including adaptation to hypoxic conditions and response to drug intervention," said Dr. David Sherman, who participated in this study. "We need to analyze the relationship between pathogenic bacteria genes and regulatory molecules before we can understand the adaptation of pathogenic bacteria to environmental changes." ChIP-Seq technology can be used to analyze the interaction between proteins and DNA. The researchers identified the binding of 50 regulatory transcription factors and DNA in the TB pathogenic bacteria using the above technology, and initially constructed a regulatory map of the TB gene. This regulatory network shows that there is a direct correlation between hypoxic response and lipid metabolism, and this conclusion has been verified by subsequent experiments.

In the past, there have been some studies linking transcription factors to genes, but according to Sherman, this is the first time that a comprehensive regulatory network has been constructed. "Before this, no one had performed ChIP-Seq on all transcription factors of an organism," he said. "This is by far the most comprehensive map of gene regulation." This study can make people more systematically view the interaction of genes in TB pathogenic bacteria. The researchers emphasize that every tuberculosis researcher can benefit from this gene regulation network. "Pulmonary tuberculosis researchers can better understand the relationship between the target gene and the whole with the help of regulatory maps," he said. "Analyze the connections between different genomic regions."

Researchers are studying more transcription factors, constantly filling and improving the regulatory network of TB pathogens. They hope to be able to predict the impact of drugs on the viability of pathogenic bacteria on this basis, and accelerate the development of special drugs for tuberculosis.

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