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Nat Chem Biol. 2013 Nov;9(11):674-6. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1355. Epub 2013 Sep 29.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis nitrogen assimilation and host colonization require aspartate.

Author information

  • 11] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse, France. [2] Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse, France.

Erratum in

  • Nat Chem Biol. 2014 Feb;10(2):164. Gerquin-Kern, Jean-Luc [corrected to Guerquin-Kern, Jean-Luc].


Here we identify the amino acid transporter AnsP1 as the unique aspartate importer in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Metabolomic analysis of a mutant with an inactive AnsP1 revealed that the transporter is essential for M. tuberculosis to assimilate nitrogen from aspartate. Virulence of the AnsP1 mutant is impaired in vivo, revealing that aspartate is a primary nitrogen source required for host colonization by the tuberculosis bacillus.

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