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Trends Microbiol. 2008 Nov;16(11):528-34. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Oct 3.

PhoP, a key player in Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence.

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Public Health Research Institute Center, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, 225 Warren Street Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis PhoPR two-component system is essential for virulence in animal models of tuberculosis. Recent articles have shown that among the reasons for the attenuation of the M. tuberculosis H37Ra strain is a mutation in the phoP gene that prevents the secretion of proteins that are important for virulence. There is a need for new anti-tubercular therapies because of the emergence of multi-drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains and also the variable efficacy of the currently used bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine. Because of its major role in M. tuberculosis pathogenicity, PhoP is a potential target candidate. This review summarizes our understanding of PhoPR's role in virulence and discusses areas in which our knowledge is limited.

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