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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 May;94(4):907-16. doi: 10.1007/s00253-012-4013-4. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Antituberculars which target decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-ribofuranose 2'-oxidase DprE1: state of art.

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Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie Lazzaro Spallanzani, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 9, Pavia, Italy.


Multidrug resistance is a major barrier in the battle against tuberculosis and still a leading cause of death worldwide. In order to fight this pathogen, two routes are practicable: vaccination or drug treatment. Vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis with the current vaccine Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is partially successful, being its efficacy variable. A few new tuberculosis vaccines are now in various phases of clinical trials. The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis gave the impulse to discover new effective antitubercular drugs, a few of which are in clinical development. Here we focus on three different classes of very promising antitubercular drugs recently discovered (benzothiazinones, dinitrobenzamides, and benzoquinoxalines) that share the same cellular target: a subunit of the heteromeric decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D: -ribose 2'-epimerase, encoded by the dprE1 (or Rv3790) gene. This enzyme is involved in the biosynthesis of D: -arabinose which is crucial for the synthesis of the mycobacterial cell wall and essential for the pathogen's survival.

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