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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2012 Sep;10(9):1037-47. doi: 10.1586/eri.12.90.

WhiB7, a transcriptional activator that coordinates physiology with intrinsic drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Current tuberculosis treatment regimens are notoriously limited, lengthy and becoming increasingly ineffective due to the emergence of drug-resistant mutant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The intrinsic resistance of M. tuberculosis to the majority of available drugs relies both on the impermeability of its cell envelope, and its ability to activate specific genes and physiological states. WhiB7 is a transcriptional regulatory protein underlying this adaptive process. Transcription of the whiB7 gene is upregulated in response to a variety of antibiotics having different structures and targets, as well as in response to metabolic signals. The whiB7 regulon activates various systems of intrinsic drug resistance involving antibiotic export, antibiotic inactivation (by chemical modifications of the drug or its target) and significant changes to thiol redox balance. Drugs have been identified that inactivate resistance determinants in the whiB7 regulon, thereby potentiating the activities of diverse antibiotics against M. tuberculosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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