Mycocyclosin-based photoaffinity probes

Professors Munro and Hutton have an established collaboration investigating enzymes from the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), with the overarching aim to characterize their functions and exploit these proteins as novel drug targets. The gene encoding for the Mtb enzyme CYP121 is essential for mycobacterial viability. CYP121 generates the natural product, mycocyclosin, an oxidatively modified cyclic dipeptide. It is therefore postulated that mycocyclosin has a crucial role in Mtb viability – yet the biological role of this compound remains unknown. Determination of the function of mycocyclosin in Mtb proliferation will present new opportunities for the development of novel anti-TB drugs. The aim of this collaborative project is to elucidate the molecular target of mycocyclosin and thus unravel its role in Mtb biology, leading to new targets for the development of anti-TB drugs.

Supervisors:

The University of Melbourne: Craig Hutton.

University of Manchester: Andrew Munro