97% of all tuberculosis proteins covered
In order to produce this resource, the team of researchers initially analysed the entire tuberculosis proteome. In doing so, they cut the proteins isolated from the Mycobacterium into many small pieces, so-called peptides, and measured them using the mass spectrometer. For every protein, they then singled out representative peptides that produced the clearest signal. They synthesised over 17,000 peptides in all and produced SRM measurement profiles for every individual piece of protein, thereby covering around 97 % of the roughly 4,000 tuberculosis proteins described. The key data of these profiles now serve as a guide to aid other scientists in finding every single protein of the pathogen.
With their overall analysis of the proteome, Schubert and her colleagues achieved such a high resolution that they even discovered previously unknown proteins, managing to add twenty-two new ones to the list of tuberculosis proteins. "Although the genome sequence of the mycobacterium has long been known, we haven't been able to decode the entire proteome yet," explains Schubert.
May aid new therapies and early detection
Researchers focus on the proteins of pathogens as they constitute the main target for new medication. Tuberculosis is still regarded as a dangerous disease, especially for patients with a weakened immune system, and multi-resistant strains of the bacteria that no longer respond to medication are increasingly becoming a problem. The classic search for new pharmaceutical products by combing through known substances for an antibacterial agent has not been as successful as expected. Scientists hope that basic research will produce results that might uncover new weak points for medication to attack. The tuberculosis proteome atlas could go a long way towards achieving this.
The coordinates recorded in it are so specific that tuberculosis prote
|Contact: Olga Schubert|