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Structural Genomics Project creates blueprint for infectious disease and biodefense research
Date:9/1/2011

combines the best of academia and industry. Instead of competing on infectious disease targets and drug compounds as traditional pharma or biotech companies do, we are building a shared knowledge base aimed at addressing important unmet needs."

The manuscripts featured in Acta Cryst F discuss potential drug-targets from organisms that cause some of the world's deadliest diseases, including emerging pathogens and possible bioterror agents. One paper in the September edition features new insight into an iron-binding protein (called rubredoxin) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), a disease which is responsible for nearly two million deaths annually. The new understanding of the protein's biological function revealed by this structure may speed up the development of new drug therapies urgently needed to prevent TB epidemics due to the recent emergence of multi drug-resistant (MDR) and extremely drug-resistant (XDR) strains.

Coccidioides immitis, a lesser-known organism featured in the SSGCID special edition, causes coccidioidomycisis or "Valley Fever" in the southwestern U.S. This sometimes-fatal disease can be contracted when a person breathes fungal spores from dust or dirt that has been disturbed by wind, and can cause fever, chest pain and coughing, among other more severe symptoms. The genome of C. immitis was sequenced recently, but very few of its proteins have been structurally characterized. The structures solved by SSGCID will increase the understanding of important enzymes involved in detoxification and nucleotide biosynthesis/salvage within this pathogenic fungus.

According to Myler, scientists from the SSCGID and its sister organization, the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), which is led by Dr. Wayne Anderson of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, gathered in Seattle in early August to review structures solved to date and determine priori
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Contact: Jennifer Mortensen
jennifer.mortensen@seattlebiomed.org
206-256-7220
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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