TB or not TB

Edward Yu and colleagues in the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University have described the structure of a regulator that controls the expression of a protein pump that allows the TB-causing microbe Mycobacterium tuberculosis to get rid of different antibiotics, an ability which endows certain strains of the bacteria with drug resistance. “It is obvious that the emergence of these drug-resistant TB strains has evolved into a major threat and challenges our global prospects for TB control,” Yu and colleagues explain. “Thus, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance in M. tuberculosis is essential for the development of new strategies to combat this disease.