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New drugs for the post-antibiotic era by targeting glutamate racemase

36 months
Approved budget:
Professor Kurt Krause
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Lay summary
There is an urgent need to develop new antimicrobials as the world-wide spread of drug-resistant bacteria threatens to create a post-antibiotic era in which diseases like tuberculosis and even routine bacterial infection cannot be effectively treated. Glutamate racemase is an essential enzyme in bacteria and is an excellent target for structure based drug discovery. We propose to use the structure of this enzyme as a scaffold for drug development in a multi-disciplinary approach that includes medicinal chemistry, structural biology, and microbial genetics. We have verified the essentiality of this enzyme in mycobacteria, solved its three-dimensional structure and identified inhibitors in preparation for initiating this project. We propose here a plan to capitalise on these advances in order to develop new drugs for tuberculosis.