Structural and functional characterization of Suf operon enzymes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) | Department of Life Sciences

Structural and functional characterization of Suf operon enzymes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb)

Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellow project is sanctioned by the DBT to Dr. Rajan Vyas for a period of five years with the grant amount of 32.5 Lakhs.

Project summary

All living organisms utilize proteins that contain an iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster as a prosthetic group for a variety of cellular processes, including respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport, regulation of gene expression, sensing reactive species, radical generation, disulfide cleavage, and sulfur donation.

Three distinct systems of bacterial origin are responsible for the biosynthesis of Fe-S clusters known as NIF (nitrogen fixation), ISC (iron-sulfur cluster), and SUF (sulfur mobilization). ISC and SUF are complex, multi-component machinery while the NIF system is less complex. The SUF system plays an important role in pathogenic bacteria like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can acquire iron and resist oxidative burst, the key properties for bacterial initiation of infection.

SUF operon proteins play a crucial role in the Fe-S cluster biosynthesis, during adverse stress conditions such as iron starvation and oxidative and heavy metal stresses. Moreover, the SUF system plays an important role in pathogenic bacteria like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can acquire iron and resist oxidative burst, the key properties for bacterial initiation of the infection. Thus, our lab is aiming to work on the structural and functional aspects of the M. tb SUF operon to characterize the role of each protein in the formation of the Fe-S complex at the molecular level. Additionally, our studies will further unlock a path for structure-based drug designing (SBDD) using the structural information and could lead to a drug molecule against the deadly disease TB.

Faculty

Assistant Professor