A new strategy to stop the TB bacterium

A small molecule packs a punch

β-lactone 7, a small molecule that inhibits the ClpP enzyme in bacteria, may be important in development of new anti-bacterial drugs. The bacterium that causes tuberculosis cannot survive when ClpP is inhibited. Credit: Sello lab/Brown University

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis may have an Achilles’ heel: It needs a particular enzyme to survive. Inhibiting that enzyme’s function, researchers have shown, will kill the bacteria, pointing toward a design strategy for new TB drugs.