Tuberculosis (TB) is a respiratory disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that kills around 1.3 million people annually. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) strains are increasingly encountered, in part resulting from shortcomings of current TB drug regimens that last between six to nine months. Patients may stop taking the antibiotics during their allotted regimen, leading to drug resistant TB strains. Novel drug screening platforms are therefore necessary to find drugs effective against MDR-TB. In order to discover compounds that target under-exploited pathways that may be essential only in vivo, the proposed screening platform will use a novel approach to drug discovery by blocking essential protein-protein interactions (PPI). In Mtb, PPI can be monitored by mycobacterial protein fragment complementation (M-PFC). This project will re-engineer the M-PFC assay to include the red fluorescent mCherry reporter for increased efficiency and sensitivity in high-throughput screening applications. To optimize the mCherry assay, we have developed fluorescent M-PFC reporter strains to monitor distinct PPI required for Mtb virulence: homodimerization of the dormancy regulator DosR. A drug screen will then identify novel compounds that inhibit this essential PPI. The screen will involve positional-scanning combinatorial synthetic libraries, which are made up of chemical compounds with varying side chains. This work will develop novel tools for TB drug discovery that could identify new treatments for the emerging world threat of MDR-TB.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine; Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Versfeld, Zina, "Development of a Fluorescent Drug Screening Platform for Inhibitors of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Protein-Protein Interactions" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1851.