A synthetic non-hemolytic polymer specific for planktonic as well as localized mycobacteria.

Dr. Bajaj’s group at RCB in collaboration with Dr. Aasheesh Srivastava from IISER Bhopal are making continuous efforts towards exploring novel antibacterial molecules that could evade the problem of antimicrobial resistance by targeting bacterial membrane. For targeting an even challenging mycobacterial membrane, they are developing amphiphiles to act brilliantly against the hydrophobic lipid rich membranes by modulating their charge and hydrophobicity. Further broadening the anti-mycobacterial research, they have now showed the activity of novel polymeric derivatives of Polyaspartic acid that could not only effectively kill planktonic and intracellular mycobacteria but also their robust biofilms. These non-hemolytic polymers that were inactive against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria showed good activity against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains. The in-vitro studies presented here include thorough mechanistic as well as microscopic investigations for a clear understanding of the action mechanism of the polymers. Their efficiency in killing localized mycobacteria as well as the pathway for internalization in macrophages was elucidated using biochemical assays of in-vitro infection; that can help in engineering of future anti-mycobacterial therapeutics.

For full article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00106


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