Transcriptional regulation in M. tuberculosis

In Collaboration with Prof. Neil Stoker and Dr Sharon Kendall, Royal Veterinary College, London

We have recently showed that the essential transcriptional regulator KstR, which has previously been implicated in pathogenesis, directly controls the expression of many lipid metabolism genes in M. tuberculosis. Additionally, a similar transcriptional regulator, KstR2, has also been identified to control a smaller regulon. KstR and KstR2 both belong to the TetR family of transcriptional regulators, and our hypothesis is that the activation of KstR and/or KstR2 is triggered by lipid ligands derived from the human host, triggering bacterial adaptation to the intracellular environment. We are aiming to structurally and functionally characterise these transcription factors to discover more about their mode of action.