In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (6)

Articles by Xingji Zheng in JoVE

Other articles by Xingji Zheng on PubMed

Novel Substrates of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis PknH Ser/Thr Kinase

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Mar, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17286964

PknH Ser/Thr protein kinase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis controls the expression of a variety of cell wall related enzymes and regulates the in vivo growth in mice. Therefore, we predicted that the PknH kinase could phosphorylate several substrates controlling different metabolic and physiological pathways. Using a bioinformatic approach, we identified 40 potential substrates. Two substrates were shown to be phosphorylated by recombinant PknH kinase in vitro. Point mutation studies verified that substrates are phosphorylated at the in silico-predicted sites. Kinetic studies revealed a similar relative-phosphorylation rate (V(max)) of PknH towards two new substrates and the only previously known substrate, EmbR. Unlike the EmbR protein, the Rv0681 and DacB1 proteins do not contain an FHA domain and are possible participants of new signaling pathways mediated by the PknH kinase in M. tuberculosis.

Protein Kinase and Phosphatase Signaling in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Physiology and Pathogenesis

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 19766738

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the etiological agent of tuberculosis (TB), evades the antimicrobial defenses of the host and survives within the infected individual through a complex set of strategies. These include active prevention of host cellular killing processes as well as overwhelming adaptive gene expression. In the past decade, we have gained an increased understanding of how mycobacteria not only have the ability to adapt to a changing host environment but also actively interfere with the signaling machinery within the host cell to counteract or inhibit parts of the killing apparatus employed by the macrophage. Mtb is able to sense its environment via a set of phospho-signaling proteins which mediate its response and interaction with the host in a coordinated manner. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about selected Mtb serine, threonine, and tyrosine kinase and phosphatase signaling proteins, focusing on the protein kinases, PknG and PtkA, and the protein phosphatase, PtpA.

Convergence of Ser/Thr and Two-component Signaling to Coordinate Expression of the Dormancy Regulon in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20630871

Signal transduction in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is mediated primarily by the Ser/Thr protein kinases and the two-component systems. The Ser/Thr kinase PknH has been shown to regulate growth of M. tuberculosis in a mouse model and in response to NO stress in vitro. Comparison of a pknH deletion mutant (ΔpknH) with its parental M. tuberculosis H37Rv strain using iTRAQ enabled us to quantify >700 mycobacterial proteins. Among these, members of the hypoxia- and NO-inducible dormancy (DosR) regulon were disregulated in the ΔpknH mutant. Using kinase assays, protein-protein interactions, and mass spectrometry analysis, we demonstrated that the two-component response regulator DosR is a substrate of PknH. PknH phosphorylation of DosR mapped to Thr(198) and Thr(205) on the key regulatory helix α10 involved in activation and dimerization of DosR. PknH Thr phosphorylation and DosS Asp phosphorylation of DosR cooperatively enhanced DosR binding to cognate DNA sequences. Transcriptional analysis comparing ΔpknH and parental M. tuberculosis revealed that induction of the DosR regulon was subdued in the ΔpknH mutant in response to NO. Together, these results indicate that PknH phosphorylation of DosR is required for full induction of the DosR regulon and demonstrate convergence of the two major signal transduction systems for the first time in M. tuberculosis.

Synergistic Drug Combinations for Tuberculosis Therapy Identified by a Novel High-throughput Screen

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21576426

Therapeutic options for tuberculosis (TB) are limited and notoriously ineffective despite the wide variety of potent antibiotics available for treating other bacterial infections. We investigated an approach that enables an expansion of TB therapeutic strategies by using synergistic combinations of drugs. To achieve this, we devised a high-throughput synergy screen (HTSS) of chemical libraries having known pharmaceutical properties, including thousands that are clinically approved. Spectinomycin was used to test the concept that clinically available antibiotics with limited efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis might be used for TB treatment when coadministered with a synergistic partner compound used as a sensitizer. Screens using Mycobacterium smegmatis revealed many compounds in our libraries that acted synergistically with spectinomycin. Among them, several families of antimicrobial compounds, including macrolides and azoles, were also synergistic against M. tuberculosis in vitro and in a macrophage model of M. tuberculosis infection. Strikingly, each sensitizer identified for synergy with spectinomycin uniquely enhanced the activities of other clinically used antibiotics, revealing a remarkable number of unexplored synergistic drug combinations. HTSS also revealed a novel activity for bromperidol, a butyrophenone used as an antipsychotic drug, which was discovered to be bactericidal and greatly enhanced the activities of several antibiotics and drug combinations against M. tuberculosis. Our results suggest that many compounds in the currently available pharmacopoeia could be readily mobilized for TB treatment, including disease caused by multi- and extensively drug-resistant strains for which there are no effective therapies.

Nitazoxanide Stimulates Autophagy and Inhibits MTORC1 Signaling and Intracellular Proliferation of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

PLoS Pathogens. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22589723

Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the world today. M. tuberculosis hijacks the phagosome-lysosome trafficking pathway to escape clearance from infected macrophages. There is increasing evidence that manipulation of autophagy, a regulated catabolic trafficking pathway, can enhance killing of M. tuberculosis. Therefore, pharmacological agents that induce autophagy could be important in combating tuberculosis. We report that the antiprotozoal drug nitazoxanide and its active metabolite tizoxanide strongly stimulate autophagy and inhibit signaling by mTORC1, a major negative regulator of autophagy. Analysis of 16 nitazoxanide analogues reveals similar strict structural requirements for activity in autophagosome induction, EGFP-LC3 processing and mTORC1 inhibition. Nitazoxanide can inhibit M. tuberculosis proliferation in vitro. Here we show that it inhibits M. tuberculosis proliferation more potently in infected human THP-1 cells and peripheral monocytes. We identify the human quinone oxidoreductase NQO1 as a nitazoxanide target and propose, based on experiments with cells expressing NQO1 or not, that NQO1 inhibition is partly responsible for mTORC1 inhibition and enhanced autophagy. The dual action of nitazoxanide on both the bacterium and the host cell response to infection may lead to improved tuberculosis treatment.

Development of an Intracellular Screen for New Compounds Able To Inhibit Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Growth in Human Macrophages

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26503663

Here we describe the development and validation of an intracellular high-throughput screening assay for finding new antituberculosis compounds active in human macrophages. The assay consists of a luciferase-based primary identification assay, followed by a green fluorescent protein-based secondary profiling assay. Standard tuberculosis drugs and 158 previously recognized active antimycobacterial compounds were used to evaluate assay robustness. Data show that the assay developed is a short and valuable tool for the discovery of new antimycobacterial compounds.

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