Mycobacterium tuberculosis Antigen 85 Family Proteins: Mycolyl Transferases and Matrix-Binding Adhesins

Christopher P. Ptak1, Chih-Jung Kuo2, and Yung-Fu Chang1

  • 1 Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • 2 College ofVeterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan


The Gram-positive bacteria of the Corynebacteriales order contain several notable human and animal pathogens (e.g., Corynebacterium diphtheria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. leprae, M. bovis, and M. avium subsp. paratu- berculosis; Gao and Gupta 2012). Mycobacter spp., the most widespread and clinically important of these related disease-causing bacteria, are responsible for Johne's disease, leprosy, and tuberculosis (TB) and one of these organisms, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, is also suspected to be a causative agent in Crohn's disease (Greenstein 2003). TB infects about one-third of the world's population with the number of new cases per year continuing to grow (Dye and Williams 2010). Approximately 10% of individuals develop active infections leading to over a million worldwide deaths per year. Acid-fast stain diagnostic screening has been adopted as a common detection method of M. tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB (Madison 2001). Positive acid-fast staining results when phenol-based stains are able to permeate into bacterial cells, but acid- alcohols, stain-decolorizing agents, are blocked from efficiently entering the cells. The presence of a dense, lipid-rich outer cell wall has not only been identified as the mechanism of acid-fastness but also provides increased protection against lipophilic antibiotics (Bhatt et al. 2007). Mycolic acids, a prominent component of the mycobacterial outer membrane, are required for growth and survival of Mycobacterium species (Portevin et al. 2004). This chapter is devoted to the class of enzymes that catalyze the final steps of mycolic acid formation but also moonlight as host-binding adhesins.

Moonlighting Proteins: Novel Virulence Factors in Bacterial Infections, First Edition. Edited by Brian Henderson.

© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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