Trehalose Metabolism



We are studying the essential otsAB biosynthetic pathway responsible for the de novo biosynthesis of trehalose, which is an essential donor molecule required for the building of the mycobacterial outer membrane.


GlgE is  a maltosyl-transferase important for the biosynthesis of the mycobacterial glucan and is a genetically validated TB drug target. We are using structure-based design to develop new inhibitors.


Antigen 85

The antigen 85 enzymes are essential for the viability of M. tuberculosis, we are studying their enzymatic activity, substrate specificity, and inhibition in collaboration with Dr. Steve Sucheck (University of Toledo).

Cell Wall Biosynthesis


The M. tuberculosis cell wall contains an uncommon polysaccharide layer assembled from subunits of galactose and arabinose. In collaboration with Dr. Mary Jackson at Colorado State University, we are studying enzymes involved in the covalent attachment of the arabinogalactan layer to the bacterial peptidoglycan.



Mycobacterial Xenobiotic Metabolism


M. tuberculosis synthesizes large amounts of mycothiol to maintain a strongly reductive cytosol. In addition, mycobacteria use mycothiol as a molecular flag to promote the efflux of drug molecules from the bacterial cytosol in a manner analogous to that of glutathione in many other organisms. We are studying the structure/function relationship of mycothiol biosynthetic enzymes and the Mycothiol Transferase that modifies small molecule anti-tubercular compounds with mycothiol.


Jimmy and Brittney sciencing.