Article

Effect of carbon monoxide on Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis

Medical gas research 12/2012; 2(1):30. DOI: 10.1186/2045-9912-2-30
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is exposed to multiple host antimicrobial pathways, including toxic gases such as superoxide, nitric oxide and carbon monoxide (CO). To survive, mycobacteria evolved mechanisms to resist the toxic environment, and in this review we focus on a relatively new field, namely, the role of macrophage heme oxygenase and its enzymatic product CO in Mtb pathogenesis. In particular, we focus on (i) the induction of heme oxygenase during Mtb infection and its relevance to Mtb pathogenesis, (ii) the ability of mycobacteria to catabolize CO, (iii) the transcriptional reprogramming of Mtb by exposure to CO, (iv) the general antimicrobial properties of CO and (v) new genetic evidence characterizing the ability of Mtb to resist CO toxicity. Developing a complete molecular and genetic understanding of the pathogenesis of Mtb is essential to its eventual eradication.

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