Jeffrey Hanshaw (Advisor: Jimmy Franco)
Small Molecule Drug Targets for Tuberculosis Therapy
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the deadliest bacterial pathogen in existence. Despite this fact, no drug with a novel mechanism for treating tuberculosis infection has been approved in over 50 years. The rise of drug-resistant strains of mycobacterium tuberculosis has led to a dire need in the medical community for a new type of anti-TB drug. In this paper, two very different approaches are taken to find a viable candidate for a new tuberculosis drug- manual screening by organic synthesis and virtual screening. Microwave synthesis proved to be very useful when performing the organic synthesis, drastically reducing the time needed to perform a key reaction. Virtual screening, however, proved to be the superior of the two approaches, allowing for rapid screening of thousands of compounds against a target protein. Many compounds were shown to be excellent inhibitors of the targeted proteins, and this effectiveness was confirmed against live cells. In the end, both microwave synthesis and virtual screening were shown to have significant advantages over traditional methods.