The growing list of fully sequenced genomes, combined with innovations in the fields of structural biology and bioinformatics, provides a synergy for the discovery of new drug targets. With this background, the TB Structural Genomics Consortium has been formed. This international consortium is comprised of laboratories from 31 universities and institutes in 13 countries. The goal of the consortium is to determine the structures of over 400 potential drug targets from the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and analyze their structures in the context of functional information. We summarize the efforts of the UCLA consortium members. Potential drug targets were selected using a variety of bioinformatics methods and screened for certain physical and species-specific properties to yield a starting group of protein targets for structure determination. Target determination methods include protein phylogenetic profiles and Rosetta Stone methods, and the use of related biochemical pathways to select genes linked to essential prokaryotic genes. Criteria imposed on target selection included potential protein solubility, protein or domain size, and targets that lack homologs in eukaryotic organisms. In addition, some protein targets were chosen that are specific to M. tuberculosis, such as PE and PPE domains. Thus far, the UCLA group has cloned 263 targets, expressed 171 proteins and purified 40 proteins, which are currently in crystallization trials. Our efforts have yielded 13 crystals and eight structures. Seven structures are summarized here. Four of the structures are secreted proteins: antigen 85B; MPT 63
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