'New and better drugs for tuberculosis' goal of UH professor

HOUSTON, Aug. 13, 2004 In Kurt Krause's laboratory, what starts off as a mere molecule may soon become a potential drug to treat tuberculosis.

Krause, an associate professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Houston, has been invited to discuss this research at The Protein Society's 18th Annual Symposium "Protein Structure, Function and Disease" Aug. 14-18, in San Diego, Calif.

"Alanine racemase is a protein from tuberculosis that is a target for drug design," Krause said. "We are trying to make a small molecule that will specifically inhibit this enzyme. A molecule of this type would be a potential antibiotic to treat TB."

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this research is the result of a collaborative research project that includes Krause and three others. Also from the University of Houston is James Briggs, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry at UH, with former UH professors Mike Benedik, now of Texas A&M University, and Hal Kohn, now of the University of North Carolina.

As part of session nine, "Biochemistry and Structural Biology for Understanding and Combating Tuberculosis," Krause's talk "Alanine Racemase As a Template for TB Drug Design" will begin at 11:55 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17, in the Marina Ballroom FG at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, with the floor opening at 12:20 p.m. for group discussion.

"Ultimately, our team's goal is to develop new and better drugs for TB," Krause said. "I'm honored to be representing our work at this symposium as a result of the recommendations of fellow researchers in the scientific community who have knowledge of our research."

The Protein Society symposium will take the traditional focus on protein structure and function in new directions. A significant portion of the talks at this year's event will provide a protein science perspective on several major in

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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