Physiological role and potential clinical interest of mycobacterial pigments

Jaime A. Robledo, Ana M. Murillo, Francois Rouzaud

    Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículo de revisiónrevisión exhaustiva

    12 Citas (Scopus)


    The production of pigments by bacterial colonies has sparked interest among bacteriologists since the 19th century, whether for taxonomy or, in the case of carotenoids for their association with antibiotics resistance. Mycobacteria have gained a very special place in the bacterial world due to their clinical importance. Alone, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for about two million deaths annually worldwide making tuberculosis one of the most influential diseases in the history of mankind. Almost half of the Nontuberculous Mycobacteria species identified are associated with opportunistic infections in animals and humans. Mycobacterial pigmentary characteristics started to be documented about 80 years ago; but to date, their main use has been only for limited taxonomic and identification purposes. While mycobacterial pigments, especially carotenoids have been clearly associated with cellular photoprotection and survival, the regulation of their production and their physiological role have been largely unstudied. Recent advances in deciphering mycobacterial genomes and characterization of carotenoid synthesis genes, combined with an urgent need for innovative approaches to understand Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenic properties open new avenues for exciting research opportunities that might lead to new therapeutic strategies against a devastating secular disease.

    Idioma originalInglés
    Páginas (desde-hasta)71-78
    Número de páginas8
    PublicaciónIUBMB Life
    EstadoPublicada - feb. 2011


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