NIH Research Festival
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is the causative infectious agent of the tuberculosis disease, which is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide. According to WHO, in 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. The main challenge for treatment is multi- and extremely drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (MDR and XDR-TB), reported in more than 100 countries for almost half a million people. In spite of great advancements in the field of infectious diseases, the scientific community is still struggling to understand the molecular mechanisms that assist this bacterium to develop its resistance repertoire. Deciphering the system level regulatory mechanisms might offer clues about the inner workings of this bacterium. Researchers have built regulatory networks of MTB using different methods, in an attempt to understand key players and mechanisms involved in virulence. This work aims to identify, collect, and annotate these regulatory networks and also to provide a more intuitive network-based visualization and analysis tool. As a first step towards this goal, we have built a global regulatory network representing data from ten publications. We have also developed an user-friendly, web-based, and interactive Tuberculosis regulatory network analysis tool -TBRAT, based on the MTB global regulatory network data. For now, this tool is available at http://ai-bcbbwww-dev2.niaid.nih.gov/mtrat/index.php (NIH internal). We hope this tool will help researchers easily navigate through the complex regulatory network data and aid in understanding and discovering molecular mechanisms of MTB.
Scientific Focus Area: Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021