In view of emerging drug resistance among bacterial pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis , the development of novel therapeutic strategies is increasingly being sought. A recent paradigm in antituberculosis (anti-TB) drug development is to target the host molecules that are crucial for intracellular survival of the pathogen. We previously showed the importance of Src tyrosine kinases in mycobacterial pathogenesis. Here, we report that inhibition of Src significantly reduced survival of H37Rv as well as multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extremely drug-resistant (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis in THP-1 macrophages. Src inhibition was also effective in controlling M. tuberculosis infection in guinea pigs. In guinea pigs, reduced M. tuberculosis burden due to Src inhibition also led to a marked decline in the disease pathology. In agreement with the theoretical framework of host-directed approaches against the pathogen, Src inhibition was equally effective against an XDR strain in controlling infection in guinea pigs. We propose that Src inhibitors could be developed into effective host-directed anti-TB drugs, which could be indiscriminately used against both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis . IMPORTANCE The existing treatment regimen for tuberculosis (TB) suffers from deficiencies like high doses of antibiotics, long treatment duration, and inability to kill persistent populations in an efficient manner. Together, these contribute to the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Recently, several host factors were identified which help intracellular survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within the macrophage. These factors serve as attractive targets for developing alternate therapeutic strategies against M. tuberculosis . This strategy promises to be effective against drug-resistant strains. The approach also has potential to considerably lower the risk of emergence of new drug-resistant strains. We explored tyrosine kinase Src as a host factor exploited by virulent M. tuberculosis for intracellular survival. We show that Src inhibition can effectively control tuberculosis in infected guinea pigs. Moreover, Src inhibition ameliorated TB-associated pathology in guinea pigs. Thus, Src inhibitors have strong potential to be developed as possible anti-TB drugs.
Chandra, P., Rajmani, R. S., Verma, G., Bhavesh, N. S., & Kumar, D. (2016). Targeting Drug-Sensitive and -Resistant Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Inhibition of Src Family Kinases Lowers Disease Burden and Pathology . MSphere, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00043-15