Borrelia Nucleosidases as Targets for Spirochete Specific Antibiotics

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ken Cornell


Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the most prevalent cause of Lyme disease in the United States. Due to disease cases that are refractory to current antibiotics, new drugs targeting novel pathways are needed. Borrelia is unique in that it produces three MTA/SAH nucleosidases: Pfs, BgP and MtnN. These enzymes are required for purine and methionine salvage and inhibition of this pathway leads to selective killing of the microbes. Here we report the characterization of enzyme activity using recombinant proteins and UV spectroscopy to study kinetics and inhibitor analysis of all three Borrelia nucleosidases. The results indicate distinct differences in substrate and activity profiles for the three nucleosidases that may help explain their role in bacterial survival.

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