Chemical probes for tagging mycobacterial lipids.

K J Biegas, Benjamin Swarts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Mycobacteria, which cause tuberculosis and related diseases, possess a diverse set of complex envelope lipids that provide remarkable tolerance to antibiotics and are major virulence factors that drive pathogenesis. Recently, metabolic labeling and bio-orthogonal chemistry have been harnessed to develop chemical probes for tagging specific lipids in live mycobacteria, enabling a range of new basic and translational research avenues. A toolbox of probes has been developed for labeling mycolic acids and their derivatives, including trehalose-, arabinogalactan-, and protein-linked mycolates, as well as newer probes for labeling phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs) and potentially other envelope lipids. These lipid-centric tools have yielded fresh insights into mycobacterial growth and host interactions, provided new avenues for drug target discovery and characterization, and inspired innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


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