Table_1_Structural and Genomic Insights Into Pyrazinamide Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Underlie Differences Between Ancient and Modern Lineages.xlsx
Resistance to drugs used to treat tuberculosis disease (TB) continues to remain a public health burden, with missense point mutations in the underlying Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria described for nearly all anti-TB drugs. The post-genomics era along with advances in computational and structural biology provide opportunities to understand the interrelationships between the genetic basis and the structural consequences of M. tuberculosis mutations linked to drug resistance. Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a crucial first line antibiotic currently used in TB treatment regimens. The mutational promiscuity exhibited by the pncA gene (target for PZA) necessitates computational approaches to investigate the genetic and structural basis for PZA resistance development. We analysed 424 missense point mutations linked to PZA resistance derived from ∼35K M. tuberculosis clinical isolates sourced globally, which comprised the four main M. tuberculosis lineages (Lineage 1–4). Mutations were annotated to reflect their association with PZA resistance. Genomic measures (minor allele frequency and odds ratio), structural features (surface area, residue depth and hydrophobicity) and biophysical effects (change in stability and ligand affinity) of point mutations on pncA protein stability and ligand affinity were assessed. Missense point mutations within pncA were distributed throughout the gene, with the majority (>80%) of mutations with a destabilising effect on protomer stability and on ligand affinity. Active site residues involved in PZA binding were associated with multiple point mutations highlighting mutational diversity due to selection pressures at these functionally important sites. There were weak associations between genomic measures and biophysical effect of mutations. However, mutations associated with PZA resistance showed statistically significant differences between structural features (surface area and residue depth), but not hydrophobicity score for mutational sites. Most interestingly M. tuberculosis lineage 1 (ancient lineage) exhibited a distinct protein stability profile for mutations associated with PZA resistance, compared to modern lineages.