Resuscitation Promoting Factor from Micrococcus luteus
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Many bacteria become dormant when nutrient deprived or in response to environmental stress. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) becomes dormant when challenged by stress or antibiotics, which leads to antibiotic resistance. According to the World Health Organization approximately one-third of the world’s population contain latent TB! Preventing bacteria from entering dormancy is critical. Dormant cells are viable but nonculturable (VBNC) and require a resuscitation promoting factor (Rpf), a protein that is required to start growth and replication. Micrococcus luteus (ML) is a nonpathogenic actinobacteria closely related to TB with a well-studied dormancy response. ML Rpf can resuscitate dormant TB suggesting they share a common dormancy mechanism. We have cloned and extracted full length Rpf from ML and are characterizing ML resuscitation by Rpf to determine the critical amino acids that activate dormant bacteria. We are currently subcloning the resuscitation domain.