Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 195, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

PknE, a serine/threonine protein kinase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis has a role in adaptive responses

  • Dinesh Kumar
  • Kannan Palaniyandi
  • Vijay K. Challu
  • Prahlad Kumar
  • Sujatha Narayanan
Short Communication


Serine/threonine protein kinases (STPK) play a major role in the physiology and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we have examined the role of pknE, a STPK in the adaptive responses of M. tuberculosis using a deletion mutant ΔpknE. The survival of ΔpknE was assessed in the presence of stress (pH, surfactant and cell wall–damaging agents) and anti-tuberculosis drugs. ΔpknE had a defective growth in pH 7.0 and lysozyme (a cell wall–damaging agent) with better survival in pH 5.5, SDS and kanamycin (a second-line anti-tuberculosis drug). Furthermore, ΔpknE was reduced in cell size during growth in liquid media and exhibited hypervirulence in a guinea pig model of infection. In conclusion, our data suggest that pknE plays a role in adaptive response of M. tuberculosis regulating cellular integrity and survival.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis STPK PknE and stress 



Mr. Dinesh kumar is a recipient of ICMR-SRF fellowship. We thank posthumously late Ms. Nalini Sunder Mohan, Dept of Bacteriology, NIRT for her help in drug sensitivity assay. We thank Dr. Lily Therese, Professor and Head, Dept of Microbiology and Mrs Uma Maheshwari, Sankara Nethralaya for their help with DIC images. We thank Mr. Chandran, Department of Clinical Pathology, NIRT for his help in animal experiments.

Conflict of interest

No funds were received except ICMR-SRF fellowship to Mr. Dinesh Kumar.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dinesh Kumar
    • 1
  • Kannan Palaniyandi
    • 1
  • Vijay K. Challu
    • 2
  • Prahlad Kumar
    • 2
  • Sujatha Narayanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyNational Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (Indian Council of Medical Research)Chetpet, ChennaiIndia
  2. 2.National Tuberculosis InstituteDirectorate General of Health ServicesBangaloreIndia

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