Congratulations to Hafna, Elaaf and Brendon, whose paper “Rv2074 is a novel F420H2-dependent biliverdin reductase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis” was published in Protein Science. [link]
In this work, we identified and characterised a biliverdin reductase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and elucidated its catalytic mechanism. This enzyme produces a potent antioxidant, bilirubin, using biliverdin, which is produced in large amounts in macrophages infected with mycobacteria. Thus, biliverdin reductase could contribute to the persistence of M. tuberculosis in macrophages (the cause of latent tuberculosis infection) by protecting the bacterium from oxidative stress.