Aminopeptidases are exopeptidases that selectively remove amino acids sequentially from the unblocked N-termini of peptides and play an indispensable role in regulating various cellular activities such as cell division, transcriptional regulation, elimination of misfolded protein and protection of the cell from harsh conditions. However, there is little information about the roles of these enzymes in the physiology and pathogenicity of the Mycobacteria.
Here we carried out a comparative genomic analysis of the aminopeptidase coding genes bioinformatically in seven completely sequenced pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacterial species. Six genes out of the 10 found in M tuberculosis were highly conserved in all mycobacterium species. This set of aminopeptidase is likely indispensable for growth and may serve as a novel target for drug development with high efficacy in the treatment of mycobacterial diseases.