Resuscitation promoting factors (Rpf) are a family of proteins secreted by actively growing actinobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Experimental evidence suggests that Rpfs play a distinct role in bacterial resuscitation and re-growth as well as reactivation of chronic tuberculosis in mice. The striking similarity of the Rpfs structure to cell wall hydrolysing enzymes has provided a basis for the development of novel low molecular weight inhibitors of Rpfs activity. In particular, recently characterised nitrophenylthiocyanate compounds could be considered as a promising scaffold for generation of therapeutic agents targeting reactivation of latent tuberculosis. This review describes recent progress in understanding of molecular mechanisms of Rpf biological activity.