Biosynthesis & Biocatalysis of Natural Products

Principal Investigator

Guojun Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
The research in my group focuses on the biosynthesis and biocatalysis of marine natural products, especially those with potential applications in medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture. Several leads with promising activity have been identified, such as Leiodermatolide, Discodermolide and Microsclerodermin A. Primary tactics include cloning gene clusters from culture-dependent or -independent sources, determination of biosynthetic pathways, metabolic engineering of pathways, and functional and structural elucidation of key catalysts in pathways of interest. We are especially interested in the exploration of new methods to identify novel natural products from cryptic gene clusters in microbial genomes and from uncultivable microorganisms in marine habitats.

In close cooperation with other groups in the Marine Biomedical & Biotechnology Research Program, our central aim is to discover new drug leads via biosynthetic approaches.


Selected Publications (*: corresponding author)

  • Guojun Wang*, Nolan Barrett and Peter McCarthy (2017) Draft genome sequence of a deep-sea Alteromonas sp. V450 isolated from marine sponge Leiodermatium sp. Genome Announc.5 (5): e01508-16.

  • Guojun Wang*, Jing Chen, Haining Zhu, and Jürgen Rohr* (2017) One-pot total synthesis of presteffimyinone, an early intermediate of the anthracyline antibioitc steffimycin biosynthesis. Org. Lett. 19 (3): 540–543.

  • Guojun Wang, Masami Izawa, Xiaoge Yang, Dongbo Xu, Yukinori Tanaka, and Kozo Ochi. (2017) Identification of a novel lincomycin resistance mutation linked with activation of antibiotic production in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 61 (2): e02247-16.

  • Guojun Wang, Ting Zhang, Haifeng Huang, Shurong Hou, Xiabin Chen, Fang Zheng and Chang-Guo Zhan. (2016) Plant expression of cocaine hydrolase-Fc fusion protein for treatment of cocaine abuse. BMC Biotechnology 16: 72, DOI: 10.1186/s12896-016-0302-9.

  • Chen, J.M., Hou, C., Wang, G., Tsodikov, O.V., Rohr, J. (2015) Structural Insight into MtmC, a Bifunctional Ketoreductase-Methyltransferase Involved in the Assembly of the Mithramycin Trisaccharide Chain. Biochemistry, 54 (15): 2481-2489.

  • Wang, G., Pahari, P., Kharel, M.K., Chen, J., Zhu, H., Van Lanen, S.G., Rohr, J. (2012) Cooperation of Two Bifunctional Enzymes in the Biosynthesis and Attachment of Deoxysugars of the Antitumor Antibiotic Mithramycin. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51 (42): 10638–10642.

  • Wang, G., Kharel, M.K., Pahari, P., Rohr, J. (2011) Investigating mithramycin deoxysugar biosynthesis: large scale enzymatic preparation of TDP-D-Olivose. ChemBioChem. 12(17): 2568-2571.

HBOI ocean fish