The Zechel lab is the grateful recipient of an NSERC Discovery Grant worth $300,000 over 5 years! This was awarded to our grant proposal entitled “From Genes to Molecules: Mining Microbial Genomes for New Enzyme Reactions”. We are equally excited that our proposal was one of the few to be selected for a Discovery Accelerator Supplement worth … More NSERC invests in Zechel lab
The Zechel lab had a busy Winter term and is enjoying the transition to summer. A quick review of the past few months: DLZ had the privilege of visiting Trent University for a seminar in March. Many thanks to Steven Rafferty for the invitation and kind hospitality! Fourth year honour students Jessie Hebbert and Akpevweoghene … More An update…..
DLZ had the privilege of giving a seminar to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at WLU on January 29th. Many thanks to Prof. Geoff Horsmann, a fellow traveller in phosphonate biochemistry, for organizing a great visit and the opportunity to tour a wonderful multidisciplinary department.
Congratulations to MSc student Kaitlyn, who is the happy recipient of an Ontario-Baden-Württemburg student exchange award! This award will allow Kaitlyn to visit the lab of Prof. Andreas Bechthold at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Germany, this summer, where she will investigate the biosynthesis of nucleocidin.
In December of 2015 DLZ had the privilege of giving a seminar on nucleocidin biosynthesis in the Natural Product Biosynthesis symposium of Pacifichem (Waikiki, Hawaii). This was a very well attended symposium featuring many of the top international researchers in natural products research. Many thanks to the organizers Bradley Moore (Scripps, UCSD), Ikuro Abe (U. Tokyo), and … More DLZ attends Pacifichem 2015
Is it possible to predict and find a natural product based on a DNA sequence of the producing organism? Since genome sequencing exploded in the early 2000’s, this has been a dream goal of natural product chemists. We teamed up with the Magarvey lab (McMaster University) to use their new Genomes-to-Natural-Products platform (GNP) to link a … More Genes to molecules: the future is now!
Our longtime collaborator Bjarne Hove-Jensen was part of a team from Aarhus University and Cambridge that succeeded in solving the X-ray crystal structure of CP-lyase, a multi-protein complex weighing in at 240 kDa! This is a feat on par with solving the structure of the ribosome or fatty acid synthase. This is an astonishing enzyme system … More The 3-dimensional structure of carbon-phosphorus lyase
Nucleocidin is a rare example of a natural product containing fluorine. Only six structurally distinct examples of fluorinated natural products are known! (Fun fact: nucleocidin contains an equally rare sulfamate group, shown in red). As a fluorinated analog of adenosine, nucleocidin belongs to a very valuable and pharmaceutically useful category of molecules known as fluorosugars. Such … More Nucleocidin: lost in 1956, found in 2015.
The majority of biosynthetic genes are not expressed in a given Streptomcyes strain, which can thwart the discovery of the encoded molecule. There are many factors that can cause such genes to be in a ‘cryptic’ state. We hypothesized that TTA codons, which tend to concentrate in biosynthetic genes, might be one such factor. In collaboration with the … More Unlocking cryptic genes with a tRNA molecule
Jacqueline Séguin defends her MSc thesis! 20/08/15. Another student moves on to bigger and better things. Jacqueline successfully defended her MSc thesis entitled “Mechanistic Analysis of the Organophosphonate-Degrading Enzymes PhnY and PhnZ”. Well done Jacqueline! DLZ attends ACS meeting in Boston 17/08/15. DLZ flew down to Boston to give a seminar in the ACS symposium held in celebration of Frank Raushel receiving … More Old but memorable news from our previous website.