PhnZ review published

DLZ and recent MSc graduate Jacqueline Séguin are pleased to announce that their invited review on PhnZ is now published in the Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry! A PDF copy of this chapter is available in our publication list.

An update…..

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 attends Pacifichem 2015

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

Genes to molecules: the future is now!

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!

The 3-dimensional structure of carbon-phosphorus lyase

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: lost in 1956, found in 2015.

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.

Unlocking cryptic genes with a tRNA molecule

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