Studying the synthesis of natural products provides rich opportunities for identifying new directions in chemistry and biology. The overarching goal of our research program is to study the chemical synthesis of small-molecules of medicinal relevance and to advance chemical technology for the next-generation of drug synthesis. Through this project, we will better understand how nature performs cycloaddition-type dimerization reactions to produce higher order pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids. We will test the biosynthetic hypotheses and develop biomimetic synthetic approaches to these natural products. Inspired by the oxidative metalloenzymes, we will further develop new metal catalysts for C-H and olefin oxidation. Our research will have direct impacts on the discovery and manufacturing of small-molecule drugs.

Public Health Relevance

This research project is directed toward advancing technologies for drug synthesis. We will develop new chemical methods to enable the efficient synthesis of natural products of medicinal relevance. The potential of these natural products as new anticancer drugs will be further evaluated in future studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B Study Section (SBCB)
Program Officer
Lees, Robert G
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University of Texas Sw Medical Center Dallas
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Zhu, Chen; Xia, Ji-Bao; Chen, Chuo (2014) Vanadium-catalyzed oxidative Strecker reaction: ?-C-H cyanation of para-methoxyphenyl (PMP)-protected primary amines. Tetrahedron Lett 55:
Wang, Xiao; Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiaolei et al. (2014) Dimeric pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids: synthetic approaches and biosynthetic hypotheses. Chem Commun (Camb) 50:8628-39
Xia, Ji-Bao; Ma, Yuyong; Chen, Chuo (2014) Vanadium-Catalyzed C(sp(3))-H Fluorination Reactions. Org Chem Front 1:468-472
Xia, Ji-Bao; Zhu, Chen; Chen, Chuo (2014) Visible light-promoted metal-free sp(3)-C-H fluorination. Chem Commun (Camb) 50:11701-4
Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiaolei; Wang, Xiao et al. (2014) Asymmetric syntheses of sceptrin and massadine and evidence for biosynthetic enantiodivergence. Science 346:219-24
Zhu, Chen; Xia, Ji-Bao; Chen, Chuo (2014) A simple method for the electrophilic cyanation of secondary amines. Org Lett 16:247-9
Wu, Jiaxi; Sun, Lijun; Chen, Xiang et al. (2013) Cyclic GMP-AMP is an endogenous second messenger in innate immune signaling by cytosolic DNA. Science 339:826-30
Zhang, Xu; Shi, Heping; Wu, Jiaxi et al. (2013) Cyclic GMP-AMP containing mixed phosphodiester linkages is an endogenous high-affinity ligand for STING. Mol Cell 51:226-35
Wang, Xiao; Wang, Xiaolei; Tan, Xianghui et al. (2013) Correction to a biomimetic route for construction of the [4 + 2] and [3 + 2] core skeletons of dimeric pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids and asymmetric synthesis of ageliferins. J Am Chem Soc 135:1163
Xia, Ji-Bao; Zhu, Chen; Chen, Chuo (2013) Visible light-promoted metal-free C-H activation: diarylketone-catalyzed selective benzylic mono- and difluorination. J Am Chem Soc 135:17494-500

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