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 catalyst systems for C-H and olefin oxidation. We will also study how cyclic dinucleotides mediate innate immune response. 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 and providing insights into how biological systems function. We will develop new chemical methods to enable the efficient synthesis of small-molecule drugs. This project will also help improve our understanding of the biosynthetic machineries and immune systems.

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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Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiao; Ma, Yuyong et al. (2016) Asymmetric Synthesis of Axinellamines A and B. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 55:4763-6
Chen, Chuo (2016) The past, present, and future of the Yang reaction. Org Biomol Chem 14:8641-7
Zhang, Chengwei; You, Lin; Chen, Chuo (2016) Palladium-Catalyzed C-H Arylation of 1,2,3-Triazoles. Molecules 21:
Shi, Heping; Wu, Jiaxi; Chen, Zhijian J et al. (2015) Molecular basis for the specific recognition of the metazoan cyclic GMP-AMP by the innate immune adaptor protein STING. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:8947-52
Shi, Heping; De, Saptarshi; Wang, Qiaoling et al. (2015) Construction of the 5,6,7-tricyclic skeleton of lancifodilactone F. Tetrahedron Lett 56:3225-3227
Wang, Xiaolei; Chen, Chuo (2015) An approach for the synthesis of nakamuric acid. Tetrahedron 71:3690-3693
Wang, Xiaolei; Gao, Yang; Ma, Zhiqiang et al. (2015) Syntheses of Sceptrins and Nakamuric Acid and Insights into the Biosyntheses of Pyrrole-Imidazole Dimers. Org Chem Front 2:978-984
Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiaolei; Wang, Xiao et al. (2015) ORGANIC SYNTHESIS. Response to Comment on ""Asymmetric syntheses of sceptrin and massadine and evidence for biosynthetic enantiodivergence"". Science 349:149
Ma, Yuyong; De, Saptarshi; Chen, Chuo (2015) Syntheses of Cyclic Guanidine-Containing Natural Products. Tetrahedron 71:1145-1173
Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiaolei; Wang, Xiao et al. (2014) Asymmetric syntheses of sceptrin and massadine and evidence for biosynthetic enantiodivergence. Science 346:219-24

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