Houjin Zhang

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Natural products containing phosphorus-carbon bonds have found widespread use in medicine and agriculture. One such compound, phosphinothricin tripeptide, contains the unusual amino acid phosphinothricin attached to two alanine residues. Synthetic phosphinothricin (glufosinate) is a component of two top-selling herbicides (Basta and Liberty), and is widely(More)
p-Aminobenzoate N-oxygenase (AurF) from Streptomyces thioluteus catalyzes the formation of unusual polyketide synthase starter unit p-nitrobenzoic acid (pNBA) from p-aminobenzoic acid (pABA) in the biosynthesis of antibiotic aureothin. AurF is a metalloenzyme, but its native enzymatic activity has not been demonstrated in vitro, and its catalytic mechanism(More)
Validamycin A (Val-A) is an effective antifungal agent widely used in Asian countries as crop protectant. Validoxylamine A, the core structure and intermediate of Val-A, consists of two C(7)-cyclitol units connected by a rare C-N bond. In the Val-A biosynthetic gene cluster in Streptomyces hygroscopicus 5008, the ORF valL was initially annotated as a(More)
The fungal type III polyketide synthase 2'-oxoalkylresorcylic acid synthase (ORAS) primes with a range of acyl-Coenzyme A thioesters (C4-C20) and extends using malonyl-Coenzyme A to produce pyrones, resorcinols, and resorcylic acids. To gain insight into this unusual substrate specificity and product profile, we have determined the crystal structures of(More)
BACKGROUND Lipases are regularly used in biotechnology to catalyse the hydrolysis of triglycerides and the synthesis of esters. Microbial lipases in particular have been widely used in a variety of industrial applications. However, the current commercial microbial lipases cannot meet industrial demand due to rapid inactivation under harsh conditions.(More)
(including the editorial, research papers, and perspectives) were published on the Tara Oceans Project and studies related to ocean microbes [1–8]. This represents truly a milestone for studies in both ocean ecology and microbial communities. As stated on the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) website (http://www.embl.de/tara-oceans/start/):(More)
In this study, hydrophobic macroporous resin NKA was employed as matrix for immobilization of free Rhizopus oryzae lipase (ROL). The performance of the immobilized ROL was significantly enhanced. The recovery activity was up to 1,293.78 % and the specific activity increased to 152,914 U/g-protein, which was 46-fold higher than that of the free lipase.(More)
In the biosynthesis of polyketides, ketoreductases (KRs) are an important group of enzymes that determine the chiralities of the carbon backbones. SiaM is a special member of this group that can recognize substrates with different lengths and can be used iteratively. Here we report the crystal structure of SiaM. Structural analysis indicates that the(More)
Fullerene C60, a unique sphere-shaped molecule consisting of carbon, has been proved to have inhibitory effects on many diseases. However, the applications of C60 in medicine have been severely hindered by its complete insolubility in water and low solubility in almost all organic solvents. In this study, the water-soluble C60 derivatives and the C60(More)
Cellulases are the key enzymes used in the biofuel industry. A typical cellulase contains a catalytic domain connected to a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) through a flexible linker. Here we report the structure of an atypical trimodular cellulase which harbors a catalytic domain, a CBM46 domain and a rigid CBM_X domain between them. The catalytic domain(More)