Dr. Young-Ok You's Laboratory

Medicines developed from microbials include clinically important antibiotics, anti-tumor, anti-tuberculosis and immune suppressors. Biological machineries which synthesize these compounds (biosynthase) are often targets of protein engineering for their potential to be manipulated for producing novel compounds. One of our research initiatives is to understand the relationship between the produced chemical structure (outcome) and genomic and proteomic information of biosynthase (input). The knowledge obtained from this study will be applied to alter the compound structure by engineering biosynthase.


Intermolecular association of components in biological systems can regulate the dynamics of many complicated events. Although research of these systems is still in infancy, the principle of these systems can be applied to develop a biological on/off switch or biological sensors. Two example systems are currently investigated in our group. The current interest in our group is to understand their molecular mechanism. We envision applying such mechanisms to develop a biological switch or sensors.

The research in our group is intrinsically inter-disciplinary. Students will learn various skills such as chemical synthesis, gene cloning, protein expression, protein purification, enzyme kinetics, and mass-spectrometry. We welcome students who expect learning experiences and enjoy challenges.


Recent Publications:
1. “Stereochemistry of Reductions Catalyzed by Methyl-Epimerizing Ketoreductase Domains of Polyketide Synthases”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., You YO, Khosla, C, Cane DE., 2013, 135 (20), 7406-7409.
2. “Structure and Stereospecificity of the Dehydratase Domain from the Terminal Module of the Rifamycin Polyketide Synthase”, Biochemistry, *You YO, *Gay D, Keatinge-Clay A and Cane DE., 2013, 52, 8916-8928 (* These authors contributed equally to this work).
3. “Stereospecificity of Dehydratase Domain of the Erythromycin Polyketide Synthase”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Valenzano C, You YO, Garg A, Keatinge-Clay A, Khosla C and Cane DE., 2010, 132 (42), 14697-14699

References Related to the Topic:
1. “Structural and functional characterization of three polyketide synthase gene clusters in Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB 42”, X.-H. Chen, J. Vater, J. Piel, P. Franke, R. Scholz, K. Schneider, A. Koumoutsi, G. Hitzeroth, N. Grammel, A. W. Strittmatter, G. Gottschalk, R. D. Süssmuth, and R. Borriss, J. Bacteriol., vol. 188, no. 11, pp. 4024–4036, Jun. 2006.
2. “Difficidin and bacilysin from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 have antibacterial activity against Xanthomonas oryzae rice pathogens”, L. Wu, H. Wu, L. Chen, X. Yu, R. Borriss, and X. Gao, Sci. Rep., vol. 5, p. 12975, 2015.
3. “Genome analysis of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 reveals its potential for biocontrol of plant pathogens”, X. H. Chen, A. Koumoutsi, R. Scholz, K. Schneider, J. Vater, R. Süssmuth, J. Piel, and R. Borriss, J. Biotechnol., vol. 140, no. 1–2, pp. 27–37, Mar. 2009.
4. “Engineering a Polyketide Synthase for In Vitro Production of Adipic Acid”, A. Hagen, S. Poust, T. de Rond, J. L. Fortman, L. Katz, C. J. Petzold, and J. D. Keasling, ACS Synth. Biol., Nov. 2015.