Kou-San Ju

Kou-San Ju

Kou-San Ju, PhD

Assistant Professor
Unit / Department / Division
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
290 Aronoff Laboratory
Email Address
Phone Number

Professional Interests

Professional Interests

My interdisciplinary research program is inspired by the metabolic diversity of microorganisms and the vast array of compounds they produce. Working at the interface of chemistry and biology, my group combines approaches in chemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, and systems biology to discover new natural products, identify bioactivity and mode of action, and to decipher the metabolic basis of their biosynthesis. Ultimately, we seek to translate insights gained from our investigations into solutions for modern day challenges facing human health and the environment. These include new antibiotics to counter drug-resistant pathogens, novel herbicides and biocontrol agents to improve pest management and food security, and engineered biocatalysts to facilitate chemical production by green chemistry and industrial biotechnology.

Journal Articles

Tryon JH, Rote JC, Chen L, Robey MT, Vega MM, Phua WC, Metcalf WW, Ju KS, Kelleher NL, Thomson RJ. Genome Mining and Metabolomics Uncover a Rare d-Capreomycidine Containing Natural Product and Its Biosynthetic Gene Cluster. ACS Chem Biol. 2020 Nov 20;15(11):3013-3020. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00663. Epub 2020 Nov 5. PMID: 33151679; PMCID: PMC7830813.

Kayrouz CM, Zhang Y, Pham TM, Ju KS. Genome Mining Reveals the Phosphonoalamide Natural Products and a New Route in Phosphonic Acid Biosynthesis. ACS Chem Biol. 2020 Jul 17;15(7):1921-1929. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00256. Epub 2020 Jun 15. PMID: 32484327.

Parkinson EI, Erb A, Eliot AC, Ju KS, Metcalf WW. Fosmidomycin biosynthesis diverges from related phosphonate natural products. Nat Chem Biol. 2019 Nov;15(11):1049-1056. doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0343-1. Epub 2019 Aug 26. PMID: 31451762; PMCID: PMC7098449.

Ali T, Pham TM, Ju KS, Rakotondraibe HL. homocyclopiamine B, a Prenylated Indole Alkaloid of Biogenetic Interest from the Endophytic Fungus Penicillium concentricum. Molecules. 2019 Jan 9;24(2):218. doi: 10.3390/molecules24020218. PMID: 30634398; PMCID: PMC6359132.

Goettge MN, Cioni JP, Ju KS, Pallitsch K, Metcalf WW. PcxL and HpxL are flavin-dependent, oxime-forming <i>N</i>-oxidases in phosphonocystoximic acid biosynthesis in Streptomyces. J Biol Chem. 2018 May 4;293(18):6859-6868. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.001721. Epub 2018 Mar 14. PMID: 29540479; PMCID: PMC5936822.

Parkinson EI, Tryon JH, Goering AW, Ju KS, McClure RA, Kemball JD, Zhukovsky S, Labeda DP, Thomson RJ, Kelleher NL, Metcalf WW. Discovery of the Tyrobetaine Natural Products and Their Biosynthetic Gene Cluster via Metabologenomics. ACS Chem Biol. 2018 Apr 20;13(4):1029-1037. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.7b01089. Epub 2018 Mar 13. PMID: 29510029; PMCID: PMC5944846.

Ju KS, Zhang X, Elliot MA. New Kid on the Block: LmbU Expands the Repertoire of Specialized Metabolic Regulators in Streptomyces. J Bacteriol. 2017 Dec 20;200(2):e00559-17. doi: 10.1128/JB.00559-17. PMID: 29084856; PMCID: PMC5738733.

Born DA, Ulrich EC, Ju KS, Peck SC, van der Donk WA, Drennan CL. Structural basis for methylphosphonate biosynthesis. Science. 2017 Dec 8;358(6368):1336-1339. doi: 10.1126/science.aao3435. PMID: 29217579; PMCID: PMC5901744.

Amato KR, Ulanov A, Ju KS, Garber PA. Metabolomic data suggest regulation of black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) diet composition at the molecular level. Am J Primatol. 2017 Apr;79(4):1-10. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22616. Epub 2016 Dec 9. PMID: 27936282.

Labeda DP, Dunlap CA, Rong X, Huang Y, Doroghazi JR, Ju KS, Metcalf WW. Phylogenetic relationships in the family Streptomycetaceae using multi-locus sequence analysis. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2017 Apr;110(4):563-583. doi: 10.1007/s10482-016-0824-0. Epub 2016 Dec 30. PMID: 28039547.

Freestone TS, Ju KS, Wang B, Zhao H. Discovery of a Phosphonoacetic Acid Derived Natural Product by Pathway Refactoring. ACS Synth Biol. 2017 Feb 17;6(2):217-223. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00299. Epub 2017 Jan 23. PMID: 28103011.