How Soil Bacteria Produce Natural Product Drugs

Presented by Dr. Chu-Young Kim


This presentation focuses on the research by Dr. Kim and his group at the University of Illinois, USA. They are working on the biosynthesis, crystallization, and structural characterization of medicinally important natural compounds, produced by soil bacteria. These included lasalocid A, monensin, and echinomycin. For lasalocid A, research targets the organization of modular polyketide synthesis enzymes, notably LSD114.

In the case of monensin, the unique ability of MonC1 to perform three different epoxidations on the same substrate has been explored. For echinomycin the research focused onEcm16, which is a DNA-binding protein that protects producer bacteria from the toxicity of echinomycin. In this talk, Dr. Kim also emphasized the increased throughput capacity and easy setting up of crystallization experiments using the FORMULATRIX® NT8 drop setter and crystal imaging using the Rock Imager.

soil bacteria image 2 (1)

Figure 2: PDB ID: 7SH1


About the Speaker:

Dr. Chu-Young Kim is a biochemist currently serving as a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Experienced in academia, Dr. Kim has held key faculty positions at renowned institutions, including being an Associate Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso and an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. His academic journey also includes research as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University, where he contributed to cutting-edge advancements in the field.