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Greg Challis


Prof Greg Challis

Monash Warwick Alliance Professor of Sustainable Chemistry (Chemical and Synthetic Biology)




Research Summary

Natural products chemistry and biology, including isolation and structure determination of new bioactive natural products, genomics and genetics of natural product biosynthesis, enzymology and structural biology of natural product biosynthesis, chemical synthesis of bioactive natural products and intermediates in their biosynthesis, genetic manipulation of bioactive natural product biosynthesis pathways to produce new analogues, molecular mechanism of action of bioactive natural products and their biological function. A highly multidisciplinary approach to these problems is taken encompassing high field NMR spectoscopy, mass spectrometry, HPLC, organic synthesis, bioinformatics, microbiological methods, molecular genetic manipulation, recombinant protein overproduction and purification, enzyme assay development, X-ray crystallography, protein NMR spectroscopy and single particle cryo-EM.

Selected Recent Publications
A crotonyl-CoA reductase-carboxylase independent pathway for assembly of unusual alkylmalonyl-CoA polyketide synthase extender units. L. Ray, T.R. Valentic, T. Miyazawa, D.M. Withall, L. Song, J.C. Milligan, H. Osaka, S. Takahashi, S.-C. Tsai and G.L. Challis. Nat. Commun. 2016, 7, 13609.
Discovery of microbial natural products by activation of silent biosynthetic gene clusters. P.J. Rutledge and G.L. Challis. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2015, 13, 509-523.
Cytochrome P450–catalyzed L-tryptophan nitration in thaxtomin phytotoxin biosynthesis. S.M. Barry, J.A. Kers, E.G. Johnson, L. Song, P.R. Aston, B. Patel, S.B. Krasnoff, B.R. Crane, D.M. Gibson, R. Loria and G.L. Challis. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2012, 8, 814-816.
Regio- and stereodivergent antibiotic oxidative carbocyclizations catalyzed by Rieske oxygenase-like enzymes.
P.K. Sydor, S. M. Barry, O.M. Odulate, F. Barona-Gomez, S.W. Haynes, C. Corre, L. Song, and G.L. Challis. Nat. Chem. 2011, 3, 388-392.

Identification of a bioactive 51-membered macrolide complex by activation of a silent polyketide synthase in Streptomyces ambofaciens.
L. Laureti, L. Song, S. Huang, C. Corre, P. Leblond, G.L. Challis and B. Aigle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2011, 108, 6258-6263.