Yi-Qiang (Eric) Cheng

Yi-Qiang (Eric) Cheng

Assistant Professor

Office: Lapham Hall, 131C
Phone: 414-229-4379
e-mail: ycheng@uwm.edu


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1999

Research Interests:

Microorganisms, notably actinomycetes and filamentous fungi, are prolific producers of natural products, many of which have been used as antibiotics, anticancer drugs, immunosuppressant agents, or other types of medicines. Metabolic engineering of natural product biosynthetic pathways to produce novel chemical entities offers new momentum for drug discovery and development. We strive to develop new methods and platforms for the discovery and engineering of pharmaceutically relevant microbial natural products as drugs or drug leads.

Chen Fig01_500

Three specific areas of research are as follows:

  1. Cloning and characterization of the biosynthetic gene clusters of promising natural products and engineering of their metabolic pathways for novel products with improved therapeutic properties. Current objects are valinomycin (antiviral), FK228 (depsipeptide; antitumor) and A54556 factors (acyldepsipeptides; antibacterial)

    Chen Fig02_500

  2. Microbial biodiversity in the Great Lakes and natural product discovery from freshwater microorganisms.

    Chen Fig03_500

  3. Bio-/Chem-informatics-guided natural product discovery from genome-sequenced microorganisms.

Keywords: valinomycin, FK228, A54556, depsipeptide, natural product biosynthesis, gene cluster cloning and characterization, metabolic pathway engineering, heterologous expression, natural product drug discovery and development.

Selected Publications:

  • (* indicates equal contribution)
    (A full list of publications, patent info and presentations can be viewed by this link [pdf])

Cheng, Y.-Q., Yang, M. and Matter, A.M. (2007) Characterization of a gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of anticancer agent FK228 in Chromobacterium violaceum no. 968. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73:3460-3469 (e-published on 03/30/2007) [pdf]

Tang, G.-L., Cheng, Y.Q. and Shen, B. (2006) Polyketide chain skipping mechanism in the biosynthesis of the hybrid nonribosomal peptide-polyketide antitumor antibiotic leinamycin in Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140. Journal of Natural Products 69:387-393. [pdf]

Cheng, Y.-Q. (2006) Deciphering the Biosynthetic Codes for the Potent Anti-SARS-CoV Cyclodepsipeptide Valinomycin in Streptomyces tsusimaensis ATCC 15141. ChemBioChem 7:471-477. [pdf]

Tang, G.-L*., Cheng, Y.-Q*. and B. Shen. (2004) The biosynthetic gene cluster of the antitumor antibiotic leinamycin from Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140 revealing unprecedented architectural complexity for a hybrid polyketide synthase and nonribosomal peptide synthetase. Chemistry & Biololgy 11:33-45. [pdf]

Cheng, Y.-Q*. Tang, G.-L* and B. Shen. (2003) Type I polyketide synthase requiring a discrete acyltransferase for polyketide biosynthesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 100:3149-3154. [pdf] Commentary [pdf]

Cheng, Y.-Q. Tang, G.-L. and B. Shen. (2002) Identification and localization of the antitumor macrolactam leinamycin biosynthesis gene cluster from Streptomyces atroolivaceous S-140. Journal of Bacteriology 184:7013-7024. [pdf]