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                                   Biomimetic Synthesis in the Hong Lab

     Mimicking fantastic transformations that involve enzyme participation in nature is a great challenge to synthetic chemists. Following the steps of proposed biosynthetic pathways, a biomimetic approach sets out to support the primacy of certain structures during the biosynthesis of natural substances. This is a de novo approach in providing information on in vitro rates of natural products formation and turnover.
   The biomimetic chemistry covers topics as diverse as biogenetic–type reaction and biomimetic strategy of total synthesis. With the novel enzyme–mimic design and synthesis, we thus aim to realize selected (confirmed or proposed) in vivo transformations in chemical laboratory to answer the feasibility of biogenetic–type reactions. Biomimetic synthesis (or biogenetic-type synthesis) is complimentary for our research to design synthetic pathways toward biologically significant molecules with a certain level of understanding evaluated by nature.

                                                                 Research Interests:

 Biomimetic Total synthesis of Natural Products:   Natural products with novel structures and interesting biological activities are driving force for our research. With the consideration of biosynthetic pathways (or proposals), a biomimetic strategy is chosen as our basic approach. We also emphasize synthetic method development, especially on the construction of cyclic structures (fused rings and medium rings) and novel rearrangements.


“Cation-π Interaction”-based Catalyst Design:   “Cation-π Interaction” has not been considered a useful concept in the design of new catalytic systems for asymmetric chemical reactions. “Cation-π Interaction” is applicable in interpreting the selectivity of some chemical reactions and the stability of complexes.  In our research, amino acids bearing aromatic residues are introduced into catalyst design. We are investigating the interaction between π-electrons and metal cations in the metal-peptide system and trying to develop new asymmetric systems to construct stereogenic centers in complex natural products synthesis.

Enzyme-mimic Design, Synthesis and Application:   Understanding the interaction between enzyme-mimics and respective substances is critical for us to appreciate enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Model studies of redox coupling, asymmetric oxidation and halogenation are selected to improve our knowledge on the high selectivity of enzymatic reactions in nature.



Research in the Hong Lab has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the following organizations:       

      973项目(2010-2014,Chemical Synthesis of Bioactive Natural Products)

      973项目(2011-2015,Preparation of Chiral Chemicals by Biotransformation)

      国家自然科学基金重大项目子课题负责 (2012-2016, Biomimetic synthesis)

      国家自然科学基金面上基金 (2012-2015, Biogenetic-type reactions)

      中科院百人计划择优支持 (Biomimetic synthesis)

     上海市2008年青年科技启明星计划(2008-2010, Biomimetic synthesis)

      “药物合成联合实验室”专项基金 (Drug discovery, 2010-2015)