Qu Research Group | Natural Medicine Biosynthesis

Publication of latest findings:

Guo J, Gao D, Lian J, Qu Y. (2024) De novo biosynthesis of antiarrhythmic alkaloid ajmaline. Nature Communications. 15:457


Kim K, Shahsavarani M, Garza-García JJO, Carlisle JE, Guo J, De Luca V, Qu Y. (2023) Biosynthesis of Kratom Opioids. New Phytologist. 240:757-769


Blatt-Janmaat K, Neumann S, Schmidt F, Ziegler J, Qu Y, Peters K. (2023) Impact of in vitro phytohormone treatments on the metabolome of the leafy liverwort Radula complanata (L.) Dumort. Metabolomics 19 (3):17


Eng JGM, Shahsavarani M, Smith DP, Hajícek J, De Luca V, Qu Y (2022) A Catharanthus roseus Fe(II)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase catalyzes a redox-neutral reaction responsible for vindolinine biosynthesis. Nature Communications. 13:3335


Shahsavarani M, Utomo JC, Kumar R, Paz-Galeano M, Garza-García JJO, Mai Z, Ro DK, Qu Y. (2023) Improved protein glycosylation enabled heterologous biosynthesis of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids and their unnatural derivatives in yeast. Metabolic Engineering Communications. 16:e00215


Blatt-Janmaat K, Neumann S, Schmidt F, Ziegler J, Peters K, Qu Y. (2022) Impact of in vitro hormone treatments on the bibenzyl production of Radula complanata. Botany


Shahsavarani M, Farzana M, De Luca V, Qu Y. (2022) Generating an EMS Mutant Population and Rapid Mutant Screening by Thin-Layer Chromatography Enables the Studies of Monoterpenoid Indole Alkaloids Biosynthesis in Catharanthus Roseus. Methods in Molecular Biology - the Catharanthus Edition 2505:181-190


Farzana M, Shahsavarani M, De Luca V, Qu Y. (2022) Studying iridoid transport in Catharanthus roseus by grafting. Methods in Molecular Biology - the Catharanthus Edition 2505:69-77


Blatt-Janmaat K, Qu Y. (2021). The Biochemistry of Phytocannabinoids and Metabolic Engineering of Their Production in Heterologous Systems. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22(51): 2454.


Prior to UNB

Barnes EB, Kwon M, Hodgins CH, Qu Y, Kim SW, Yeung EC, Ro DK. (2021). The promoter sequences of lettuce cis-prenyltransferase and its binding protein specify gene expression in laticifers. Planta. 253(51)


Kidd T, Easson M, Qu Y, De Luca V. (2019). Inter-organ transport of secologanin allows assembly of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids in a Catharanthus roseus mutant. Phytochemistry. 159: 119-126.


Williams D, Qu Y, Simonescu R, De Luca V. (2019). The assembly of (+)-vincadifformine and (-)- tabersonine derived monoterpenoid indole alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus involve separate branch pathways. The Plant Journal. 99:626-636


Qu Y, Safonova O, De Luca V. (2019). Completion of the canonical pathway for assembly of anticancer drugs vincristine/vinblastine in Catharanthus roseus. The Plant Journal. 97(2): 257-266


Qu Y, Easson M, Simionescu R, Thamm A, Salim V, De Luca V. (2018). Solution of the multistep pathway for assembly of corynanthean, strychnos, iboga, and aspidosperma monoterpenoid indole alkaloids from 19E-geissoschizine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.115(12): 3180-3185.


Edge A, Qu Y, Easson M, Thamm A, Kim K, De Luca V. (2018). A tabersonine 3-reductase Catharanthus roseusmutant accumulates vindoline pathway intermediates. Planta. 247(1): 155-169.


Qu Y, Thamm A, Czerwinski M, Masada S, Kim K, Jones G, Liang P, De Luca V. (2018). Geissoschizine synthase controls flux in the formation of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids in a Catharanthus roseus mutant. Planta.247(3): 625-634.


Demessie Z, Woolfson K, Yu F, Qu Y, De Luca V. (2017). The ATP binding cassette transporter, VmTPT2/ VmABCG1, is involved in export of the monoterpenoid indole alkaloid, vincamine in Vinca minor leaves. Phytochemistry. 140: 118-124


Thamm A, Qu Y, De Luca V. (2016). Discovery and metabolic engineering of iridoid/secoiridoid and monoterpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthesis. Phytochemistry Reviews. 15(3): 339-361


Qu Y, Simonescu R, De Luca V. (2016). Monoterpene Indole Alkaloids from the Fruit of Tabernaemontana litoralis and Differential Alkaloid Composition in Various Fruit Components. Journal of Natural Products. 79(12): 3143-3147


Ro D, Qu Y, Kwon M. (2016). Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology of plant secondary metabolism. Arimura G, Maffei M. Plant Specialized Metabolism. 1: 315-360.


Qu Y, Easson M, Froese J, Simionescu R, Hudlicky T, De Luca V. (2015). Completion of the seven- step pathway from tabersonine to the anticancer drug precursor vindoline and its assembly in yeast. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.112(19): 6224-6229.


Qu Y, Chakrabarty R, Tran H, Kwon E, Kwon M, Nguyen T, Ro D. (2015). A lettuce (Lactuca sativa) homolog of human Nogo-B receptor interacts with cis-prenyltransferase and is necessary for natural rubber biosynthesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290(4): 1898-1914



Chakrabarty R, Qu Y, Ro D. (2015). Silencing the lettuce homologs of small rubber particle protein does not influence natural rubber biosynthesis in lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Phytochemistry. 113: 121-129