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Biochemical studies on cyclophane-forming enzymes in peptide natural product biosynthesis

21 September 2023

About speaker

Angelica Faith L. Suarez


Cyclophane-containing peptides are important in drug discovery, with several examples used clinically. Plants, fungi, and bacteria have emerged as rich sources of such chemotype containing a single aromatic ring. These peptide natural products are biosynthesized ribosomally and posttranslationally modified.

We identified a suite of radical SAM/SPASM modifying enzymes that catalyze the formation of C(sp2)-C(sp3) crosslink on three-residue motifs creating a rigid cyclophane. This transformation defines a new family of peptide natural products termed triceptides. In this talk, we will delve deeper into the potential of cyclophane-forming enzymes as versatile biocatalysts for generating diverse peptide cyclophanes.

Aica is a PhD candidate at NUS Singapore (Brandon I Morinaka). Her research focuses on characterizing novel post-translational enzymes that catalyze peptide cyclization – an important chemical transformation in creating peptide therapeutics.

Before joining NUS, she obtained her early training in natural products drug discovery research at the C2B2 and CND3 labs at the University of San Agustin (Doralyn Dalisay & Jonel Saludes). There, she made key contributions to discovering bioactive compounds found in functional food and marine Actinobacteria. Aica obtained her BS (magna cum laude) and Master degrees in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines Visayas.

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