Report of The Fourth A3 Roundtable Meeting on Asia Chemical Probe Research Hub

Lei Gao
Department of Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering,
Peking University, China

 First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of JSPS A3 Foresight Program to give me a chance to visit Sendai and share my recent work. I also want to congratulate Prof. Ueda and his team for organizing such successful international meeting that we are all impressed and benefit from it. It is really a fantastic experience for me.

 In this meeting, as a young scientist, I have 10 min to talk about my recent work on “enzymatic total synthesis of Diels-Alder type natural products using a novel intermolecular [4+2] pericyclase”. Diel-Alder reaction is a famous reaction that is often used to construct C-C bond in organic chemistry. Recently, our group and collaborators have identified the first intermolecular Diels-Alderase, named after MaDA, from plant morus alba, which can catalyze a unique intermolecular Diels-Alder reaction to synthesize Diels-Alder type natural product-chalcomoracin. In this report, we further explored the substrate scope of MaDA and found MaDA could recognize different substituted chalcones as the dienophile and different compounds containing dehydroprenyl moiety as the diene. By combining chemical synthesis of natural or unnatural dienophiles and dienes and biocatalysis using MaDA, we are able to endo-and stereoselectively synthesize more than 20 different D-A type natural products or their analogues, among which more than 10 D-A type products have been prepared on large scale and characterized. During the presentation, I also got some questions from some professors. I tried my best to explain and learned a lot from them. During this conference, I also learned a lot from other speakers, especially from Prof. Park, whose talk was about the Label-free target identification using in-gel fluorescence difference via thermal stability shift.

 Besides the science, I also enjoyed the food and excursions in Sendai. During the dinner or excursions, I shared a lot of time with the students from Japan or South Korea, learned a lot of Japanese cultures as well as Korean cultures via the discussion and made new friends with them. It’s really fantastic time which I won’t forget. I hope in the future I can meet them again.

 At last, I am truly honored to participate in such a wonderful meeting, and really get a lot of inspiration and motivation from it. Thank prof. Ueda and his lab members again for taking good care of us in Sendai. Thank you.