* denotes corresponding authors

Refereed Publications from Independent Research at UNC-Chapel Hill


16. Morgan, G. L., Li, B.* “In vitro reconstitution reveals a central role for the N‐oxygenase PvfB in (dihydro)pyrazine‐N‐oxide and valdiazen biosynthesis,” Angew. Chemie. Int. Ed. ASAP doi:



15. Patteson, J. B., Lescallette, A. R., Li, B.* “Discovery and Biosynthesis of Azabicyclene, a Conserved Nonribosomal Peptide in Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” Org. Lett. 13, 4955-4959 doi:



14. Morgan, G. Kretsch, A. M., Santa Maria, K., Weeks, S. J., Li, B.* “Specificity of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the biosynthesis of the Pseudomonas virulence factor,” Biochemistry ASAP doi:



13. Santa Maria, K. C., Chan, A. N., O'Neill, E. M., Li, B.* “Targeted Rediscovery and Biosynthesis of the Farnesyl‐Transferase Inhibitor Pepticinnamin E,” ChemBioChem 20, 1387-1393 (2019) doi:



12. Chan, A.N., Wever, W.J., Massolo, E., Allen, S.E., Li, B.* “Reducing holomycin thiosulfonate to its disulfide with thiols,” Chem. Res. Toxicol. (2019), 32, 400-404 doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.8b00243



11. O’Neill, E.M., Mucyn, T.S., Patteson, J.B., Finkel, O.M., Chung, E-H., Baccile, J.A., Massolo, E., Schroeder, F.C., Dangl, J.L., Li, B.* “Phevamine A, a bacterial small molecule that suppresses plant immune responses,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 41, 9514-9522 (2018). doi: 10.1073/pnas.1803779115


Kretsch Org lett 2018

10. Kretsch, A.M., Morgan, G.L., Tyrrell, J., Mevers, E., Vallet-Gély, E., Li, B.* “Discovery of (dihydro)pyrazine N-oxides via genome-mining in Pseudomonas,” Org. Lett., 20, 4791–4795 (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.8b01944


9. Pellock, S., Creekmore, B., Walton, W., Mehta, N., Biernat, K., Cesmat, A., Ariyarathna, Y., Dunn, Z.D., Li, B., Jin, J., James, L., Redinbo, M.* “Piperazine-containing inhibitors intercept the catalytic cycle of gut microbial β-glucuronidases,” ACS Cent. Sci., 4, 868–879 (2018). doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00239


Jon Angewandte 2018

8. Patteson, J.B., Dunn, Z.D., Li, B.* "In Vitro Biosynthesis of the Nonproteinogenic Amino Acid Methoxyvinylglycine," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 6780-6785. doi: 10.1002/anie.201713419


Jon Biochem 2017

7. Patteson, J.B., Cai, W., Johnson, R.A., Santa Maria, K.C., Li, B.* "Identification of the Biosynthetic Pathway for the Antibiotic Bicyclomycin," Biochemistry, 57, 61–65 (2018). doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00943

Published in the “Future of Biochemistry” Special Issue

Highlighted in Viewpoint article: Chekan J.R., Moore B.S. “Biosynthesis of the antibiotic bicyclomycin in soil and pathogenic bacteria,” Biochemistry, 57, 897–898 (2018).


Andy PNAS 2017

6. Chan, A.N., Shiver, L.S., Wever, W.J., Razvi, S.Z.A., Traxler, M.F., Li, B.* "Role for dithiolopyrrolones in disrupting bacterial metal homeostasis," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10, 2717-2722 (2017). doi: 10.1073/pnas.1612810114

Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News: “Mode of action for unusual antibiotic found,” 95, 10 (2017).


5. Shiver, A.L., Osadnik, H., Kritikos, G., Li, B., Krogan, N., Typas, A., Gross, C.A*. “A chemical-genomic screen of neglected antibiotics reveals illicit transport of kasugamycin and blasticidin S”, PLoS Genet., 12, e1006124 (2016). doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006124


Zach 2015

4. Dunn, Z.D., Weaver, W.J., Economou, N.J., Bowers, A.A., Li, B.* "Enzymatic Basis of 'hybridity' in Thiomarinol Biosynthesis," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 5137-5141 (2015). doi: 10.1002/anie.201411667


Invited Reviews and commentary

3. Biernat, K.A., Li, B., Redinbo, M.R.* “Microbial unmasking of plant glycosides,” mBio, 9, e02433–17 (2018). (Commentary) doi: 10.1128/mBio.02433-17


Andy and Kevin review 2016

2. Chan, A.N., Santa Maria, K.C., Li, B. "Direct capture technologies for genomics-guided discovery of natural products," Curr. Top. Med. Chem. 15, 1695-1704 (2016). (Review) Link


Bo review 2014

1. Li, B., Weaver, W.J., Walsh, C.T., Bowers, A.A. “Dithiolopyrrolones: Biosynthesis, Synthesis, and Activity of a Unique Class of Disulfide-Containing Antibiotics,” Nat. Prod. Rep. 31, 905-23 (2014) (Review) doi: 10.1039/C3NP70106A


Refereed Publications Prior to UNC-Chapel Hill

9. Ortega, M.A., Cogan, D.P., Mukherjee, S., Garg, N., Li, B., Maffioli, S., Donadio, S., Sosio, M., Escano, J., Smith, J.L., Nair, S.K., and van der Donk, W.A. “Two flavoenzymes install 5-chlorotryptophan and 2-amionvinyl cysteine during the biosynthesis of the lantibiotic NAI-107”, ACS Chem. Bio. 12, 548–557 (2017).

8. Li, B., Forseth R.R., Bowers A.A., Schroeder F.C., Walsh, C.T. "A backup plan for self-protection: S-methylation of holomycin biosynthetic intermediates in Streptomyces clavuligerus." ChemBioChem, 13, 2521-6 (2012). Highlighted in Chem. Eur. J., 18, 15904 (2012).

7. Li, B., Walsh, C.T. "Streptomyces clavuligerus HlmI is an intramolecular disulfide-forming dithiol oxidase in holomycin biosynthesis." Biochemistry, 50, 4615-22 (2011).

6. Li, B., Walsh, C.T. "Identification of the gene cluster for the dithiolopyrrolone antibiotic holomycin in Streptomyces clavuligerus," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107, 19731-5 (2010).

5. Li, B., Sher, D., Kelly, L., Shi, Y., Huang, K., Knerr, P.J., Joewono, I., Rusch, D. Chisholm, S.W., van der Donk, W.A. "Catalytic promiscuity in the biosynthesis of cyclic peptide secondary metabolites in planktonic marine cyanobacteria," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107, 10430-5 (2010). Highlighted in "A Most Versatile Enzyme," Chemical and Engineering News, 88, 56 (2010). Also listed as the 5th most-read paper online at Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. in June, 2010

4. Goto, Y., Li, B., Claesen, J., Shi, Y., Bibb, M.J., van der Donk, W.A. "Discovery of unique lanthionine synthetases reveals new mechanistic and evolutionary insights," PLoS Biol., 8, e1000339 (2010).

3. Li, B., Cooper, L.E., van der Donk, W.A. "Chapter 21. In vitro studies of lantibiotic biosynthesis," Methods Enzymol., 458, 533-58 (2009). (Invited Review)

2. Li, B., van der Donk, W.A. "Identification of essential catalytic residues of the cyclase NisC involved in the biosynthesis of nisin," J. Biol. Chem., 282, 21169-75 (2007).

1. Li, B., Yu, J.P., Brunzelle, J.S., Moll, G.N., van der Donk, W.A., Nair, S.K. "Structure and mechanism of the lantibiotic cyclase involved in nisin biosynthesis," Science, 311, 1464-7 (2006). Highlighted in perspective "Five golden rings," Science, 311, 1382-3 (2006); "Antimicrobials: A ringing success," Nature Reviews Microbiol., 4, 322-3 (2006); "Resisting the resistance," ACS Chem. Biol., 1, 119 (2006); "Nisin engineered in test tube," Chemical and Engineering News, 84, 9 (2006).

Book Chapter

1. Cooper, L.E., Li, B., van der Donk, W.A. "Biosynthesis and mode of action of lantibiotics," In Comprehensive Natural Products Chemistry II, Eds. Mander, L., Liu, H-w., (May 2010). (Book Chapter)