Meifeng Tao

Research fellow
antibiotic discovery/biosynthesis and regulation






Meifeng Tao, PhD, Professor. Meifeng Tao graduated from Wuhan University, China in 1992. She received her PhD degree under the supervision of Prof. Zixin Deng in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Huazhong Agricultural University in 1999. Afterwards, she was appointed as a lecturer (1999), and an associate professor (2001) in Huazhong Agricultural University. She has been working as a visiting scholar in Prof. Keith Chater’s laboratory in the John Innes Centre from 1999-2001 (discontinuously), studying on the development and differentiation of Streptomyces. She has spent 3 years from 2005-2007 in Prof. Ben Shen’s lab in UW-Madison, studying biosynthesis of microbial natural products. She was appointed as a professor in Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2009.


Research Direction

1.         High-throughput mining of new antibiotics and biosynthetic gene clusters

Fig 1  An additional copy of afsRScla increased clavulanic acid production and induced holomycin production in S. clavuligerus. (Chen, et al. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012)


2.         Genetic mechanism and application of high-yield production of new microbial drugs
Fig 2  The revised pathway for TLM biosynthesis featuring TlmH-catalyzed hydroxylation of both C41 and C42 to afford labile carbinolamide intermediates and TlmK-catalyzed subsequent glycosylation of their hemiaminal hydroxyl groups as the final two steps. (Tao, et al. Mol Biosyst. 2010)
3.    Natural product biosynthesis


Fig 3 The cslASc gene affected aerial-hyphal development. (Xu, et al. J Bacteriol. 2008)


Selected Publications:

(1)   Characterization of streptonigrin biosynthesis reveals a cryptic carboxyl methylation and an unusual oxidative cleavage of a N-C bond. Xu F, Kong D, He X, Zhang Z, Han M, Xie X, Wang P, Cheng H, Tao M, Zhang L, Deng Z, Lin S*, J Am Chem Soc, 2013, 135(5):1739-48..
(2)      A designer bleomycin with significantly improved DNA cleavage activity. Huang SX, Feng Z, Wang L, Galm U, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Yang D, Tao M, Coughlin JM, Duan Y, Shen B*, J Am Chem Soc, 2012, 134(32):13501-9.
(3)      High-throughput screening for Streptomyces antibiotic biosynthesis activators. Chen L, Wang Y, Guo H, Xu M, Deng Z, Tao M*Appl Environ Microbiol, 2012, 78(12):4526-8. , 
(4)      A non-restricting and non-methylating Escherichia coli strain for DNA cloning and high-throughput conjugation to Streptomyces coelicolor. Zhou H, Wang Y, Yu Y, Bai T, Chen L, Liu P, Guo H, Zhu C, Tao M*, Deng Z, Curr Microbiol, 2012, 64(2):185-90.
(5)      Identification and characterization of the pyridomycin biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces pyridomyceticus NRRL B-2517. Huang T, Wang Y, Yin J, Du Y, Tao M, Xu J, Chen W, Lin S*, Deng Z,  J Biol Chem, 2011, 286(23):20648-57.
(6)      Comparative analysis of the biosynthetic gene clusters and pathways for three structurally related antitumor antibiotics: bleomycin, tallysomycin, and zorbamycin. Galm U, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Wang L, Huang SX, Unsin C, Tao M, Coughlin JM, Shen B*, .J Nat Prod, 2011, 74(3):526-36.
(7)      Improved production of the tallysomycin H-1 in Streptoalloteichus hindustanus SB8005 strain by fermentation optimization. Zhang N, Zhu X, Yang D, Cai J, Tao M, Wang L, Duan Y, Shen B*, Xu Z*. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010, 86(5):1345-53.
(8)      Functional characterization of tlmH in Streptoalloteichus hindustanus E465-94 ATCC 31158 unveiling new insight into tallysomycin biosynthesis and affording a novel bleomycin analog. Tao M†, Wang L†, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Zhang N, Yang D, Galm U, Coughlin JM, Xu Z, Shen B*, Mol Biosyst, 2010, 6(2):349-56.
(9)      Characterization of the tunicamycin gene cluster unveiling unique steps involved in its biosynthesis. Chen W, Qu D, Zhai L, Tao M, Wang Y, Lin S, Price NP*, Deng Z*, Protein Cell. 2010, 1(12):1093-105.
(10) Functional characterization of tlmK unveiling unstable carbinolamide intermediates in the tallysomycin biosynthetic pathway. Wang L†, Tao M†, Wendt-Pienkoski E, Galm U, Coughlin JM, Shen B*, J Biol Chem, 2009, 284(13):8256-64.
(11) The biosynthetic gene cluster of zorbamycin, a member of the bleomycin family of antitumor antibiotics, from Streptomyces flavoviridis ATCC 21892. Galm U, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Wang L, George NP, Oh TJ, Yi F, Tao M, Coughlin JM, Shen B*, Mol Biosyst. 2009,5(1):77-90.
(12) In vivo manipulation of the bleomycin biosynthetic gene cluster in Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003 revealing new insights into its biosynthetic pathway. Galm U, Wang L, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Yang R, Liu W, Tao M, Coughlin JM, Shen B*, J Biol Chem, 2008, 283(42):28236-45.
(13) A cellulose synthase-like protein involved in hyphal tip growth and morphological differentiation in Streptomyces. Xu H, Chater KF, Deng Z, Tao M*, J Bacteriol, 2008, 190(14):4971-8.
(14) Sequences downstream of the start codon and their relations to G + C content and optimal growth temperature in prokaryotic genomes. Li W, Zou H, Tao M*, Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek, 2007, 92(4):417-27.
(15) Glycopeptide antitumor antibiotic zorbamycin from Streptomyces flavoviridis ATCC 21892: strain improvement and structure elucidation. Wang L, Yun BS, George NP, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Galm U, Oh TJ, Coughlin JM, Zhang G, Tao M, Shen B*, J Nat Prod, 2007, 70(3):402-6. 
(16) Role of an FtsK-like protein in genetic stability in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). Wang L, Yu Y, He X, Zhou X, Deng Z, Chater KF, Tao M*, J Bacteriol, 2007, 189(6):2310-8.
(17) The tallysomycin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptoalloteichus hindustanus E465-94 ATCC 31158 unveiling new insights into the biosynthesis of the bleomycin family of antitumor antibiotics. Tao M, Wang L, Wendt-Pienkowski E, George NP, Galm U, Zhang G, Coughlin JM, Shen B*, Mol Biosyst, 2007, 3(1):60-74.
(18) A genetic and bioinformatic analysis of Streptomyces coelicolor genes containing TTA codons, possible targets for regulation by a developmentally significant tRNA. Li W, Wu J, Tao W, Zhao C, Wang Y, He X, Chandra G, Zhou X, Deng Z, Chater KF, Tao M*, FEMS Microbiol Lett, 2007, 266(1):20-8. 
(19) Identification of a gene negatively affecting antibiotic production and morphological differentiation in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). Li W, Ying X, Guo Y, Yu Z, Zhou X, Deng Z, Kieser H, Chater KF, Tao M*, J Bacteriol, 2006, 188(24):8368-75.
(20) A rare leucine codon in adpA is implicated in the morphological defect of bldA mutants of Streptomyces coelicolor. Takano E†, Tao M†, Long F, Bibb MJ,   Wang L, Li W, Buttner MJ, Bibb MJ, Deng ZX, Chater KF*,   Mol  Microbiol, 2003, 50(2):475-86.

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