Chemical biology and synthetic biology of nucleic acids

Research Areas

Chemical biology and synthetic biology 


1. H. Mei*, J. C. Chaput*, Synthesis of a Fluorescent Cytidine TNA Triphosphate Analogue. Methods Mol. Biol. 2019, 1973, 27-37. (Invited Book Chapter)

2  X. Guo, P. Leonard, S. A. Ingale, J. Liu, H. Mei, M. Sieg, F. Seela, 5-Aza-7-deaza-2’-deoxyguanosine and 2'-Deoxycytidine form Programmable Silver-Mediated Base Pairs with Metal Ions in the Core of the DNA Double Helix. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 8883-8892.

3  H. Mei#, R. Liao#, J. Randi, Y. Wang, S. Bala, C. McCloskey, C. Switzer, J. C.  Chaput*, Synthesis and Evolution of a Threose Nucleic Acid Aptamer Bearing 7Deaza-7-Substituted Guanosine Residues. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 5706-5713. (Hot Papers selected by Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society)

4 H. Mei, J. C. Chaput*, Expanding the Chemical Diversity of TNA with tUTP Derivatives that are Substrates for a TNA Polymerase. Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 1237-1240.

5 H. Mei#, C. Shi#, J. Randi, Y. Wang, M. Kardouh, J. C. Chaput*, Synthesis and Polymerase Activity of a Fluorescent Cytidine TNA Triphosphate Analogue. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017, 45, 5629-5638.

6  S. Bala, J. Liao, H. Mei, J. C. Chaput*, Synthesis of α-L-threofuranosyl Nucleoside 3'-Monophosphates, 3'-Phosphoro(2-methyl)imidazolides, and 3'-Triphosphates. J. Org. Chem. 2017, 82, 5910-5916.

7 S. K. Jana, X. Guo, H. Mei, F. Seela*, Robust Silver-mediated Imidazolo-dC Base Pairs in Metal DNA: Dinuclear Silver Bridges with Exceptional Stability in Double Helices with Parallel and Antiparallel Strand Orientation. Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 17301-17304.

8 H. Mei, S. A. Ingale, F. Seela*, 3-Phenyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropyrimido[4,5-c]pyridazin-7-one as Nucleobase Substitute in DNA: Synthesis of the 2'-Deoxyribonucleoside, Cyclonucleoside Formation and Base Pairing in Oligonucleotides. 2015, Tetrahedron2015, 71, 6170-6175.

9 H. Yang, H. Mei, F. Seela*, Pyrrolo-dC Metal Base Pairs in the Reverse Watson-Crick Double Helix: Capturing of Silver-Ions, Enhanced Stability of Parallel DNA and Impact of 6-Pyridinyl Residues on Fluorescence and Metal Ion Binding. Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 10207-10219.

10 H. Mei, S. A. Ingale, F. Seela*, Imidazolo-dC Metal-Mediated Base Pairs: Purine Nucleosides Capture Two Ag+ Ions and Form a Duplex with the Stability of a Covalent DNA Cross-Link, Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 16248-16257.

11 H. Mei, I. Röhl and F. Seela*, Ag+-mediated DNA Base Pairing: Extraordinary Stable Pyrrolo-dC – Pyrrolo-dC Pairs Binding Two Silver Ions. J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 9457-9563. (Selected as one of the exciting papers from ACS publications in 2013 about nucleic acids)

12 H. Mei, H.Yang, I. Röhl, F. Seela*,  Silver Arrays Inside DNA Duplexes Constructed from Ag+-mediated Pyrrolo-dC – Pyrrolo-dC Base Pairs. ChemPlusChem, 2014, 79, 914-918.

13 H. Mei, S. A. Ingale, F. Seela*, Pyrene and Bis-Pyrene DNA Nucleobase Conjugates: Excimer and Monomer Fluorescence of Linear and Dendronized Cytosine and 7-Deazaguanine Click Adducts. Tetrahedron 2013, 69, 4731-4742.

14 S. Ingale, H. Mei, P. Leonard, F. Seela*, Ethynyl Side Chain Hydration During Synthesis and Work up of “Clickable” Oligonucleotides: Bypassing Acetyl Group Formation by Triisopropylsilyl Protection. J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 11271-11282.

15 H. Mei, S. Budow, F. Seela*, Construction and Assembly of Chimeric DNA: Oligonucleotide Hybrid Molecules Composed of Parallel or Antiparallel Duplexes and Tetrameric i-Motifs. Biomacromolecules, 2012, 13, 4196-4204.

16 S. A. Ingale, S. S. Pujari, V. R. Sirivolu, P. Ding, H. Xiong, H. Mei, F. Seela*, 7-Deazapurine and 8-Aza-7-deazapurine Nucleoside and Oligonucleotide Pyrene “Click” Conjugates: Synthesis, Nucleobase Controlled Fluorescence Quenching, and Duplex Stability. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 188-199.

17 F. Seela*, H. Mei, H. Xiong, S. Budow, H. Eickmeier, H. Reuter, 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxycytidine: A DNA Building Block with a "Clickable" Side Chain. Acta Cryst. 2012, C68, o395-0398.

18. H. Mei, L. Xing, L. Cai, H.-W. Jin, P. Zhao, Z.-J. Yang*, L.-R. Zhang, L.-H. Zhang, Studies on the Synthesis of Neamine-dinucleosides and Neamine-PNA Conjugates and their Interaction with RNA.  Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2008, 18, 5335-5338.

Research Interests

The Mei lab will study the possibilities of replacing natural genetic materials DNA/RNA with artificial xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) in synthetic biology, and further using them to build a xeno-life. Besides, we will also investigate the potential applications of XNAs in diagnostics and therapeutics. Another direction of the lab will focus on developing novel chemical tools or methods to gain insight into biological problems at a molecular level. Potentially, these efforts will seed new medicines and diagnostics to improve human health, develop novel technologies to probe natural biology, and create synthetic life forms to serve human needs.