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Scripps Laboratories for tRNA Synthetase Research

Taotao Zou, Ph.D.


Taotao Zou

Ph.D. Department of Chemistry, The University of Hong Kong,
B.Sc. College of Chemistry and Molecular Science, Wuhan University

Previous postdoctoral training
The University of Hong Kong
University of Warwick

Current Research Focus:
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) catalyze the esterification of specific amino acids to their cognate tRNAs, forming aminoacyl-tRNAs, which is a key step for protein synthesis. In addition, aaRSs are involved in diverse regulatory functions (e.g., neddylation) and are closely associated with several diseases (e.g., cancer). My current project is to develop stable and highly potent inhibitors of glycyl-tRNA synthetase for cancer treatment.

Representative Publications:
Fung, S. K.;† Zou, T.;† Cao, B.; Lee, P.-Y.; Fung, Y. M. E.; Hu, D.; Lok, C.-N.; Che, C.-M., Cyclometallated Gold(III) Complexes Containing N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands Engage Multiple Anti-Cancer Molecular Targets, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 3892-3896. († equal contribution).

Fung, S. K.;† Zou, T.;† Cao, B.; Chen, T.; To, W.-P.; Yang, C.; Lok, C.-N.; Che, C.-M., Luminescent platinum(II) complexes with functionalized N-heterocyclic carbene or diphosphine selectively probe mismatched and abasic DNA, Nat. Commun. 2016, 7, 10655. († equal contribution).

Zou, T.; Lum, C. T.; Lok, C.-N.; Zhang, J.-J.; Che, C.-M., Chemical biology of anticancer gold(III) and gold(I) complexes. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2015, 44, 8786-8801.

Zou, T.; Lum, C. T.; Lok, C.-N.; To, W.-P.; Low, K.-H.; Che, C.-M., A Binuclear Gold(I) Complex with Mixed Bridging Diphosphine and Bis(N-Heterocyclic Carbene) Ligands Shows Favorable Thiol Reactivity and Inhibits Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis In Vivo. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 5810-5814.

Lok, C.-N.;† Zou, T.;† Zhang, J.-J.; Lin, I. W.-S.; Che, C.-M., Controlled-Release Systems for Metal-Based Nanomedicine: Encapsulated/Self-Assembled Nanoparticles of Anticancer Gold(III)/Platinum(II) Complexes and Antimicrobial Silver Nanoparticles. Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 5550-5557 († equal contribution).

Zou, T.;† Liu, J.;† Lum, C. T.; Ma, C.; Chan, R. C.-T.; Lok, C.-N.; Kwok, W.-M.; Che, C.-M., Luminescent Cyclometalated Platinum(II) Complex Forms Emissive Intercalating Adducts with Double Stranded DNA and RNA: Differential Emissions and Anticancer Activities. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 10119-10123 († equal contribution).

Zou, T.; Lum, C. T.; Chui, S. S.-Y.; Che, C.-M., Gold(III) Complexes Containing N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Thiol “Switch-on” Fluorescent Probes and Anti-Cancer Agents. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 29


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