The projects of this laboratory aim to provide new chemical genetic tools to define, perturb and manipulate essential functions of protein methyltransferases. Another focus in this laboratory is to design and synthesize tight-binding inhibitors as anti-cancer drug candidates by blocking these protein-modifying activities. Researchers in the field of chemistry, biology and biochemistry work together closely to synthesize novel chemical reagents, elucidate illness-causing mechanisms at molecular level and develop potential treatments for human diseases.


Ian R. Bothwell and Minkui Luo, “Large-scale, Protection-free Synthesis of Se-Adenosyl-L-selenomethionine Analogues and Their Application as Cofactor Surrogates of Methyltransferases”, Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 3056-3059. This paper was featured by Today's Science Sparks at MSKCC.

Han Guo, Rui Wang, Weihong Zheng, Yuling Chen, Gil Blum, Haiteng Deng and Minkui Luo, “Profiling Substrates of Protein Arginine N-Methyltransferase 3 with S-Adenosyl-L-methionine Analogues”, ACS Chemical Biology, 2014, 9, 476-484. PMCID:PMC3944066

Rui Wang and Minkui Luo, “A Journey toward Bioorthogonal Profiling of Protein Methylation inside Living Cells”, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2013, 17, 729-737.

Kabirul Islam, Yuling Chen, Hong Wu, Ian Bothwell, Gil Blum, Hong Zeng, Aiping Dong, Weihong Zheng, Jinrong Min, Haiteng Deng, Minkui Luo, “Defining Efficient Enzyme-Cofactor Pairs for Bioorthogonal Profiling of Protein Methylation”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013, 110, 16778-16783.

Rui Wang, Kabirul Islam, Weihong Zheng, Ying Liu, Haiping Tang, Gil Blum, Haiteng Deng &  Minkui Luo, “Profiling Genome-wide Chromatin Methylation with Engineered Posttranslation Apparatus within Living Cells”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1048. This article was featured by Faculty of 1000Prime.

Weihong Zheng, Glorymar Ibáñez, Hong Wu, Gil Blum, Hong Zeng, Aiping Dong, Fengling Li, Taraneh Hajian, Abdellah Allali-Hassani, Maria F. Amaya, Alena Siarheyeva, Wenyu Yu, Peter J. Brown, Matthieu Schapira, Masoud Vedadi, Jinrong Min & Minkui Luo, “Sinefungin Derivatives as Inhibitors and Structure Probes of Protein Lysine Methyltransferase SETD2”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 18004-180014. This paper was featured by Nature/SciBX 5(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1192.

Ian R. Bothwell, Kabirul Islam, Yuling Chen, Weihong Zheng, Gil Blum, Haiteng Deng & Minkui Luo, “Se-Adenosyl-L-selenomethionine Cofactor Analogue as a Reporter of Protein Methylation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 14905-149012.

Kabirul Islam, Ian Bothwell, Yuling Chen, Caitlin Sengelaub, Rui Wang, Haiteng Deng and Minkui Luo, “Bioorthogonal Profiling of Protein Methylation (BPPM) Using Azido Derivative of S-adenosyl-L-methionine”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 5909-5915. This paper was featured by Today's Science Sparks at MSKCC and highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News in the April 9th issue, 2012, 15, p.35.

Minkui Luo, “Current Chemical Biology Approaches to Interrogate Protein Methyltransferases”, ACS Chemical Biology, 2012, 7, 443-463.

Kabirul Islam, Weihong Zheng, Haiqiang Yu, Haiteng Deng and Minkui Luo, “Expanding Cofactor Repertoire of Protein Lysine Methyltransferase for Substrate Labeling”, ACS Chemical Biology, 2011, 6, 679-684

Rui Wang, Weihong Zheng, Haiqiang Yu, Haiteng Deng and Minkui Luo, “Labeling Substrates of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase with Engineered Enzymes and Matched S-Adenosyl-L-methionine Analogues”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 7648-7651.

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Selected Achievements

Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (2011)

Director’s New Innovator Award, National Institutes of Health (2010)

Alfred W. Bressler Scholar, Alfred W. Bressler Scholars Endowment Fund (2010)

V Scholar Award, V Foundation for Cancer Research (2009)

Outstanding Postdoctoral Research Prize, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2007)