Imran Rahman
Advisor: Wilfred van der Donk
Cohort: 2014
Degree: PhD 2021
Current Position: Scientist II at Seawolf Therapeutics

Research Description: Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a major class of natural products. RiPP precursor peptides are typically composed of a N-terminal leader sequence, and a C-terminal core sequence. The leader sequence is recognized by post-translational modification enzymes which install modifications on the core peptide. These post-translational enzymes tolerate changes in the core peptide, which allows for synthesis of peptide libraries which may have therapeutic use. I aim to investigate the leader peptide recognition mechanism in class II lanthipeptide synthetases, called LanMs. LanMs install dehydroamino acids and lanthionine linkages in the core peptide. Understanding the mechanism of substrate recognition in LanMs will allow for their use in combinatorial biosynthetic systems for the discovery of new therapeutics.