Chemistry & Physics

Drs. Feske (chemistry), Padgett (chemistry) and Mateer (biology) publish paper in Tetrahedron: Asymmetry with 4 undergraduate co-authors.
Dr. Brent Feske, Dr. Cliff Padgett and Dr. Scott Mateer have recently published a paper in Tetrahedron: Asymmetry describing a novel biocatalytic reaction to synthesize the antibiotic fosfomycin.  Fosfomycin targets gram positive and gram negative bacteria and has historically been used for the treatment of urinary tract infections.  However, the use of fosfomycin is currently booming due to its low toxicity and high success rates for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).  The paper, titled “Asymmetric synthesis of (-)-fosfomycin and its trans-(1S,2S)-diastereomer using a biocatalytic reduction as the key step” was published in the October 15, 2011 issue of the journal on pages 1784-1789.  The paper is co-authored by 4 undergraduate students from the chemistry program at Armstrong, namely Christian Marocco (presently attending Physician Assistant Program at South University), Erik Davis (presently a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at Clemson University), Julie Finnell (B.S. chemistry major) and Phung-Hoang Nguyen (B.S. chemistry major) as well as collaborator Ion Ghiviriga from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida.  The paper describes two enzymes capable of reducing a β-ketophosphonate followed by a two step synthesis resulting in the antibiotic fosfomycin.  This project was supported by NSF-RUI grant CHE-0848708 (Dr. Brent Feske, PI), NSF-MRI grant CHE-0923153 (Dr. Brent Feske, PI) and NSF-STEP DUE-0856593 (Dr. Delana Nivens, PI).