Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Content


The Metalloprotein Research Laboratory in San Antonio 

Principal Investigator: Aimin Liu (Feradical), Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry & Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry  




✓    Charge maintenance during catalysis in non-heme iron oxygenases
Traore ES and Liu A*
ACS Catalysis, 2022, 12(10), 6191-6208 [DOI]: 10.1021/acscatal.1c04770   [PDF]

✓    A new regime of heme-dependent aromatic oxygenase superfamily
Shin I, Wang Y, and Liu A*
PNAS, 2021, 118(43), e210656 [DOI]: 10.1073/pnas.2106561118   [PDF]

✓    Molecular rationale for partitioning between C-H and C-F bond activation in heme-dependent tyrosine hydroxylase
Wang Y, Davis I, Shin I, Xu H, and Liu A*
JACS, 2021, 143(12), 4680-4693 [DOI]: 10.1021/jacs.1c00175   [PDF]

✓    A novel catalytic heme cofactor in SfmD with a single thioether bond and a bis-His ligand set revealed by de novo crystal structural and spectroscopic study
Shin I, Davis I, Nieves-Merced K, Wang Y, McHardy S, and Liu A*
Chem. Sci., 2021, 12(11), 3984-3998 [DOI]: 10.1039/D0SC06369J   [PDF]

✓    Crystal structure of human cysteamine dioxygenase provides a structural rationale for its function as an oxygen sensor
Wang Y, Shin I, Li J, and Liu A*
JBC, 2021, 297(4), 101176 (1-10)   [DOI]: (10.1074/jbc.RA120.013915)   [PDF]

✓    Formation of monofluorinated radical cofactor in galactose oxidase through copper-mediated C−F bond scission
Li J, Davis I, Griffith WP, and Liu A*
JACS, 2020, 142(44), 18758-18757 [DOI]: 10.1021/jacs.0c08992   [PDF]

✓    Observing 3-hydroxyanthranilate-3,4-dioxygenase in action through a crystalline lens
Wang Y, Liu KF, Yang Y, Davis I, and Liu A*
PNAS, 2020, 117(33), 19720-19730  (PNAS Direct Submission) [DOI]: 10.1073/pnas.2005327117   [PDF]

✓    Characterization of the non-heme iron center of cysteamine dioxygenase and its interaction with substrates
Wang Y, Davis I, Yang Y, Chen Y, Naik SG, Griffith WP, and Liu A*
JBC, 2020, 295(33), 11789-11802   [DOI]: (10.1074/jbc.RA120.013915)   [PDF]

✓    Substrate-assisted hydroxylation and O-demethylation in the peroxidase-like cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP121
Nguyen RC, Yang Y, Wang Y, Davis I, and Liu A*
ACS Catalysis, 2020, 10(2), 1628-1639   [DOI]: 10.1021/acscatal.9b04596   [PDF]   [LiveSlides]

✓    Quaternary structure of α-amino-β-carboxymuconate-ϵ-semialdehyde decarboxylase (ACMSD) controls its activity
Yang Y, Davis I, Matsui T, Rubalcava I, and Liu A*
JBC, 2019, 294(30), 11609-11621   [DOI]: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.009035   [PDF]   (featured as JBC cover story)   

✓    Biocatalytic carbon-hydrogen and carbon-fluorine bond cleavage through hydroxylation promoted by a histidyl-ligated heme enzyme
Wang Y, Davis I, Shin I, Wherritt DJ, Griffith WP, Dornevil K, Colabroy KL, and Liu A*
ACS Catalysis, 2019, 9(6), 4764-4776   [DOI]: 10.1021/acscatal.9b00231   [PDF]   [LiveSlides]   (featured by ACS Editors’ Choice)

✓    Probing the Cys-Tyr cofactor biogenesis in cysteine dioxygenase by the genetic incorporation of fluorotyrosine
Li J, Koto T, Davis I, and Liu A*
Biochemistry, 2019, 58(17), 2218-2227   [DOI]: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00006   [PDF]

✓    Cleavage of a carbon–fluorine bond by an engineered cysteine dioxygenase
Li J, Griffith WP, Davis I, Shin I, Wang J, Li F, Wang Y, Wherritt D, and Liu A*
Nat. Chem. Biol., 2018, 14(9), 853-860   [DOI]: 10.1038/s41589-018-0085-5   [PDF]

✓    Adapting to oxygen: 3-Hydroxyanthrinilate 3,4-dioxygenase employs loop dynamics to accommodate two substrates with disparate polarities
Yang Y, Liu F*, and Liu A*
JBC, 2018, 293(27), 10415-10424   [DOI]: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002698    [PDF]   (featured as JBC cover story)    

✓    Cofactor biogenesis in cysteamine dioxygenase: C-F bond cleavage with genetically incorporated unnatural tyrosine
Wang Y, Griffith WP, Li J, Koto, T, Wherritt D, Fritz E, and Liu A*
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57(27), 8149-8153   [DOI]: 10.1002/ange.201803907    [PDF]

✓    Reassignment of the human aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH8A1 (ALDH12) to the kynurenine pathway in tryptophan catabolism
Davis I, Yang Y, Wherritt D, and Liu A*
JBC, 2018, 293(25), 9594-9603   [DOI]: (10.1074/jbc.RA118.003320)   [PDF]

✓    Stepwise O-atom transfer in heme-based tryptophan dioxygenase: Role of substrate ammonium in epoxide ring opening
Shin I, Ambler BR, Wherritt DJ, Griffith WP, Maldonado AC, Altman RA, and Liu A*
JACS, 2018, 140(12), 4372-4379   [DOI]: 10.1021/jacs.8b00262   [PDF]

✓    High-frequency/high-field EPR and theoretical studies of tryptophan-based radicals
Davis I, Koto T, Terrell JR, Kozhanov A, Krzystek J, and Liu A*
JPC, 2018, 122(12), 3170-3176   [DOI]: 10.1021/acs.jpca.7b12434   [PDF]

✓    Probing ligand exchange in the P450 enzyme CYP121 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Dynamic equilibrium of the distal heme ligand
Fielding AJ, Dornevil K, Ma L, Davis I, and Liu A*
JACS, 2017, 139(48), 17484-17499   [DOI]: 10.1021/jacs.7b08911   [PDF]

✓    Crosslinking of dicyclotyrosine by cytochrome P450 CYP121 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis proceeds through a catalytic shunt pathway
Dornevil K, Davis I, Fielding AJ, Terrell JR, Ma L, and Liu A*
JBC, 2017, 292(33), 13645-13657   [DOI]: 10.1074/jbc.M117.794099   [PDF]

✓    Hypertryptophanemia due to tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase deficiency
Ferreira F*, Shin I, Sosova I, Dornevil K, Jain Shailly, Dewey D, Liu F, and Liu A*
Mol. Genet. Metab., 2017, 120(4), 317-324   [DOI]: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2017.02.009   [PDF]

✓    A pitcher-and-catcher mechanism drives endogenous substrate isomerization by a dehydrogenase in kynurenine metabolism
Yang Y, Davis I, Ha U, Wang Y, Shin I, and Liu A*
JBC, 2016, 291(51), 26252-26261   [DOI]: 10.1074/jbc.M116.759712    [PDF]
(featured as a "Papers of the Week" and selected, after publication in a collection of representative papers in a virtual issue of Enzymology)