Zixin Deng

Zixin Deng






Deng Zixin, a professor on microbiology at School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiaotong University. He is the head of the School of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, and the head of the State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China. He is a Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Science Academy for the Developing World (formally the Third World Academy of Sciences, TWAS), and a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology. He and his colleagues have developed efficient gene cloning systems for several important antibiotics producers (notably polyene, polyether and aminoglycoside classes for medical, agricultural and veterinary uses), leading to the cloning and detailed demonstration of their biosynthetic pathways and regulatory mechanisms. He and his collaborators also worked extensively on an unusual DNA modification system by sulphur (S) in widespread bacteria of variable origin and diverse habitat. This study revealed a first DNA modification into DNA backbone to form phosphorothioate, which seemed to have opened up a fascinating new field of research with potential relevance to the understanding of interesting physiological function(s) within the context of a wide-spectrum of life systems.

Education Experience

1984 - 1987 Ph.D.  University of East Anglia   John Innes Institute   Norwich  England   

1978 - 1982 B.Sc., Huazhong Agricultural University Wuhan   China

Work Experience

2000-        Professor          Shanghai Jiaotong University   Shanghai          China

1992 – 2000   Professor          Huazhong Agricultural University  Wuhan   China

1991 – 1992   Associate Professor   Huazhong Agricultural University    Wuhan  China


2010  “Model Worker” Named by National Central Government

2008 “Model Worker” Named by Shanghai Municipal Government

2008 Grade II prize for National Natural Science, Ministry of Science & Technology

2005   “One of the ten talents in Scientific & Technological invention”, Shanghai General    Workers Association








1. DNA Sulphur Modification Mechanism

2. Biosynthesis and engineering of microbial secondary metabolites

Cao B, Cheng Q, Gu C, Yao F, DeMott MS, Zheng X, Deng Z, Dedon PC, You D*. Pathological phenotypes and in vivo DNA cleavage by unrestrained activity of a phosphorothioate-based restriction system in Salmonella. Mol Microbiol, 2014, 93(4):776-85.

2.       Xu F, Kong D, He X, Zhang Z, Han M, Xie X, Wang P, Cheng H, Tao M, Zhang L, Deng Z, Lin S*. Characterization of streptonigrin biosynthesis reveals a cryptic carboxyl methylation and an unusual oxidative cleavage of a N-C bond. J Am Chem Soc, 2013, 135(5):1739-1748.
3.       Zou Y, Fang Q, Yin H, Liang Z, Kong D, Bai L, Deng Z, Lin S*. Stereospecific biosynthesis of β-methyl tryptophan from L-tryptophan features a stereochemical switch. Angew Chem Int Ed, 2013, 52, 12951-12955.
4.       Xie X, Liang J, Pu T, Xu F, Yao F, Yang Y, Zhao YL, You D, Zhou X, Deng Z*, Wang Z*. Phosphorothioate DNA as an antioxidant in bacteria. Nucleic Acids Res, 2012, 40(18):9115-24.
5.       Zhai L, Lin S, Qu D, Hong X, Bai L, Chen W*, Deng Z*. Engineering of an industrial polyoxin producer for the rational production of hybrid peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics. Metab Eng, 2012, 14(4):388-93.
6.       Liu G, Ou HY, Wang T, Li L, Tan H, Zhou X, Rajakumar K, Deng Z*, He X*. Cleavage of phosphorothioated DNA and methylated DNA by the type IV restriction endonuclease ScoMcrA. PLoS Genet, 2010, 6(12):e1001253.
7.       Wang L, Chen S, Xu T, Taghizadeh K, Wishnok JS, Zhou X, You D, Deng Z*, Dedon PC*. Phosphorothioation of DNA in bacteria by dnd genes. Nat Chem Biol, 2007, 3(11):709-10.
8.       Deng Z, Bai L. Antibiotic biosynthetic pathways and pathway engineering—a growing research field in China. Nat Prod Rep, 2006, 23(5):811-27.
9.       Zhou X, He X, Liang J, Li A, Xu T, Kieser T, Helmann JD, Deng Z*. A novel DNA modification by sulphur. Mol Microbiol, 2005, 57(5):1428-38.


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