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Dr. Lijiang Song


Dr. Lijiang Song
Principal Research Fellow
Head of Mass Spectrometry Facility

Contact Details


Chemistry A108

+44(0)24 7615 1766


Research Summary


My research is focused on mass spectrometry based metabolomics and proteomics, their applications in areas including natural product drug discovery, drug metabolism, disease biomarker discovery and environmental analysis.

1. Bioactive natural product discovery from microorganism and plant, using a combination of liquid chromatography, high reoslution high accuracy MS, MS/MS, 1D and 2D NMR techniques, we carry out dereplication, identification, purification and structure elucidation of novel bioactive natural products.

2. Drug mechanism of action and metabolism analysis (ADME, pharmacokinetics), using stable isotope labeled drugs to investigate drug metabolism in both in vitro and in vivo systems, metabolites are identified through high resolution LC-MS/MS profiling, both the original drug and their metabolites can be quantified in MRM mode with triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluation.

3. Disease biomarker discovery and validation (for diagnosis, therapeutic and pharmacodynamics study) using comparative metabolomic and proteomic approach.

4. Environmental analysis of both organic and inorganic pollutants (agrochemicals such as pesticide, herbicides, veterinary antimicrobials, animal growth hormones, their leakage into the environment; human medicine and brekdown products entering the eniviroment from waste water treatment plant) and environment originated antimicrobial resistance.


Selected Publications


L. Song, M. Jenner, J. Masschelein, C. Jones, M. Bull, S. Harris, R. Hartkoorn, A. Vocat, I. Romero-Canelón, P. Coupland, Paul, G. Webster, M. Dunn, R. Weiser, C. Paisey, S. Cole, J. Parkhill, E. Mahenthiralingam and G. L. Challis. Discovery and biosynthesis of gladiolin: a Burkholderia gladioli antibiotic with promising activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139(23)7974-7981

Y. Inahashi, S. Zhou, M. Bibb, L. Song, M. Al-Bassam, M. Bibb and G. Challis. Watasemycin biosynthesis in Streptomyces venezuelae: thiazoline C-methylation by a type B radical-SAM methylase homologue. Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 2823-2831

L. Ray, T. Valentic, T. Miyazawa, D. Withall, L. Song, H. Osada, S. Takahashi, S. Tsai, G. Challis, Structural basis for acyl-CoA carboxylase-mediated assembly of unusual polyketide synthase extender units incorporated into the stambomycin antibiotics, Nat Comm., 2016, 7, 13609

D. Zabala, J. Cartwright, D. Roberts, B. Law, L. Song, M. Samborskyy, P. Leadlay, J. Micklefield, and G. Challis. A flavin-dependent decarboxylase-dehydrogenase-monooxygenase assembles the warhead of α, β-epoxyketone proteasome inhibitors. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 137, 432-435

J. Parascandolo, J. Havemann, H. Potter, F. Huang, E. Riva, J. Connolly, I. Wilkening, L. Song, P. Leadlay, M. Tosin, Novel insights into 6-methylsalicylic acid bio-assembly via chemical probes, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55(10), 3463-3467

Amaratunga, P. Lim, S. Suon, S. Sreng, S. Mao, C. Sopha, B. Sam, D. Dek, V. Try, R. Amato, D. Blessborn, L. Song, G. Tullo, M. Fay, J. Anderson, J. Tarning, R. Fairhurst. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia: a multi-site observational cohort study, Lancet Infectious Disease, 2016, 16(3), 357-365

N. Liu*, L. Song*, M. Liu*, F. Shang, Z. Anderson, D. Fox, G. L. Challis, Y. Huang, Unique post-translational ­oxime formation in the biosynthesis of the azolemycin complex of novel ribosomal peptides from Streptomyces sp. FXJ1.264, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7(1), 482-488 (* Co-first author)

R. Leang, W. Taylor, D. Bouth, L. Song, J. Tarning, M. Char, S. Kim, B. Witkowski, V. Duru, A. Domergue, N. Khim, P. Ringwald, D. Menard, Evidence of falciparum malaria multidrug resistance to artemisinin and piperaquine in western Cambodia: dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine open-label multicenter clinical assessment. Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 2015, 59(8), 4719-4726

L. Song, L. Laureti, C. Corre, P. Leblond, B. Agile, G. L. Challis. Cytochrome P450-mediated hydroxylation is required for polyketide macrolactonisation in stambomycin biosynthesis. J. Antibiotic, 2014, 67, 71-76

J. Sidda, L. Song, V. Poon, M. Al-Bassam, O. Lazos, M. Buttner, G. Challis, C. Corre. Discovery of a family of γ-aminobutyrate ureas via rational derepression of a silent bacterial gene cluster, Chem. Sci., 2014, 5 (1), 86-89

J. Suberu, L. Song, N. Sullivan,S. Slade, G. Barker, A. Lapkin, A rapid method for the determination of artemisinin and its biosynthetic precursor in Artemisia annua L. crude extract. J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal., 2013, 84, 269-277

Y. Zhao, J Woods, N. Farrer, K. Robinson, J. Pracharova, J. Kasparkova, O. Nokakova, H. Li, L. Salassa, A. Pizarro, G. Clarkson, L. Song, V. Brabec, P. Sadler, Diazido mixed-amine platinum(IV) anticancer complexes activatable by visible light form novel DNA adducts, Chem. Eur. J., 2013, 19(29), 9578-9591

J. Gomez-Escribano*, L. Song*, M. Bibb, G.. Challis, Posttranslational β-methylation and macrolactamidination in the biosynthesis of the bottromycin complex of ribosomal peptide antibiotics, Chem. Sci, 2012, 3, 3522-3525. (* co-first author)

S. Barry, J. Kers, E. Johnson, L. Song, P. Aston, B. Patel, S. Krasnoff, B. Crane, D. Gibson, R. Loria and G. Challis. Cytochrome P450–catalyzed L-tryptophan nitration in thaxtomin phytotoxin biosynthesis. Nat. Chem. Biol., 2012, 8, 814-816

J. Gomez-Escribano*, L. Song*, D.J.Fox, M. Bibb, G.L. Challis, Identification of the yellow-pigmented polyketide product of the cryptic cpk gene cluster of Streptomyces coelicolor M145, Chem. Sci, 2012,3(9), 2716-2720. (* co-first author)

S. Lautru, L. Song, L. Demange, H. Galons, G. L. Challis and Jean-Luc Pernodet. A Sweet Origin for the Key Congocidine Precursor 4-Acetamidopyrrole-2-carboxylate. Angew. Chem Int. Ed., 2012, 51(30), 7454-7458

Y. Fu, M. Romero, A. Habtemariam, M. Snowden, L. Song, G. Clarkson, B. Qamar, A. Pizarro, P. Unwin and P. Sadler, The Contrasting Chemical Reactivity of Potent Isoelectronic Iminopyridine and Azopyridine Osmium(II) Arene Anticancer Complexes, Chem. Sci., 2012, 3(8), 2485-2494.

P. Milnes, M. McKee, J. Bath, L. Song , E. Stulz, A. Turberfield and R. O'Reilly, Sequence- specific synthesis of macromolecules using DNA-templated chemistry, Chem. Comm., 2012, 48,5614-5616

L. Laureti*, L. Song*, S. Huang, C. Corre, P. Leblond, G.L. Challis and B. Aigle. A new class of bioactive macrolide discovered by activation of a silent polyketide synthase. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 2011,108(15), 6258-6263, (*co-first author)

E. Mahenthiralingam, L. Song, A. Sass, J. White,C. Wilmot, A. Marchbank, O. Boaisha, J. Paine, D. Knight, G. Challis, Enacyloxins are products of an unusual hybrid modular polyketide synthase encoded by a cryptic Burkholderia ambifaria genomic island. Chem. Biol., 2011, 18(5), 665-677

R. Bunet, L. Song, M. V. Mendrea, C. Corre, L. Hotel, N Rouhler, X. Framboisier, P Leblond, G.L.Challis, B. Aigle. Characterisation and manipulation of the pathway specific regulator AlpW reveals Streptomyces ambofaciens a new producer of kinamycins. J. Bacteriol., 2011, 195, 1142-1153

S. Haynes, P. Sydor, C. Corre, L. Song, and G.L. Challis. Stereochemical elucidation of streptorubin B. J. Am. Chem. Soc.,2011, 133 (6), 1793-1798Y.

Chen, J. Scanlan, L Song, A. Crombie, M. Rahman, H. Schafer, C. Murrell, γ-glutamylmethylamide is essential in the metabolism of methylamine by Methylocella silvestris BL2. Appl. Environ Microbiol., 2010, 76(3), 4530-4537

S. Schmelz, N. Kadi, S. McMahon, L. Song, D. Oves-Costales, M. Oke, H. Liu, K. Johnson, L.G. Carter, C.H. Botting, M.F. White, G.L. Challis and J.H. Naismith, AcsD catalyzes enantioselective citrate desymmetrization in siderophore biosynthesis. Nat. Chem. Biol., 2009, 5, 174-182.

C. Corre, L. Song, S. O'Rourke, K.F. Chater and G.L. Challis. 2-Alkyl-4-hydroxymethylfuran-3-carboxylic acids, antibiotic production inducers discovered by Streptomyces coelicolor genome mining. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 17510-17515.

D. Oves-Costales, N. Kadi, M. Fogg, L. Song, K. Wilson, G.L. Challis, Enzymatic logic of anthrax stealth siderophore biosynthesis: AsbA catalyzes ATP-dependant condensation of citric acid and spermidine, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 6017-6018

L. Song and P. Thornalley, Effects of storage, cooking and processing on glucosinolates and related metabolites in Brassica vegetables, Food and Chem. Toxicl., 2007, 45, 216-224

L. Song, F. Barona-Gomez, C. Corre, L. Xiang, D. W. Udwary, M. Austin, J. P. Noel, B. S. Moore and G. L. Challis, Type III polyketide synthase extender unit specificity in germicidin biosynthesis discovered by Streptomyces Coelicolor genome mining, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 14754-14755

D. Dobler, N. Ahmad, L. Song, K. Eboigbodin, P. Thornalley, Increased dicarbonyl metabolism in endothelial cells in hyperglycemia induces anoikis and impairs angiogenesis by RGD and GFOGER motif modification, Diabetes, 2006, 55, 1961-1969

L. Song, J. Morrison, N. Botting, P. Thornalley, Analysis of glucosinolates, isothiocyanates and amines degradation products in vegetable extracts and blood plasma by LC-MS/MS, Analytical Biochemistry, 2005, 347, 234-243