Jonathan Chekan

Jon was born in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his B.S. degree in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 while working in the laboratories of Profs. J. Martin Bollinger and Carsten Krebs. Under Prof. Satish K. Nair, he obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in October 2016. His graduate research primarily focused on the structural and biochemical studies of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of RiPP natural products. He joined the Moore Lab in February 2017.




17) Chekan, J. R., Lee, G. Y., El Gamal, A., Purdy, T. N., Houk, K. N., and Moore, B. S. (2019) Bacterial tetrabromopyrrole debrominase shares a reductive dehalogenation strategy with human thyroid deiodinase. Biochemistry. 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00318

16) Chekan, J. R.*, Ongpipattanakul, C.*, Wright, T. R., Zhang, B., Bollinger, J. M., Rajakovich, L. J., Krebs, C., Cicchillo, R. M., and Nair, S. K. (2019) Molecular basis for enantioselective herbicide degradation imparted by aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenases in transgenic plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 116, 13299–13304

15) Chekan, J. R., McKinnie, S. M. K., Moore, M. L., Poplawski, S. G., Michael, T. P., and Moore, B. S. (2019) Scalable Biosynthesis of the Seaweed Neurochemical, Kainic Acid. Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 58, 8454–8457

14) Luhavaya, H., Sigrist, R., Chekan, J. R., McKinnie, S. M. K., and Moore, B. S. (2019) Biosynthesis of L-4-Chlorokynurenine, an Antidepressant Prodrug and a Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acid Found in Lipopeptide Antibiotics. Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 58, 8394–8399

13) Brunson, J. K.*, McKinnie, S. M. K.*, Chekan, J. R., McCrow, J. P., Miles, Z. D., Bertrand, E. M., Bielinski, V. A., Luhavaya, H., Oborník, M., Smith, G. J., Hutchins, D. A., Allen, A. E., and Moore, B. S. (2018) Biosynthesis of the neurotoxin domoic acid in a bloom-forming diatom. Science. 361, 1356–1358

12) Chekan, J. R., and Moore, B. S. (2018) Preparation and Characterization of Tetrabromopyrrole Debrominase From Marine Proteobacteria. in Methods in Enzymology, pp. 253–265, 10.1016/bs.mie.2018.01.031

11) Chekan, J. R., Estrada, P., Covello, P. S., and Nair, S. K. (2017) Characterization of the macrocyclase involved in the biosynthesis of RiPP cyclic peptides in plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 114, 6551–6556

10) Repka, L. M.*, Chekan, J. R.*, Nair, S. K., and van der Donk, W. A. (2017) Mechanistic Understanding of Lanthipeptide Biosynthetic Enzymes. Chem. Rev. 117, 5457–5520

9) Olivares, P.*, Ulrich, E. C.*, Chekan, J. R.*, van der Donk, W. A., and Nair, S. K. (2017) Characterization of Two Late-Stage Enzymes Involved in Fosfomycin Biosynthesis in Pseudomonads. ACS Chem. Biol. 12, 456–463


8) Chekan J. R., Koos, J.D., Maksimov, M. O., Link A. J., and Nair S. K. (2016) Structure of the Lasso Peptide Isopeptidase Identifies a Topology for Processing Threaded Substrates. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 16452–16458


7) Chekan, J. R.*, Cogan, D. P.*, and Nair, S. K. (2016) Molecular basis for resistance against phosphonate antibiotics and herbicides. Med. Chem. Commun. 7, 28–36


6) Peck, S. C., Chekan, J. R., Ulrich, E. C., Nair, S. K., and van der Donk, W. A. (2015) A common late-stage intermediate in catalysis by 2-hydroxyethyl-phosphonate dioxygenase and methylphosphonate synthase. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 3217–20


5) Chekan, J. R.*, Kwon, I. H.*, Agarwal, V.*, Dodd, D., Revindran, V., Mackie, R. I., Cann, I., and Nair, S. K. (2014) Structural and Biochemical Basis for Mannan Utilization by Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Strain ATCC BAA-17. J. Biol. Chem. 289, 34965–34977


4) Zhang, M.*, Chekan, J. R.*, Dodd, D.*, Hong, P.-Y., Radlinski, L., Revindran, V., Nair, S. K., Mackie, R. I., and Cann, I. (2014) Xylan utilization in human gut commensal bacteria is orchestrated by unique modular organization of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 111, E3708–17

3) Dunbar, K. L.*, Chekan, J. R.*, Cox, C. L., Burkhart, B. J., Nair, S. K., and Mitchell, D. A. (2014) Discovery of a new ATP-binding motif involved in peptidic azoline biosynthesis. Nat. Chem. Biol. 10, 823–9

2) Hung, J. E., Fogle, E. J., Garg, N., Chekan, J. R., Nair, S. K., and van der Donk, W. a. (2014) Chemical rescue and inhibition studies to determine the role of Arg301 in phosphite dehydrogenase. PLoS One. 9, e87134

1) Agarwal, V., Peck, S. C., Chen, J.-H., Borisova, S. A., Chekan, J. R., van der Donk, W. A., and Nair, S. K. (2014) Structure and function of phosphonoacetaldehyde dehydrogenase: the missing link in phosphonoacetate formation. Chem. Biol. 21, 125–35

* Authors contributed equally


2018- Simons Foundation Fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation