Chemistry and Biochemistry

Daniel Edwards



Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy, Postdoctoral Research Associate with William Gerwick

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Davis

B.S Chemistry (w/ option in Biochemistry). Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA


Dr. Edwards’s research is generally in the area of natural products.  We are interested in isolating and characterizing novel natural products from microbes.  We are currently focused on developing focused approaches to streamline new natural product discovery using bioactivity and LC-MS screening techniques. A second major interest in the lab is to better understand the biosynthesis of natural products.  Although our interests in this area are diverse, our main goal is to use biosynthetic enzymes to design approaches to aid in the production of natural products or natural product analogs.  An example of this work is our study of the biosynthesis of lyngbyatoxin A, an environmental toxin isolated from the marine cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. Lyngbyatoxin is a pharmacological tool compound used to study protein kinase C and tumor promotion. Despite interest in the biological activity of lyngbyatoxin, the nine membered indolactam ring and the all-carbon quaternary center of Lyngbyatoxin A makes the asymmetric chemical synthesis of this compound quite difficult.  Work in our lab has focused on the mechanistic characterization of the lyngbyatoxin biosynthetic enzymes and development of chemoenzymatic applications of these enzymes in the synthesis of lyngbyatoxin and lyngbyatoxin analogs.


College of Natural Sciences Grant Stimulus Program, California State University of Chico.”Induction of Antibiotic Production in Streptomyces Species by Coculturing Techniques”: $5000. 

Cottrell College Science Awards Research Corporation “Lyngbyatoxin A Biosynthesis: Kinetic and Mechanistic Characterization of the Reverse Prenyltransferase LtxC”: $42,218.

CSUPERB Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Seed Grant Program “Biochemical Investigation of the Terminal Prenyltransferase Step in Lyngbyatoxin A Biosynthesis”: $10,000.


  1. Jones, A. C.; Ottilie, S.; Eustáquio, A. S.; Edwards, D. J.; Gerwick, L.; Moore, B. S.; Gerwick, W. H. “Evaluation of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) as a Heterologous Expression Host for the Cyanobacterial Protein Kinase C Activator Lyngbyatoxin A. FEBS J. 2012, 279, 1243-1251.
  2. Huynh, M. U.; Elston, M. C.; Hernandez, N. M.; Ball, D. B.; Kajiyama, S.; Irie, K.; Gerwick, W. H.; Edwards, D. J. “Enzymatic Production of (-)-Indolactam V by LtxB, a Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase.” Journal of Natural Products. 2010, 73, 71-74.
  3. Linington, R. G.; Edwards, D. J.; Shuman, C. F; McPhail, K. L.; Matainaho, T.; Gerwick, W. H. “Symplocamide A, a potent cytotoxin and chymotrypsin inhibitor from the marine Cyanobacterium Symploca sp.” Journal of Natural Products. 2008, 71, 22-27.
  4. Ramaswamy, A; Flatt, P.; Edwards, D. J.; Simmons, T. L.; Bingnan, H.; Gerwick, W. H., The Secondary Metabolites and Biosynthetic Gene Clusters of Marine Cyanobacteria. Applications in Biotechnology In Frontiers in Marine Biotechnology. Proksch, P.; Muller, E. G., Eds. Horizon Bioscience: Norwich, U.K., 2006; pp 175-224.
  5. Dorrestein, P. C.; Blackhall, J.; Straight, P. D; Fischbach, M. A; Garneau-Tsodikova, S; Edwards, D. J.; McLaughlin, S.; Lin, M.; Gerwick, W. H.; Kolter, R.; Walsh, C. T.; Kelleher, N.L. “Activity Screening of Carrier Domains within Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases Using Complex Substrate Mixtures and Large Molecule Mass Spectrometry.” Biochemistry. 2006, 45, 1537-1546.
  6. Edwards, D. J.; Gerwick, W. H. “Lyngbyatoxin Biosynthesis: Sequence of Biosynthetic Gene Cluster and Identification of a Novel Aromatic Prenyltransferase.” Journal of American Chemical Society. 2004, 126, 11432-11433.
  7. Edwards, D. J.; Marquez, B.; Nogle, L.; McPhail, K.; Goeger, D.; Gerwick, W. H. “ Structure, Biosynthesis and Gene Structure of the Jamaicamides, New Mixed Polyketide/Peptide Neurotoxins from the Marine Cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula.” Chemistry and Biology. 2004, 11, 817-833.
  8. Shen, B.; Du, L.; Sanchez, C.; Edwards, D. J.; Chen, M.; Murrell, J. M. “Cloning and Characterization of the Bleomycin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003.” Journal of Natural Products. 2002, 65, 422-431.
  9. Sanchez, C.; Du. L.; Edwards, D. J. Shen, B. “Cloning and Characterization of a Phosphopantetheinyl Transferase from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003, the Bleomycin Producer.” Chemistry & Biology. 2001, 8, 725-738.
  10. Shen, B.; Du, L.; Sanchez, C.; Edwards, D. J.; Chen, M.; Murrell, J. “ The Biosynthetic Cluster for the Anticancer Drug Bleomycin from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003 as a Model for Hybrid Peptide-Polyketide Natural Product Biosynthesis.” Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2001, 27, 378-385.
  11. Du, L.; Sanchez, C.; Chen, M.; Edwards, D. J.; Shen, B. "The Biosynthetic Gene Cluster for the Antitumor Drug Bleomycin from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003:  Supporting Functional Interactions Between Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases and a Polyketide Synthase." Chemistry & Biology. 2000, 7, 623-642.
  12. Shen, B.; Du, L.; Sanchez, C.; Chen, M.; Edwards, D. J. "Bleomycin Biosynthesis in Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003: a Model of Hybrid Peptide and Polyketide Biosynthesis." Bioorganic Chemistry. 1999, 27, 155-171.
Portrait of Daniel Edwards