Xiaohua Peng

Associate Professor
 (414) 229-5221
 Chemistry Building 641


Ph.D., University of Osnabrueck

Research Area

My research is interdisciplinary, focusing on nucleic acid chemistry and its applications in other fields including drug discovery, DNA diagnostics, and nanotechnology. A common thread in my research is in understanding the chemical reactivity and function of DNA. As the carrier of genetic information, understanding the chemistry of DNA is extremely important. Our group investigate the structural basis for carcinogenic and anticancer activity of DNA- and protein-modifying agents. Synthetic methodologies are developed to prepare structurally modified nucleosides and amino acids as potential antitumor, antiviral, and/or anticancer agents. We will use the tools of synthetic and physical organic chemistry, as well as biochemistry, and molecular biology for the mechanistic studies of their biological processes.

Our studies on nucleic acids are divided into the following principal areas.
DNA-DNA and DNA-protein cross-linking by antitumor drugs and bifunctional carcinogens
Drug/nucleic acids interactions
The use of modified nucleosides, nucleotides, and oligonucleotides as potential therapeutic agents
Modified peptide nucleic acids and their applications for DNA/RNA detection and DNA nanotechnology
My research spans several fields utilizing knowledge and techniques from many areas of science, including organic and bioorganic chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, materials science, and biology.

Selected Publications

Cao, Sheng, Wang, Yibin, and Peng, Xiaohua. “ROS-Inducible DNA Cross-linking Agent as a New Anticancer Prodrug Building Block.” Chem. Eur. J., Wiley. (2012): 3850-3854.
Kuang, Yunyan, Balakrishnan, K., Gandhi, V., and Peng, Xiaohua. “Hydrogen Peroxide Inducible DNA Cross-Linking Agents: Targeted Anticancer Prodrugs.” J. Am. Chem. Soc, American Chemical Society. (2011): 19278-19231.
Peng, Xiaohua, Li, Hong, and Michael, Seidman. “A Template-Mediated Click-Click Reaction: PNA-DNA, PNA-PNA (or Peptide) Ligation, and Single Nucleotide Discrimination.” European Journal of Organic Chemistry, Wiley. Ed. Malacria, Max. (2010): 4194-4197.
Peng, Xiaohua, and Fulop, Annabelle. “A nucleic acid-directed, red light-induced chemical reaction.” Chemical Communications, RSC Publishing 46. Ed. Eagling, Robert D. (2010): 5659-5661.
Peng, Xiaohua, Ghosh, Avik K., Houten, Bennett V., and Greenberg, Marc M. “Nucleotide Excision Repair of a DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Produces Single- and Double-Strand Breaks.” Biochemistry 49. (2010): 11-19.