Tan Lik Tong
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- PublicationOpen AccessProject-based learning: Engaging secondary school students in authentic environmental science researchIn the past year (July 2014 to March 2015), 90 secondary school students participated in an Environmental Science themed Project-Based Learning (PBL) program designed by scientists at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. The authenticity of the PBL program was enhanced by partnership with NParks' Coastal Biomonitoring program. A total of 22 school teachers were also involved as facilitators of their students' project work. The strategic partnership of NIE scientists, secondary schools and NParks created a unique experience for students engaging in PBL.
- PublicationOpen AccessMarine cyanobacteria: A source of lead compounds and their clinically-relevant molecular targets(2020)
;Phyo, Ma YadanarThe prokaryotic filamentous marine cyanobacteria are photosynthetic microbes that are found in diverse marine habitats, ranging from epiphytic to endolithic communities. Their successful colonization in nature is largely attributed to genetic diversity as well as the production of ecologically important natural products. These cyanobacterial natural products are also a source of potential drug leads for the development of therapeutic agents used in the treatment of diseases, such as cancer, parasitic infections and inflammation. Major sources of these biomedically important natural compounds are found predominately from marine cyanobacterial orders Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales and Synechococcales. Moreover, technological advances in genomic and metabolomics approaches, such as mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, revealed that marine cyanobacteria are a treasure trove of structurally unique natural products. The high potency of a number of natural products are due to their specific interference with validated drug targets, such as proteasomes, proteases, histone deacetylases, microtubules, actin filaments and membrane receptors/channels. In this review, the chemistry and biology of selected potent cyanobacterial compounds as well as their synthetic analogues are presented based on their molecular targets. These molecules are discussed to reflect current research trends in drug discovery from marine cyanobacterial natural products. Scopus© Citations 37 111 46WOS© Citations 33
- PublicationOpen AccessImpact of marine chemical ecology research on the discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals(2023)Diverse ecologically important metabolites, such as allelochemicals, infochemicals and volatile organic chemicals, are involved in marine organismal interactions. Chemically mediated interactions between intra- and interspecific organisms can have a significant impact on community organization, population structure and ecosystem functioning. Advances in analytical techniques, microscopy and genomics are providing insights on the chemistry and functional roles of the metabolites involved in such interactions. This review highlights the targeted translational value of several marine chemical ecology-driven research studies and their impact on the sustainable discovery of novel therapeutic agents. These chemical ecology-based approaches include activated defense, allelochemicals arising from organismal interactions, spatio-temporal variations of allelochemicals and phylogeny-based approaches. In addition, innovative analytical techniques used in the mapping of surface metabolites as well as in metabolite translocation within marine holobionts are summarized. Chemical information related to the maintenance of the marine symbioses and biosyntheses of specialized compounds can be harnessed for biomedical applications, particularly in microbial fermentation and compound production. Furthermore, the impact of climate change on the chemical ecology of marine organisms—especially on the production, functionality and perception of allelochemicals—and its implications on drug discovery efforts will be presented.
Scopus© Citations 3 42 97WOS© Citations 3
- PublicationOpen AccessAbsolute stereochemistry of the β-hydroxy acid unit in hantupeptins and trungapeptinsTheβ-hydroxyl amino acid unit is a common structural feature of many bioactive marine cyanobacterial depsipeptides. In this study, the absolute stereochemistry of the β-hydroxyl acid moieties in hantupeptins and trungapeptins were determined through their synthesis and HPLC analysis of the Mosher ester derivatives. Synthesis of two3-hydroxy-2-methyloctanoic acid (Hmoa) stereoisomers, (2S,3R)-Hmoa and (2S,3S)-Hmoa, were achieved using diastereoselective asymmetric method and the retention times of all four Hmoa isomers were established indirectly by RPLC-MS analysis of their Mosher ester derivative standards. Based on the retention times of the standards, the absolute configuration of the Hmoa unit in hantupeptin C (3) and trungapeptin C (6) was assigned as (2R,3S)- and (2S,3R)-Hmoa, respectively. The use of the Mosher's reagents, coupled with HPLC analysis, provided a viable alternative to the absolute stereochemical determination of -hydroxy acid units in depsipeptides.
- PublicationOpen AccessBiodiversity record: New Singapore record of the marine cyanobacterium, Symploca hydnoides(2023)
; ;Nursheena Parveen KatermeranPhyo, Ma Yadanar 26 12
- PublicationOpen AccessDraft genome sequence of Mycolicibacterium sp. strain 018/SC-01/001, isolated from the marine sponge Iotrochota sp.(2019)
;Ong, Marshall Ji FaHere, we report the draft genome sequence of a marine bacterium, Mycolicibacterium sp. strain 018/SC-01/001, isolated from the marine sponge Iotrochota sp. collected from the Singapore Strait. The analysis of the bacterial genome using the bioinformatics tool antiSMASH 4.0.2 revealed the presence of a number of unique natural product biosynthetic pathways. Scopus© Citations 1 47 24
- PublicationOpen AccessEngaging secondary school students in authentic research projects based on environmental science theme
- PublicationOpen AccessTrikoveramides A-C, cyclic depsipeptides from the marine cyanobacterium Symploca hydnoides(2021)
;Phyo, Ma Yadanar ;Nursheena Parveen Katermeran ;Goh, Jun XianTrikoveramides A – C, members of the kulolide superfamily of cyclic depsipeptides, were isolated from the marine cyanobacterium, Symploca hydnoides, collected from Bintan Island, Indonesia. Their planar structures were elucidated by a combination of NMR spectroscopy and HRMS spectral data. The absolute configurations of the amino acid and phenyllactic acid units were confirmed by Marfey's and chiral HPLC analyses, respectively, while the relative stereochemistry of the 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-7-octynoic acid (Hmoya) unit in trikoveramide A was elucidated by the application of the J-based configuration analysis and NOE correlations. The cytotoxic activity of the trikoveramides were evaluated against MOLT-4 human leukemia cells and gave IC50 values of 9.3 μM, 35.6 μM and 48.8 μM for trikoveramide B, trikoveramide C and trikoveramide A, respectively. In addition, trikoveramides A – C showed weak to moderate inhibition in the quorum sensing inhibitory assay based on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lasB-gfp and rhlA-gfp bioreporter strains. Scopus© Citations 7 62 10WOS© Citations 7
- PublicationOpen AccessInhibition of the quorum sensing system, elastase production and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by psammaplin A and bisaprasin(2022)
;Oluwabusola, Emmanuel T. ;Nursheena Parveen Katermeran ;Poh, Wee Han ;Goh, Ben Teo Min ; ;Diyaolu, Oluwatofunmilayo ;Tabudravu, Jioji ;Ebel, Rainer ;Rice, Scott A.Jaspars, MarcelNatural products derived from marine sponges have exhibited bioactivity and, in some cases, serve as potent quorum sensing inhibitory agents that prevent biofilm formation and attenuate virulence factor expression by pathogenic microorganisms. In this study, the inhibitory activity of the psammaplin-type compounds, psammaplin A (1) and bisaprasin (2), isolated from the marine sponge, Aplysinellarhax, are evaluated in quorum sensing inhibitory assays based on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 lasB-gfp(ASV) and rhlA-gfp(ASV) biosensor strains. The results indicate that psammaplin A (1) showed moderate inhibition on lasB-gfp expression, but significantly inhibited the QS-gene promoter, rhlA-gfp, with IC50 values at 14.02 μM and 4.99 μM, respectively. In contrast, bisaprasin (2) displayed significant florescence inhibition in both biosensors, PAO1 lasB-gfp and rhlA-gfp, with IC50 values at 3.53 μM and 2.41 μM, respectively. Preliminary analysis suggested the importance of the bromotyrosine and oxime functionalities for QSI activity in these molecules. In addition, psammaplin A and bisaprasin downregulated elastase expression as determined by the standard enzymatic elastase assay, although greater reduction in elastase production was observed with 1 at 50 μM and 100 μM. Furthermore, the study revealed that bisaprasin (2) reduced biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa. Scopus© Citations 7 46 48WOS© Citations 7