Wayne State University

Aim Higher

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Department of Chemistry
Faculty Page
Zhongwu Guo
Title Professor
Division Organic
Education B.S., Second Military Medical University, China, 1984
Ph.D., Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1991
Postdoctoral Fellow, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, 1991-1994
Office Chem 341
Phone (313)577-2557
Group http://clas.wayne.edu/GuoGroup

Our research program is engaged in a wide range of problems, from chemical synthesis of natural products to development of novel therapies for human diseases. These research efforts are centered on carbohydrates, since carbohydrates play a pivotal role in various biological and pathological processes. Projects under investigation include:

1. Carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines or cancer immunotherapies. This project targets at the aberrant carbohydrates expressed on tumor cells, namely tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs). TACAs are synthesized and then linked to a carrier protein to form glycoconjugates that are studied as vaccines to stimulate the immune system of cancer patients for elimination of cancer. Moreover, cell glycoengineering technique is employed to biochemically modify TACAs on tumor cells, which marks tumors for more effective immune recognition and reaction. Vaccines derived from modified forms of TACAs are more immunogenic than native TACAs. The combination of glycoengineering with modified carbohydrate vaccine can expand the scope of carbohydrate-based cancer immunotherapy.

2. New methodologies for oligosaccharide and glycopeptide synthesis. This research is focused on the development of new, effective methods for solid-phase oligosaccharide synthesis and solution-phase glycopeptide synthesis. The latter usesuses unprotected the glycosyl amino acids as key the building blocks to enable solid-state isolation of synthetic intermediates.

3. Total synthesis of natural products. One of the targets is CD52 antigen, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycopeptide expressed on human lymphocyte and sperm cells. CD52 plays a critical role in human immune and reproduction systems. After various glycoforms of CD52 are synthesized, NMR is used to examine their structures. The structure-activity relationship studies of CD52 aim at probing the functions of GPI. Another synthetic target is OSW-1, an especially potent antitumor agent. The biological studies of OSW-1 and its analogs will help discover new antitumor drugs.

4. Carbohydrate-based biomimetic materials. This project is focused on the design and development of novel glycolipids for the modification of liposomes. Taking advantage of the selective binding between defined carbohydrates and their receptors on specific cells, the resultant glycoliposomes may be used to selectively deliver drugs to a specific target.


Z. Zhou, G. Liao, S. S. Mandal, S. Suryawanshi, and Z. Guo, "A Fully Synthetic Self-Adjuvanting Globo H-Based Vaccine Elicited Strong T Cell-Mediated Antitumor Immunity", Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, DOI: 10.1039/c5sc01402f.

R. Raghupathy, A. A. Anilkumar, A. Polley, P. P. Singh, M. Yadav, C. Johnson, S. Suryawanshi, V. Saikam, S. D. Sawant, A. Panda, Z. Guo, R. A. Vishwakarma, M. Rao, and S. Mayor, "Transbilayer Lipid Interactions Mediate Nanoclustering of Lipid-Anchored Proteins", Cell, 2015, 161, 581.

G. Liao, Z. Zhou, and Z. Guo, "Synthesis and Immunological Study of α-2,9-Oligosialic Acid Conjugates as Anti-Group C Meningitis Vaccines", Chem. Comm., 2015, 51, 9647.

L. Lu, J. Gao, and Z. Guo, "Cell Surface GPI Anchor Metabolic Engineering: A New Tool for the Study of Cell Surface GPI-Anchored Proteins", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 9679.

P. K. Mondal, G. Liao, M. A. Mondal, Z. Guo, "Chemical Synthesis of the Repeating Unit of Type Ia Group B Streptococcus Capsular Polysaccharide", Org. Lett., 2015, 17, 1102.

G. Liao, Z. Zhou, S. Burgula, J. Liao, C. Yuan, Q. Wu, and Z. Guo, "Synthesis and Immunological Studies of Linear Oligosaccharides of β-Glucan as Antigens for Anti-Fungal Vaccine Development", Bioconjugate Chem., 2015, 26, 466.

Z. Zhou, M. Mondal, G. Liao and Z. Guo, "Synthesis and Evaluation of Monophosphoryl Lipid A Derivatives as Fully Synthetic Self-Adjuvanting Glycoconjugate Cancer Vaccine Carriers", Org. Biomol. Chem., 2014, 12, 3238.

J. Gao, G. Liao, L. Wang and Z. Guo, "Synthesis of a Minature Lipoarabinomannan", Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 988.

Z. Wu, X. Guo, J. Gao, and Z. Guo, "Sortase A-Mediated Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Complex Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Anchored Protein", Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 11689.

Z. Wu, X. Guo, and Z. Guo, "A New Method for Site-Specific Modification of Liposomes with Proteins via Sortase A-Mediated Transpeptidation", Bioconjugate Chem., 2012, 23, 650.

L. Qiu, X. Gong, Q. Wang, J. Li, H. Hu, Q. Wu, J. Zhang, and Z. Guo, "Combining synthetic carbohydrate vaccines and cancer cell glycoengineering for effective cancer immunotherapy", Cancer Immunol. Immunother., 2012, 61, 2045.

Q. Wang, Zhifang Zhou, S. Tang and Z. Guo, "Carbohydrate-Monophosphoryl Lipid A Conjugates Are Fully Synthetic Self-Adjuvanting Cancer Vaccines Eliciting Robust Immune Responses in Mouse", ACS Chem. Biol., 2012, 7, 235.

S. Burgula, B. M. Swarts and Z. Guo, "Total Synthesis of a Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor of the Human Lymphoctye CD52 Antigen", Chem. Eur. J., 2012, 18, 1194.

B. M. Swarts and Z. Guo, "Chemical Synthesis and Functionalization of Clickable Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchors", Chem. Sci., 2011, 2, 2342.

Z. Wu, X. Guo and Z. Guo, "Sortase A-Catalyzed Peptide Cyclization for the Synthesis of Macrocyclic Peptides and Glycopeptides", Chem. Commun., 2011, 9218.

5101 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-7784    Fax: (313) 577-8822

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