Xiaoqiang Wang | Department of Biological Sciences

Xiaoqiang Wang

Research Associate Professor, Protein structure and engineering, Natural products and biosynthesis
LSA 358

Xiaoqiang Wang, PhD. is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Biology from the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China in 1993. He worked as a research associate at the University of Manchester (UK, 1995-1996), and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (1996-1999). He was a research fellow in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1999 to 2002. He was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and head of the structural biology laboratory in the Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation from 2002 to 2014. His research interests include protein structure and design and engineering, plant natural products and biosynthesis, and enzyme-mediated drug metabolism and detoxification. He was awarded a federal grant by the National Science Foundation to study structure and function of glycosyltransferases involved in plant natural product biosynthesis, and was the first to solve the structure of a plant family I UDP-glycosyltransferase. He also obtained two NIH grants to engineer UGT71G1 for metabolizing an anticancer drug SN-38A. His research is providing a basis for understanding enzymatic mechanisms and biosynthetic processes towards manipulation of enzymes and biosynthetic pathways for improvement of plant, animal and human health. He has published original research articles in prestigious journals including Cell, Science, Molecular Cell, Plant Cell, Nature Structural Biology, and Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.


  • Plant natural products and biosynthesis
  • Enzyme structure and mechanism
  • Enzyme design and engineering
  • Enzyme-mediated drug metabolism and detoxification


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  • Structural and mechanistic studies of oxalate catabolism. National Science Foundation. PI X. Wang, GAWD000272 (6/15/2023-5/31/2026)


  • Alderete, K., Wang, X. (2022) Structural determination of uridine diphosphate glycosyltransferases using X-ray crystallography. in Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Metabolic Engineering, Shulaev, V., Ed., 2396, 227-241.
  • Cheng, N., Paris, V., Rao, X., Wang, X., Paul A. Nakata, P.A. (2022) A conserved oxalyl-Coenzyme A decarboxylase in oxalate catabolism. Plant Signaling and Behavior 17, 2062555.
  • Jun, J., Lu, N., Docampo-Palacios, M., Wang, X., Dixon, R.A. (2021) Dual activity of anthocyanidin reductase determines proanthocyanidin compositions across plant species. Science Advances 7, eabg4682
  • Adiji, O.A., Docampo-palacios, M., Alvarez-Hernandez, A., Pasinett, G.M., Wang, X., Dixon, R.A. (2021) UGT84F9 is the major flavonoid UDP-glucuronosyltransferase in Medicago truncatula.Plant Physiol.185, 1617-1637.
  • Wang, X., Zhuo, C., Xiao, X., Wang, X., Docampo-palacios, M., Chen, F., Dixon, RA. (2020) Substrate specificity of LACCASE8 facilitates polymerization of caffeyl alcohol for C-lignin biosynthesis in the seed coat of Cleome Hassleriana. Plant Cell. 32:3825-3845
  • Aziz, N., Wang, X.*, Tripathi, A., Bankaitis, V., Chapman, K.D.* (2019) Structural analysis of a plant fatty acid amide hydrolase provides insights into the evolutionary diversity of bioactive acylethanolamides. Journal of Biological Chemistry 294, 7419-7432. (*Corresponding authors)
  • Zhuo, C., Azad, R., Pandey, R., Xiao, X., Harkelroad, A., Wang, X., Chen, F., Dixon, R. (2019) Enzymatic basis for C-lignin monomer biosynthesis in the seed coat of Cleome hassleriana. Plant J. 99, 506-520.
  • Pan, Z., Baerson, SR., Wang, M., Bajsa-Hirschel, J., Rimando, AM., Wang, X., Nanayakkara, NPD., Noonan, BP., Fromm, ME., Dayan, FE., Khan, I., Duke, SO. Sorghum cytochrome P450 CYP71AM1 catalyzes the conversion of pentadecatrienyl resorcinol to dihydrosorgoleone in sorgoleone biosynthesis. New Phytologist. (2018), 218, 616-629.
  • Liu, C., Wang, X., Shulaev, V., Dixon, R.A. Role of leucoanthocyanidin reductase in extension of proanthocyanidins in Medicago truncatula. Nature Plants (2016), 2, 16182.
  • Pan, H., Zhou, R., Louie, G.V., Mühlemann, J.K., Bomati, E.K., Bowman, M.E., Dudareva, N., Dixon, R.A., Noel, J.P., Wang, X. (2014). Structural studies of cinnamoyl-CoA reductase and cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase, key enzymes of monolignol biosynthesis. Plant Cell 26, 3709-3727.


  1. Wang, X. Glycosylation modification of bioactive compounds and drugs by plant glycosyltransferases (Patent No.: US 11,261,477 B2, issued in Mar. 1, 2022).