Joseph Jez

Joseph Jez

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Spencer T. Olin Professor in Biology
PhD, University of Pennsylvania

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1137
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Jez's research group seeks to broadly understand how environmental changes re-model biochemical pathways in plants at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels with the aim of engineering these systems to address agricultural and environmental problems.

His current work in the lab employs a combination of x-ray crystallography, enzymology, molecular biology, proteomics, and plant biology. Three areas of research in the lab focus on metabolic regulation and environmental responses in plants, enzymatic control of plant hormone responses, and using C. elegans to explore new metabolic pathways in nematodes.


The Once and Future Green Factory

Selected Publications

Jez JM, Lee SG, Sherp AM (2016) The next green movement:  plant biology for the environment and sustainability.  Science 353, 1241-4

Kilgore M, Holland CK, Jez JM, Kutchan TM (2016) Identification of a noroxomaritidine reductase with Amaryllidaceae alkaloid biosynthesis-related activities.  J Biol Chem 291, 16740-52

Lee SG, Nwumeh R, Jez JM (2016) Structure and mechanism of isopropylmalate dehydrogenase from Arabidopsis thaliana: insights on leucine and aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis.  J Biol Chem 291, 13421-30

Herrmann J, Nathin D, Lee SG, Sun T, Jez JM (2015) Recapitulating the structural evolution of redox regulation in adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate kinase from cyanobacteria to plants.  J Biol Chem 290, 24705-14

Korasick DA, Jez JM, Strader LC (2015) Refining the nuclear auxin response pathway through structural biology.  Curr Opin Plant Biol 27, 22-8

Cahoon RE, Lutke WK, Cameron JC, Chen S, Lee SG, Rivard RS, Rea PA, Jez JM (2015) Adaptive engineering of phytochelatin-based heavy metal tolerance.  J Biol Chem 290, 17321-30

Bhuiya MW, Lee SG, Jez JM, Yu O (2015) Structure and mechanism of ferulic acid decarboxylase (FDC1) from Sacchromyces cerevisiae.  Appl Environ Micro 81, 4213-26

Malik MR, Yang W, Patterson N, Tang J, Wellinghoff RL, Preuss ML, Burkitt C, Sharma N, Li J, Jez JM, Peoples OP, Jaworski JG, Cahoon EB, Snell KD (2015) Production of high levels of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate in plastids of Camelina sativa seeds.  Plant Biotech J 13, 675-88

Korasick DA, Chatterjee S, Tonelli M, Dashti H, Lee SG, Westfall CS, Fulton DB, Andreotti AH, Amarashinghe G, Strader LC, Jez JM (2015) Defining a two-pronged structural model for PB1 domain interaction in plant auxin responses.  J Biol Chem 290, 12868-78

Saen-oon S, Lee SG, Jez JM, Guallar V (2014) An alternate mechanism for the methylation of phosphoethanolamine catalyzed by Plasmodium falciparum phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase.  J Biol Chem 289, 33815-25

Westfall CS, Xu A, Jez JM (2014) Structural evolution of differential amino acid effector regulation in plant chorismate mutases.  J Biol Chem 289, 28619-28

Meesters C, Monig T, Oeljeklaus J, Krahn D, Westfall CS, Hause B, Jez JM, Kaiser M, Kombrink E (2014) A selective inhibitor of jasmonate signaling identified via high-throughput chemical screening targets the adenylate-forming enzyme JAR1 in Arabidopsis thaliana.  Nature Chem Biol 10, 830-6

Jez JM, Blankenship RE (2014) Lights, x-rays, oxygen!  Cell 158, 701-3

Lee SG, Krishnan HB, Jez JM (2014) Structural basis for regulation of Rhizobial nodulation and symbiosis gene expression by NolR.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 6509-14

Korasick DA, Westfall CS, Lee SG, Nanao M, Dumas R, Hagen G, Guilfoyle TJ, Jez JM, Strader LC (2014) Molecular basis for auxin response factor protein interaction and the control of auxin response repression.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 5427-32

Lee SG, Jez JM (2013) Evolution of structure and mechanistic divergence in di-domain methyltransferases from nematode phosphocholine biosynthesis.  Structure 21, 1778-87

Westfall CS, Zubieta C, Herrmann J, Kapp U, Nanao M, Jez JM (2012) Structural basis for pre-receptor modulation of plant hormones by GH3 family proteins.  Science 336, 1708-11

From our podcast:

Hold That Thought Podcast

Becoming a biotech explorer

Three years after launching the Biotech Explorers Pathway, a unique opportunity for first-year and sophomore students, biology professor Joe Jez shares how the program started and some of what its students have accomplished so far.