Head of Laboratory

Dr K. Johan Rosengren


Sir William MacGregor Building, Room 307, St Lucia Campus


Dr Linda Haugaard-Kedstrom
Mr Jan-Villem van Dijk


Ms Maryon Jones (PhD student)
Mr Vishaal Rathod (undergraduate)


Bioactive peptides are important molecules produced by all forms of life. Our overall research focus lies in the understanding of how structural features of bioactive peptides guide their function and how we can manipulate these to alter selectivity for various targets or increase their stability, with the ultimate aim being the development of novel peptide based therapeutics. Peptides being studied in our group originate from a wide range of sources, including bacteria, plants, animals and humans. They also have a broad range of biological activities, including antimicrobial, insecticidal and hormonal signaling. The main techniques used in our laboratory are peptide synthesis, chromatography, mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, for production, purification and structural characterization of peptides.

Recent Publications

  1. Conibear AC, Rosengren KJ, Harvey PJ, Craik DJ. Structural characterisation of the cyclic cystine ladder motif of -defensins. Biochemistry. 2012 Nov 13.
  2. Chan LJ, Rosengren KJ, Layfield SL, Bathgate RA, Separovic F, Samuel CS, Hossain MA, Wade JD. Identification of key residues essential for the structural fold and receptor selectivity within the A-chain of H2 relaxin. J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 28.
  3. Scott DJ, Rosengren KJ, Bathgate RA. The Different Ligand-Binding Modes of Relaxin Family Peptide Receptors RXFP1 and RXFP2. Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Nov;26(11):1896-906.
  4. Gransson U, Burman R, Gunasekera S, Strmstedt AA, Rosengren KJ. Circular proteins from plants and fungi. J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 3;287(32):27001-6.
  5. Bathgate RA, Zhang S, Hughes RA, Rosengren KJ, Wade JD. The structural determinants of insulin-like Peptide 3 activity. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2012;3:11.
  6. Andersson HS, Figueredo SM, Haugaard-Kedstrm LM, Bengtsson E, Daly NL, Qu X, Craik DJ, Ouellette AJ, Rosengren KJ. The -defensin salt-bridge induces backbone stability to facilitate folding and confer proteolytic resistance. Amino Acids. 2012 Jan 29.
  7. Bergman IM, Edman K, Ekdahl KN, Rosengren KJ, Edfors I. Extensive polymorphism in the porcine Toll-like receptor 10 gene. Int J Immunogenet. 2012 Feb;39(1):68-76.
  8. Hossain MA, Rosengren KJ, Samuel CS, Shabanpoor F, Chan LJ, Bathgate RA, Wade JD. The minimal active structure of human relaxin-2. J Biol Chem. 2011 Oct 28;286(43):37555-65.
  9. Henriques ST, Huang YH, Rosengren KJ, Franquelim HG, Carvalho FA, Johnson A, Sonza S, Tachedjian G, Castanho MA, Daly NL, Craik DJ. Decoding the membrane activity of the cyclotide kalata B1: the importance of phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipids and lipid organization on hemolytic and anti-HIV activities. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 8;286(27):24231-41.
  10. Wang CK, Clark RJ, Harvey PJ, Rosengren KJ, Cemazar M, Craik DJ. The role of conserved Glu residue on cyclotide stability and activity: a structural and functional study of kalata B12, a naturally occurring Glu to Asp mutant. Biochemistry. 2011 May 17;50(19):4077-86.
  11. Haugaard-Kedstrm LM, Shabanpoor F, Hossain MA, Clark RJ, Ryan PJ, Craik DJ, Gundlach AL, Wade JD, Bathgate RA, Rosengren KJ. Design, synthesis, and characterization of a single-chain peptide antagonist for the relaxin-3 receptor RXFP3. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Apr 6;133(13):4965-74.

Student projects


  1. Structural diversity and functional roles of novel cyclic plant peptides hiding in albumin genes.
  2. Modelling of the interactions between relaxin peptide hormones and their receptor, and structure based drug-design.
  3. Improving blood-brain-barrier penetration and in vivo stability of relaxin-3 antagonists for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Research Support

NHMRC Project Grant (2013-2015): Determining modes of binding and activation of complex G-protein coupled receptor targets CIs Bathgate, Gooley & Rosengren

ARC Discovery Project (2012-2014): How do sunflowers make protein drugs in their seeds?CIs Mylne & Rosengren

ARC LIEF Grant (2011): High-resolution and high-throughput NMR facility CIs Daly, Loukas, Mulvenna, Seymour, Craik, King, Fairlie, Rosengren, Schirra

UQ New Staff Research Start-Up Fund (2011-2012): Development of single-chain peptide ligands for the INSL5 receptor RXFP4CI Rosengren

UQ Early Career Researcher Award (2011-2012): Structural basis of the interaction between relaxin-3 and its receptor RXFP3 CI Rosengren

NHMRC Biomedical CDA Fellowship (2011-2014): Structure-Activity relationships of relaxin peptide hormones CI Rosengren