- Undergraduate Education
- B.S. (2004) Physics, Fudan University
- Graduate Education
- Ph.D. (2009) Structural Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
- Postdoc. Structural Biology, Stanford University (2009-13)
- Joined Texas A&M in (coming in 2014)
Cryo-EM of Cellular Machineries
The living cell contains a collection of molecular machines to grow and function. These machines include the ribosomes, the chaperons, the proteasomes and other enzymes. Malfunction of these machines, if occurred in human, are related to many diseases. Understanding their three-dimensional (3D) structures is essential to understand how these machines work in the cell and eventually to treat those related diseases.
Here we use an experimental technique called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to image these cellular machines in their native environment at liquid nitrogen temperatures. We then use image processing and graphics techniques to visualize their 3D structures, answering the questions such as how they assemble and how they interact with each other.
In addition, we develop computational modeling tools to interpret and animate these obtained 3D structures to further describe their movements and dynamics.
Cui, Z, Gorzelnik, KV, Chang, JY, Langlais, C, Jakana, J, Young, R et al.. Structures of Qβ virions, virus-like particles, and the Qβ-MurA complex reveal internal coat proteins and the mechanism of host lysis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017;114 (44):11697-11702.
Yang, K, Chang, JY, Cui, Z, Li, X, Meng, R, Duan, L et al.. Structural insights into species-specific features of the ribosome from the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017;45 (18):10884-10894.
Weaver, J, Jiang, M, Roth, A, Puchalla, J, Zhang, J, Rye, HS et al.. GroEL actively stimulates folding of the endogenous substrate protein PepQ. Nat Commun. 2017;8 :15934.
Gorzelnik, KV, Cui, Z, Reed, CA, Jakana, J, Young, R, Zhang, J et al.. Asymmetric cryo-EM structure of the canonical Allolevivirus Qβ reveals a single maturation protein and the genomic ssRNA in situ. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016;113 (41):11519-11524.
Yang, S, Jiang, M, Grabowska, MM, Li, J, Connelly, ZM, Zhang, J et al.. Androgen receptor differentially regulates the proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget. 2016;7 (43):70404-70419.
Yang, K, Ren, Z, Raushel, FM, Zhang, J. Structures of the Carbon-Phosphorus Lyase Complex Reveal the Binding Mode of the NBD-like PhnK. Structure. 2016;24 (1):37-42.
Li, X, Sun, Q, Jiang, C, Yang, K, Hung, LW, Zhang, J et al.. Structure of Ribosomal Silencing Factor Bound to Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ribosome. Structure. 2015;23 (10):1858-65.
DiMaio, F, Zhang, J, Chiu, W, Baker, D. Cryo-EM model validation using independent map reconstructions. Protein Sci. 2013;22 (6):865-8.
Zhang, Q, Dai, X, Cong, Y, Zhang, J, Chen, DH, Dougherty, MT et al.. Cryo-EM structure of a molluscan hemocyanin suggests its allosteric mechanism. Structure. 2013;21 (4):604-13.
Zhang, J, Minary, P, Levitt, M. Multiscale natural moves refine macromolecules using single-particle electron microscopy projection images. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012;109 (25):9845-50.