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Department of Structural Biology

The Department of Structural Biology aims to understand biology and human diseases at their most basic level. Scientists in the department use a series of advanced biophysical and biochemical techniques, such as cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry and patch-clamp electrophysiology, to determine the atomic structures of proteins and protein-nucleic acid complexes and investigate their biological functions both in vitro with purified samples and in cells. The determination of these structures illuminates the underpinnings of normal cellular function as well as disease-related dysfunction. They also reveal the action mechanisms of many existing drugs and may guide the development of novel therapeutics.

Faculty

Recent Publications

Xu T-H, Liu M, Zhou XE, Liang G, Zhao G, Xu HE*, Melcher K*, Jones PA* 2020. Structure of DNA methyltransferases DNMT3A/DNMT3B bound to a nucleosomeNature 586:151–155.
*Co-corresponding authors

Bai L, You Q, Jain BK, Duan HD, Kovach A, Graham TR, Li H. 2020. Transport mechanism of P4 ATPase phosphatidylcholine flippases. eLife. 

Ruan Z*, Osei-Owusu J*, Du J, Qiu Z#, Lü W#. 2020. Structures and pH-sensing mechanism of the proton-activated chloride channel. Nature.

Bai L, You Q, Feng X, Kovach A, Li H. 2020. Structure of the ER membrane complex, a transmembrane-domain insertase. Nature.

Ruan Z, Orozco IJ, Du J#, Lü W#. 2020. Structures of human Pannexin 1 reveal ion pathways and mechanism of gating. Nature.

Huang Y, Fliegert R, Guse AH, Lü W#, Du J#. 2019. A structural overview of the ion channels of the TRPM family. Cell Calcium.
# co-corresponding author

Choi W#, Clemente N#, Sun W, Du J*, Lü W*. 2019. The structures and gating mechanism of human calcium homeostasis modulator 2. Nature.
#Equal contributions
*Co-corresponding authors