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.


Recent Publications

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

Bai L, Kovach A, You Q, Kenny A, Li H. 2019. Structure of the eukaryotic protein O-mannosyltransferase Pmt1−Pmt2 complexNat Struct Mol Biol.

Bai L, Li H. 2019. Cryo-EM is uncovering the mechanism of eukaryotic protein N-glycosylation. FEBS 286(9):1638–1644.