Ubiquitin ligase machinery in eukaryotic biology
With the power of a synchrotron, we shoot X-rays through protein crystals. X-ray crystallography is the gold standard for determining the three dimensional structures of protein machines that perceive, decipher, transmit, and implement biologic signals. We are able to quantitatively look into the nanoscale protein compartments can tell us in details how they engage and work together to make life possible.
Our current research focuses on a superfamily of multi-component protein complexes, known as cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases. By controlling protein turnover, these cellular machines regulate diverse biological processes, such as cell cycle progression, signal transduction, transcription, DNA repair, and metabolism. Dysregulation of these complexes has been associated with multiple human disorders including cancer, neurological disease, and viral infection.
From our studies, we hope to derive fundamental principles of life at molecular level and have a direct impact on biomedicine by accelerating the discovery and development of novel therapeutic drugs.