Research & Publications
We long to understand why living cells are alive. The dream is to make clear how lifeless biomolecules work together to give birth to the real life of living cells and eventually form a meaningful organism. We believe the secret lies in the fundamental fact that the Life is eternally dynamic, moving hither and thither in a pre-programmed, interactive and highly regulable way. This is true from individual molecules to a whole cell and from the cells to the whole human body. Motor proteins are the ultimate performers that convert chemical energy to the Life's dynamic movement.
Our lab focuses on the structural mechanisms of motor proteins and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) methods. The long-term aim is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of motor-mediated high-level cellular activities from the very basic structural perspectives at atomic details. We are particularly interested in dyneins (and the related protein complexes) for their fascinating roles in intracellular/intraflagellar transport, cell division, organelle positioning, cell motility, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, viral infection and their elaborate mechanisms of regulation. In addition to dynein mechanisms and currently available techniques, we are also passionate about cryo-EM/ET methods development and interdisciplinary researches in depth in order to break the technical barriers to visualize atomic structures of large protein complexes as dynamic machinery both in vitro and in situ.
Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cilia; Cytoskeleton; Dyneins; Flagella; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted; Microscopy, Electron; Microscopy, Fluorescence; Microtubules; Molecular Biology; Nervous System Diseases; Protein Conformation; Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted; Tomography; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Cryoelectron Microscopy; Imaging, Three-Dimensional; Axoneme; Axonemal Dyneins; Machine Learning
- Towards dynamic structure of biological complexes at atomic resolution by cryo-EMZhang K. "Towards dynamic structure of biological complexes at atomic resolution by cryo-EM." Chin. Phys. B 2018. 27(6): 66801-066801.
- ATOM 1.0: A GPU Powered Package for Electron Tomography Reconstruction.Chu Q, Zhang K, Wan X, Zhang C, Zhang G, Shen B, Liu X, Zhao K, Chu X, Zhang F, Sun F. ATOM 1.0: A GPU Powered Package for Electron Tomography Reconstruction. Acta Biophys Sin 2011, 27:231-241.
- Substrate Binding Properties of Thermosome ATcpn-β from Acidianus TengchongensisWang L, Zhang K, Fan Z, Dong Z, and Sun F. Substrate Binding Properties of Thermosome ATcpnβ from Acidianus Tengchongensis. Progress in Biochemistry and Biophysics 2011, 38:151-158.
- Cloning, Expression, Purification and Preliminary Crystallographic Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans Enoyl-CoA Hydratase.Li Z, Zhang K, Zhai Y, Zhou Q, Geng Y, and Sun F. Cloning, Expression, Purification and Preliminary Crystallographic Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans Enoyl-CoA Hydratase. Acta Biophys Sin 2010, 26:37-48.
- Development and Frontier of Electron Microscopy 3D Reconstruction.Zhang K, Zhang Y, Hu Z, Ji G, and Sun F. Development and Frontier of Electron Microscopy 3D Reconstruction. Acta Biophys Sin 2010, 26:533-559.
- 3D Structural Investigation of Caveolae From Porcine Aorta Endothelial Cell by Electron Tomography.Sun S, Zhang K, Xu W, Wang G, Chen J, and Sun F. 3D Structural Investigation of Caveolae From Porcine Aorta Endothelial Cell by Electron Tomography. Progress in Biochemistry and Biophysics 2009, 36:729-735.