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  Ping Zhu, Ph.D, Prof.
  Principal Investigator
  National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, IBP
  Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)
  Tel:010-64888799(office), 010-64888813(lab)
  Fax:010-64888813,Zip code:100101

Biography & Introduction

1986.9-1990.6 B.S., Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou, China

1990.9-1993.6 M.S., Xi’an Jiaotong Univ., Xi’an, China

1993.9-1997.6 Ph.D., Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China

1997.7-1998.12 Lecturer, Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China

1999.3-2008.5 Postdoctoral Research Associate; Assist. in Research (NTTF) ; Associate Scholar/Scientist (NTTF); Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, Florida, USA

2008.6-present Principal Investigator, Professor of “Hundred Talents Program”, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Research Interests 

Rapidly developed in the past years, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) provides a unique way to study the 3D structure of macrobiomolecules in their native status. Our lab is interested in the 3D reconstruction and structural analysis of virus, chromatin and other biomacromolecules and their complexes, primarily utilizing cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and electron tomography (ET) technologies.

The main research interests in the laboratory are

(1) The higher-order structure of 30-nm chromatin fibers and how they are modulated and reshaped by variant epigenetic regulators

The nucleosomes have been widely thought to be folded into 30-nm chromatin fibers, but how the chromatin fibers are organized and how they are reshaped by “chromatin remodelers” and other epigenetics regulators remains elusive. We have determined the cryo-EM structure of the in vitro reconstituted 30-nm chromatin fiber at resolution of 11 Å, which shows a two-start helix twisted by the repeating tetranucleosomal structural units in an H1-dependent manner (Science 2014, Research Article). We are now trying to improve the reconstruction resolution, aiming for an atomic structure of 30-nm chromatin fiber. We are also studying how different epigenetic factors, e.g. histone variant, histone modification, chromatin remodeler, etc, may affect and regulate the structure of 30-nm chromatin fibers.

(2) The structures of whole viruses at atomic resolution and the molecular mechanism of viral assembly, infection and replication

The cryo-EM technique provides a fast way for the structure determination of whole viruses without crystallization. We have determined the cryo-EM structures of CPV, a dsRNA virus, in its non-transcribing state (PNAS 2011) and in the transcribing state (PNAS 2012) at near-atomic resolution, which shed light on the transcription process inside the dsRNA virus. We are interested in studying the structures of other viruses, trying to reveal the molecular mechanisms of viral assembly, infection and replication. We are also interested in the structural characterizations of vaccine candidates, trying to help the drug and vaccine designs against these pathogens (J. Virol. 2014).
We are also interested in the 3-D structure and function analysis of other functionally important molecular complexes, the in-situ structure of biomacromolecules inside cell, as well as visualizing the significant biological processes.

Selected Publications (in chronological order)

1. Zhu P*, Li G*. (2016) Higher-order structure of the 30-nm chromatin fiber revealed by cryo-EM. IUBMB Life. 68(11):873-78 (*corresponding author, invited review, cover)

2. Xu P, Li C, Chen Z, Jiang S, Fan S, Wang J, Dai J, Zhu P*, Chen Z*. (2016) The NuA4 core complex acetylates nucleosomal histone H4 through a double recognition mechanism, Mol. Cell, 63:965–75 (*corresponding author)

3. Zhu P*, Li G*. (2016) Structural insights of nucleosome and the 30-nm chromatin fiber. Curr. Opin.Struc. Biol., 36:106-15 (*corresponding author, invited review)

4. Zhu HT, Zhu P*. (2015) No longer ‘blob-ology’: Cryo-EM is getting into molecular details. Sci China Life Sci, 58(11): 1154-6 (*corresponding author, insight)

5. Li C, Zhou M, Li X, Zhu P*. (2015) Application of cryo-electron microscopy on epigenetic studies. Prog. in Biochem. & Biophys. 42(11):1063-72 (*corresponding author, in Chinese, invited review)

6. Li X, Feng H, Zhang J, Sun L, Zhu P*. (2015) Analysis of Chromatin Fiber in Hela Cell with Electron Tomography. Biophys. Report, 1(1): 51-60 (*corresponding author, cover story)

7. Li Z, Qi X, Ren X, Cui L, Wang X*, Zhu P*. (2015) Molecular characteristics and evolutionary analysis of a very virulent infectious bursal disease virus. Sci China Life Sci, 58(8): 731-38 (*corresponding author, cover story)

8. Li G*, Zhu P*. (2015) Structure and organization of chromatin fiber in the nucleus. FEBS Lett., doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2015.04.023, published online Ahead-of-Print (*corresponding author, invited review)

9. Yao Q, Lu Q, Wan X, Song F, Xu Y, Hu M, Zamyatina A, Liu X, Huang N, Zhu P*, Shao F*. (2014) A structural mechanism for bacterial autotransporter glycosylation by a dodecameric heptosyltransferase family. elife. 3:e03714 (*corresponding author)

10. Gong M, Zhu H, Zhou J, Yang C, Feng J, Huang X, Ji G, Xu H*, Zhu P*. (2014) Cryo-EM study of insect cell-expressed Enterovirus 71 and Coxsackievirus A16 virus-like particles provides a structural basis for vaccine development. J. Virol., 88(11):6444-52 (*corresponding author)

11. Song F, Chen P, Sun D, Wang M, Dong L, Liang D, Xu RM, Zhu P*, Li G*. (2014) Cryo-EM study of the chromatin fiber reveals a double helix twisted by tetranucleosomal units. Science. 344 (6182): 376-80 (*corresponding author, Research Article)

12. Cheng L, Huang X, Li X, Xiong W, Sun W, Yang C, Zhang K, Wang Y, Liu H, Huang X, Ji G, Sun F, Zheng C*, Zhu P*. (2014) Cryo-EM structures of two bovine adenovirus type 3 intermediates. Virology, 450-451:174-81 (*corresponding author)

13. Zhu H, Zhuang J, Feng H, Liang R, Wang J, Xie L*, Zhu P*. (2014) Cryo-EM structure of isomeric molluscan hemocyanin triggered by viral infection. PLoS One, 9(6): e98766 (*corresponding author)

14. Sun D, Song F, Huang L, Zhang K, Ji G, Chen P*, Zhu P*. (2013) In vitro Assembly and Electron Microscopic Analysis of 30 nm Chromatin Fibers. Prog. in Biochem. & Biophys. 2013, 40(7): 739-47 (*corresponding author, in Chinese, cover story)

15. Yang C, Ji G, Liu H, Zhang K, Liu G, Sun F, Zhu P*, Cheng L*. (2012) Cryo-EM Structure of a transcribing cypovirus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109(16):6118-23 (*corresponding author)

16. Cheng L, Sun J, Zhang K, Mou Z, Huang X, Ji G, Sun F, Zhang J*, Zhu P*. (2011) Atomic model of a cypovirus built from cryo-EM structure provides insight into the mechanism of mRNA capping. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 108(4):1373–78 (* corresponding author)

17. Zhu P, Winkler H, Chertova E, Taylor K, Roux K. (2008) Cryoelectron tomography of HIV-1 envelope spikes: further evidence for tripod-like legs. PLoS Pathog. 4(11): e1000203.

18. Zhu P, Liu J, Bess J., Chertova E, Lifson J, Grisé H, Ofek G, Taylor K, Roux K. (2006) Distribution and Three-Dimensional Structure of AIDS Virus Envelope Spikes. Nature. 441:847-852 (Article)

19. Zhu P, Chertova E., Bess J, Lifson J, Arthur L, Liu J, Taylor KA, Roux KH. (2003) Electron tomography analysis of envelope glycoprotein trimers on HIV and simian immunodeficiency virus virions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 100(26):15812-15817

20. Zhu P, Olson WC, Roux KH. (2001) Structural Flexibility and Function Valency of CD4-IgG2 (PRO 542): Potential for Crosslinking HIV-1 Envelope Spikes, J Virol., 75(14):6682-6686.


From Ping Zhu, 2017-02-07 update


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