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Prof. David M. J. Lilley from Dundee University Visited IBP and Delivered the Shizhang Bei Lecture

Updated: 2015-09-02

On August 28, 2015, Prof. David M. J. Lilley visited Institute of Biophysics, CAS and gave a lecture entitled Resolution of Holliday Junctions in DNA: from Lower Organisms to Eukaryotes. The lecture was hosted by Prof. Guohong Li, and was part of the special lecture series named “Shizhang Bei Lecture” of Institute of Biophysics.   

David M. J. Lilley has been a professor of Molecular Biology at Dundee University since 1989 and Director of CR-UK Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group since 1993. His main research interests include but not restricted to the structure and function of chromatin and nucleosome, the role of DNA super helix in DNA recombination and enzyme interaction, and folding of RNA and the origination RNA enzyme. David M. J. Lilley has made numerous achievements in these research fields, including350 papers published on prestigious journals, such as Science and Nature. He has been member of editorial board for several journals, including EMBO Journal and Nucleic Acids Research. Currently, he is the member of editorial board of RNA, Journal of Fluorescence and Quart Reviews Biophysics. Due to his tremendous achievements, David M. J. Lilley has received numerous honors since 1980, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and awarded The RNA Society Lifetime Achievement in Service Award, and lifetime membership of the RNA Society.  

Prof. David M. J. Lilley gave an introduction of the biological importance of resolution of Holliday junction across organisms. One of the profound discoveries his group made is that the two strands of a Holliday junction are resolved cooperatively by the nuclease, during which the second strand is cleaved faster than the first strand. This result answered the long-standing question how the two nucleases binding the same Holliday junction DNA can “tell” each other when to cut. Then he focused on the co-crystal structural of Holliday junction DNA and Gen1, one of the resolution nucleases of Holliday junction. The structure revealed that two arms of the Holliday junction DNA were lift up like a V-shape through charge interactions with Gen1.  

Prof. David M. J. Lilley gave the lecture with vivid words, rigorous logic and great passion, which can be a lively lesson for the audience. Investigators from Institute of Biophysics attending the lecture included Tao Jiang, Jiangyun Wang, Yanli Wang, Ruiming Xu, Bing Zhu and Zheng Zhou.



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