Zhen YAN, Ph.D.
School of Life Sciences
Structural Biology Laboratory
Dr. Zhen Yan received her Bachelor of Science degree from School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University in 2011, and Ph.D. degree in Biology from Tsinghua University in 2016. Then, she worked as a postdoc at Tsinghua University and Princeton University successively, and received the Postdoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association. Dr. Yan has published several research papers on journals such as Nature, Science, Cell.
Dr. Zhen Yan’s expertise is structural biology, and has a lot of great achievements, especially in the philological process of Excitation-Contraction Coupling (ion channel).
Muscle contraction is one of the most important and fundamental physiological processes, and the dysregulation will cause serious diseases, such as MH and cardiac arrhythmia. This process is tightly controlled by a series of proteins, which including Nav, Cav and RyR. Nav1.4 triggers action potential. Cav1.1 senses the change of membrane potential and will activate RyR1. The activated RyR1 rapidly release calcium ion into cytosol, which will lead to muscle contraction. Dr. Yan carried out an innovative protein purification strategy, and solved the high resolution structures of Nav1.4, Cav1.1 and RyR1 by cryo-EM method. These structures are significant both in the field of muscle contraction and the field of ion channels. They provide molecular explanation for the working mechanism of muscle contraction, and structure basis for the future drug development.
Yan Lab will focus on the significant membrane proteins and soluble protein complexes related to serious diseases, by single particle cryo-EM, cryotomography, X-ray crystallography and biochemistry methods.
1. Yan, Z.*, Zhou, Q.*, Wang, L.*, Wu, J*., Zhao, Y., Huang, G., Peng, W., Shen, H., Lei, J., and Yan, N. 2017. Structure of the Nav1.4-beta1 Complex from Electric Eel. Cell 170, 470-482 e411. (*equal contribution)
2. Yan, Z.*, Bai, X.*, Yan, C.*, Wu, J., Li, Z., Xie, T., Peng, W., Yin, C. C., Li, X., Scheres, S. H., Shi, Y., & Yan, N. 2015. Structure of the rabbit ryanodine receptor RyR1 at near-atomic resolution. Nature, 517(7532): 50-55.
3. Wu, J.*, Yan, Z.*, Li, Z.*, Qian, X., Lu, S., Dong, M., Zhou, Q., & Yan, N. 2016. Structure of the voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.1 at 3.6 A resolution. Nature, 537(7619): 191-196.
4. Wu, J.*, Yan, Z.*, Li, Z., Yan, C., Lu, S., Dong, M., & Yan, N. 2015. Structure of the voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.1 complex. Science, 350(6267): aad2395.
5. Bai, X.*, Yan, Z.*1, Wu, J.*, Li, Z., & Yan, N1. 2016. The Central domain of RyR1 is the transducer for long-range allosteric gating of channel opening. Cell Res, 26(9): 995-1006. (1 co-corresponding author)
6. Wu, D.*, Hu, Q.*, Yan, Z.*, Chen, W., Yan, C., Huang, X., Zhang, J., Yang, P., Deng, H., Wang, J., Deng, X., & Shi, Y. 2012. Structural basis of ultraviolet-B perception by UVR8. Nature, 484(7393): 214-219.
7. Wu, J., Yan, N., and Yan, Z.1 2017. Structure-Function Relationship of the Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel Cav1.1 Complex. Advances in experimental medicine and biology 981, 23-39. (1 corresponding author)
8. Hu, Q., Wu, D., Chen, W., Yan, Z., Yan, C., He, T., Liang, Q., & Shi, Y. 2014. Molecular determinants of caspase-9 activation by the Apaf-1 apoptosome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(46): 16254-16261.
9. Hu, Q., Wu, D., Chen, W., Yan, Z., & Shi, Y. 2013. Proteolytic processing of the caspase-9 zymogen is required for apoptosome-mediated activation of caspase-9. J Biol Chem, 288(21): 15142-15147.