Peiguo Yang, Ph.D.
School of Life Sciences
Phase Separation and Biomolecular Condensates Research Lab
Dr. Peiguo Yang is currently the assistant professor in Westlake University. He received his bachelor’s degree of biological science in Beijing Normal University in 2007. He received Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in Beijing Normal University & NIBS, Beijing. After getting his PhD degree in 2012, he pursued his postdoc research in Institute of biophysics, CAS, Beijing, Harvard medical school and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital before joining Westlake University at 2020.
1. LLPS and biomolecular condensates
Cellular compartmentalization is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells, including membrane bound and membraneless organelles in cells. Many membraneless organelles are also called biomolecular condensates. The mechanism of biomolecular condensates formation is not clear. The concept of liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) is introduced into biological field and explains the assembly mechanisms of many biomolecular condensates. RNP granules are prominent type of biomolecular condensates and Dr. Yang’s work identified the main protein responsible for the assembly of stress granules, a type of RNP granules. This work not only improves the knowledge of stress granule assembly via LLPS, but also establishes a framework for studying many other biomolecular condensates (Cell, 2020).
2. Biomolecular condensates and human diseases
Phase separation research in the last few years not only brings new insight into biomolecular condensates formation, but also reveals novel targeting mechanism for human neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD and ALS. A hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases is the formation of protein aggregates and phase transition is likely involved in the aggregate formation. Identification and characterization of the key scaffold protein and the mechanism of its phase separation/transition will uncover novel therapeutic interventions. Phase separation and Biomolecular Condensates Research lab uses multidiscipline methods to study the mechanism and function of biomolecular condensates under various contexts in physiology and pathology. The lab is also interested in the development of novel targeting compounds modulating the function of biomolecular condensates.
1. Peiguo Yang*, Cécile Mathieu*, Regina M. Kolaitis, Peipei Zhang, James Messing, Ugur Yurtsever, Zemin Yang, Jinjun Wu, Yuxin Li, Qingfei Pan, Jiyang Yu, Erik W. Martin, Tanja Mittag, Hong Joo Kim, J. Paul Taylor. G3BP1 is a tunable switch that triggers phase separation to assemble stress granules. Cell 2020; 181: 325-345 (*equal contribution)
2. Cristina Batlle, Peiguo Yang, Maura Coughlin, James Messing, Mireia Pesarrodona, Elzbieta Szulc, Xavier Salvatella, Hong Joo Kim, J. Paul Taylor and Salvador Ventura. hnRNPDL phase separation is regulated by alternative splicing and disease-causing mutations accelerate its aggregation. Cell reports 2020; 30:1117–1128.
3. Peipei Zhang, Baochang Fan, Peiguo Yang, Jamshid Temirov, James Messing, Hong Joo Kim, J Paul Taylor. Chronic optogenetic induction of stress granules is cytotoxic and reveals the evolution of ALS-FTD pathology. eLife 2019;8:e39578
4. Yubing Liu, Wei Zou, Peiguo Yang, Li Wang, Yan Ma, Hong Zhang, Xiaochen Wang. Autophagy-dependent ribosomal RNA degradation is essential for maintaining nucleotide homeostasis during C. elegans development. eLife 2018;7:e36588
5. Ke Zhang, Gavin Daigle, Kathleen M. Cunningham, Alyssa N. Coyne, Kai Ruan, Jonathan C. Grima, Kelly E. Bowen, Harsh Wadhwa, Peiguo Yang, Frank Rigo, J. Paul Taylor, Aaron D. Gitler, Jeffrey D. Rothstein and Thomas E. Lloyd. Stress Granule Assembly Disrupts Nucleocytoplasmic Transport. Cell 2018; 173: 958-971.
6. Tommaso Poggioli*, Ana Vujic*, Peiguo Yang, Claudio Macias-Trevino, Aysu N Uygur, Francesco S Loffredo, James R Pancoast, Miook Cho, Jill Goldstein, Rachel M Tandias, Emilia Gonzalez, Ryan G Walker, Thomas B Thompson, Amy J Wagers, Yick W Fong, Richard T Lee. Circulating Growth Differentiation Factor 11/8 Levels Decline with Age. Circ. Res 2015; 7442: 467-73. (*co-first author)
7. Peiguo Yang, Hong Zhang. You are what you eat: multifaceted functions of autophagy during C. elegans development. Cell Res 2014; 24: 80-91
8. Sihui Li*, Peiguo Yang*, E Tian, Hong Zhang. Arginine methylation regulates association of the cargo/receptor complex with the scaffold protein in the autophagy pathway. Mol. Cell 2013; 52: 421-33. (*co-first author)
9. Long Lin, Peiguo Yang, Xinxin Huang, Qun Lu, Hui Zhang, Hong Zhang. The scaffold protein EPG-7 links cargo/receptor complexes with the autophagic assembly machinery. J Cell Biol 2013; 201:113-129.
10. Qianqian Liang, Peiguo Yang, E Tian, Jinghua Han, Hong Zhang. The C. elegans ATG101 homolog EPG-9 directly interacts with EPG-1/Atg13 and is essential for autophagy. Autophagy 2012; 8:1426-33.
11. Yinyan Sun*, Peiguo Yang*, Yuxia Zhang*, Xin Bao, Jun Li, Wenru Hou, Xiangyu Yao, Jinghua Han, Hong Zhang. A genome-wide RNAi screen identifies genes regulating the formation of P bodies in C. elegans and their functions in NMD and RNAi. Protein Cell 2011; 2:918-39. (*co-first author)
12. Qun Lu, Peiguo Yang, Xinxin Huang, Wanqiu Hu, Bin Guo, Fan Wu, Long Lin, Attila L. Kovács, Li Yu, Hong Zhang. The WD40 repeat PtdIns(3)P-binding protein EPG-6 regulates progression of omegasomes to autophagosomes. Dev Cell 2011; 21:343-357.
13. Peiguo Yang, Hong Zhang. The coiled-coil domain protein EPG-8 plays an essential role in the autophagy pathway in C. elegans. Autophagy 2011; 7: 159-65.
14. Ye Tian, Haiyan Ren, Yu Zhao, Qun Lu, Xinxin Huang, Peiguo Yang, Hong Zhang. Four metazoan autophagy genes regulate cargo recognition, autophagosome formation and autolysosomal degradation. Autophagy 2010; 6:984-5.
15. Ye Tian*, Zhipeng Li*, Wanqiu Hu*, Haiyan Ren*, E Tian, Yu Zhao, Qun Lu, Xinxin Huang, Peiguo Yang, Xin Li, Xiaochen Wang, Attila L. Kova ́cs, Li Yu, Hong Zhang. C. elegans Screen Identifies Autophagy Genes Specific to Multicellular Organisms. Cell 2010; 141:1042-55. (*co-first author)
16. Yuxia Zhang*, Libo Yan*, Zhi Zhou*, Peiguo Yang*, E Tian, Kai Zhang, Yu Zhao, Zhipeng Li, Bing Song, Jinghua Han, Long Miao, Hong Zhang. SEPA-1 mediates the specific recognition and degradation of P granule components by autophagy in C. elegans. Cell 2009; 136:308-21. (*co-first author)