Research Professor/Tenure-track Associate Professor
Autophagy is a major intracellular degradation pathway critical for the health maintenance of eukaryotes. As it is mediated by vesicular trafficking, the degradation capacity of autophagy far surpasses that of the proteasomal pathway. It is the only known pathway capable of eliminating entire organelles. The current explosion of autophagy research was ignited in the 90s by pioneering works of Daniel J. Klionsky and Yoshinori Ohsumi. The identification of autophagy-related (ATG) genes in yeast greatly facilitated the subsequent expansion of research into multicellular organisms and the exploration of the physiological functions of autophagy.
The central step in macroautophagy (the best documented form of autophagy) is the formation of autophagosomes, which are double-membrane vesicles responsible for the sequestration and transport of degradation targets. One main focus of our past and current research is the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the membrane dynamics during autophagosome formation. In addition, we have a general interest in the study of intracellular membrane trafficking and the application of mathematics in biology.
He, CW, Cui, XF, Ma, SJ, Xu Q, Ran YP, Chen WZ, Mu JX, Li H, Zhu J, Gong Q, Xie Z*. Membrane recruitment of Atg8 by Hfl1 facilitates turnover of vacuolar membrane proteins in yeast cells approaching stationary phase. BMC Biol. 2021 Jun 04(1); 19:117.
Li D, Yang SG, He CW, Zhang ZT, Liang Y, Li H, Zhu J, Su X*, Gong Q*, Xie Z*. Excess diacylglycerol at the endoplasmic reticulum disrupts endomembrane homeostasis and autophagy. BMC Biol. 2020 Aug 28;18(1):107.
Zhu J, Zhang ZT, Tang SW, Zhao BS, Li H, Song JZ, Li D, Xie Z*. A Validated Set of Fluorescent-Protein-Based Markers for Major Organelles in Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). mBio. 2019 Sep 3;10(5). pii: e01691-19.
Zhu J, Deng S, Lu P, Bu W, Li T, Yu L*, Xie Z*. The Ccl1-Kin28 kinase complex regulates autophagy under nitrogen starvation. J Cell Sci. 2016 Jan1;129(1):135-44.
Li D, Song JZ, Li H, Shan MH, Liang Y, Zhu J, Xie Z*. Storage lipid synthesis is necessary for autophagy induced by nitrogen starvation. FEBS Lett. 2015 Jan 16;589(2):269-76.
Backues SK, Chen D, Ruan J, Xie Z*, Klionsky DJ*. Estimating the size and number of autophagic bodies by electron microscopy. Autophagy. 2014 Jan 1;10(1):155-64.
Yang J, Zhao Y, Ma K, Jiang FJ, Liao W, Zhang P, Zhou J, Tu B, Wang L, Kampinga HH, Xie Z*, Zhu WG*. Deficiency of hepatocystin induces autophagy through an mTOR-dependent pathway. Autophagy. 2011 Jul;7(7):748-59. )
Zou S, Chen Y, Liu Y, Segev N, Yu S, Liu Y, Min G, Ye M, Zeng Y, Zhu X, Hong B, Björn LO, Liang Y*, Li S* and Xie Z*. Trs130 participates in autophagy through GTPases Ypt31/32 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Traffic. 2013 Feb;14(2):233-46.