Dan MA, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Lab of Protein Structure and Function

CONTACT

Email: madan@westlake.edu.cn

Website:

Dan MA, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Lab of Protein Structure and Function

CONTACT

Email: madan@westlake.edu.cn

Website:

“I wish that I can blend myself into the blood of Westlake University to sense its every breath and heartbeat. Let’s strive and grow together to make the miracle of Westlake of University!”


Biography

Dan  Ma, studying in structural biology and biochemistry, was born in 1987 in  Langfang, Hebei.  She received her Bachelor of  Science degree from School of Life Sciences, Shandong University in 2009, and  Ph. D. degree in Biology from Tsinghua University in 2014. During the  postdoctoral training in University of Washington, she received the prestigious  postdoctoral fellowship from Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund. She will  join Westlake University as a principle investigator in School of Life Sciences  since 2019, and work on structural and functional studies of  proteins.


 

Research

Dr.  Dan Ma has been working on structural and  functional studies of proteins for more than 10 years, and has a number of  important achievements in the field of membrane protein study:

(i)  Solved the crystal structure of glutamate: GABA antiporter GadC, one of the  major components of E. coli acid resistance system, and the transport  mechanism was  revealed. Based on biochemical and functional analysis, a new E.  coli acid resistance system was discovered. The results have great  significance in understanding the characteristics of food-borne pathogens and  finding new ways for the treatment of related diseases. (ii) First obtained  atomic resolution cryo-EM structure of  human gamma-secretase, which provide molecular basis for understanding the  development of Alzheimer’s  Disease. This work was chosen to be reported as one of the “News of  Top 10 Achievements in  Science and Technology of China” in 2014.  (iii) Obtained the first high resolution crystal structure of Membrane-bound  O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) Superfamily, and proposed a working model  based on biochemical and functional studies. The work provided structural basis  for understanding catalytic mechanism of MBOATs. The above research highlights  all received recommendations  from Faculty of 1000.

 

By  using biophysical and biochemical methods, her research group  will work on the structural and functional studies of human disease-related  proteins and protein complexes, especially membrane proteins. Future research  will mainly focus on  transport and metabolism of amino acids and lipids, as well as the regulation of  important signal transduction pathways (for  example Wnt signaling pathway).


 

Representative  Publications (*Equal  contribution)

1. Ma  D, Wang  Z, Merrikh C, Lang K, Lu P, Li X, Merrikh H, Rao Z, Xu W. Crystal structure of a  membrane-bound O-acyltransferase. Nature. 2018;  562(7726):286-290.

2. Bai XC, Yan  C, Yang G, Lu P, Ma  D, Sun L, Zhou  R, Scheres SH, Shi Y. An atomic structure of human γ-secretase.  Nature. 2015;  525(7568):212-7.

3. Xie T, Yan  C, Zhou R, Zhao Y, Sun L, Yang G, Lu P, Ma  D, Shi Y.  Crystal structure of the γ-secretase component nicastrin.  PNAS. 2014;  111(37): 13349-54.

4. Lu P*, Bai  X*, Ma  D*, Xie T, Yan  C, Sun L, Yang G, Zhao Y, Zhou R, Sheres S, Shi Y. Three-dimensional structure  of human γ-secretase. Nature. 2014;  512(7513):166-70.

5. Lu P*,  Ma  D*, Yan C, Gong  X, Du M, Shi Y. Structure and mechanism of a eukaryotic transmembrane  ascorbate-dependent oxidoreductase. PNAS. 2014;  111(5):1813-8.

6.  Ma  D*, Lu P*, Shi  Y. Substrate selectivity of the acid-activated glutamate/ γ-aminobutyric acid  (GABA) antiporter GadC from Escherichia  coli.  J Biol  Chem. 2013; 288  (21):15148-53.

7. Lu P*,  Ma  D*, Chen Y, Guo  Y, Chen GQ, Deng H, Shi Y. L-glutamine provides acid resistance for  Escherichia  coli through  enzymatic release of ammonia. Cell  Res. 2013;  23(5):635-44.

8.  Ma  D, Lu P, Yan C,  Fan C, Yin P, Wang J, Shi Y. Structure and mechanism of a glutamate-GABA  antiporter. Nature. 2012;  483(7391):632-6.