Zhen YAN, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Structural Biology Laboratory

CONTACT

Email: yanzhen@westlake.edu.cn

Website:

Zhen YAN, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Structural Biology Laboratory

CONTACT

Email: yanzhen@westlake.edu.cn

Website:


Biography

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  NatureScienceCell.

 

Research

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.

 

Representative  Publications

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.