Home CAS Center for Excellence


Members of CAS, CAE
National Outstanding Young Scientists Award
Principal Investigators
Address: 320 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, P.R. China
Tel: 86-21-54920000
Fax: 86-21-54921011
Email: sibcb@sibs.ac.cn
Website: www.sibcb.ac.cn
Principal Investigators
Ph.D., Professor
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese
Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue-yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China
Email: yanghui@sibcb.ac.cn

Research Areas
Molecular mechanism of RNA mediated regulation of gene expression

Research Interests

The regulation of gene expression in multicellular organisms is critical for cell differentiation, morphogenesis, and development. The abnormal regulation plays an important role in the occurrence and development of many human diseases. Gene expression can be modulated through a comprehensive regulatory network at different stages, including genetic control, transcriptional control, post-transcriptional control, translational control, and post-translational control. A non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is an RNA molecule that is not translated into a protein. There are various types of non-editing RNA in cells, including transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), small RNA (such as microRNA, siRNA, piRNA, etc.) and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). These ncRNAs and the related ribonucleoprotein complexes participate in a variety of cellular activities including the regulation of gene expression and play an important role in the development and progress of many diseases including cancer. Several genome editing technologies such as RNAi and CRISPR-Cas have been developed based on these non-coding RNAs, which allow us to alter the expression of target gene. The CRISPR-Cas systems function as adaptive immune systems in bacteria and archaea. These systems employ various RNA-guided endonuclease to sequence-specifically recognize and cleave target DNA or RNA molecules. The CRISPR-Cas systems are developed as powerful genome editing tools or genome binding platform and successfully applied to specific cell lines, animal models and plant models generation, which also show prospective potentials in gene therapy.
Our group aim at the molecular mechanism of the above aspects through structural biology approaches, in combination with molecular biology, biochemistry, and other related approaches. We are interested in molecular mechanisms of how these RNA-protein complexes function in regulatory network, which will provide clues for occurrence and development of related diseases and structural information for drugs design and therapeutic approaches. In the next five years, we will mainly focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying how lncRNAs and the related ribonucleoprotein complexes function in gene expression regulation in eukaryotic cells, as well as the structural basis of specifically recognition and cleavage of DNA or RNA molecules by CRISPR-Cas systems.

Selected Publications

  1. Guo TW*, Bartesaghi A*, Yang H*, Falconieri V, Rao P, Merk A, Eng ET, Raczkowski AM, Fox T, Earl LA, Patel DJ & Subramaniam S. Cryo-EM structures reveal mechanism and inhibition of DNA targeting by a CRISPR-Cas surveillance complex. Cell, 2017, 171:414-426. (* co-first authors)
  2. Yang H# and Patel DJ#. Inhibition mechanism of an anti-CRISPR suppressor AcrIIA4. Mol Cell, 2017 67:117-127. (# co-corresponding authors)
  3. Yang H# and Patel DJ#. New CRISPR-Cas systems discovered. Cell Res, 2017, 27:313-4. (# co-corresponding authors)
  4. Yang H#, Gao P, Rajashankar KR, and Patel DJ#. PAM-dependent target DNA recognition and cleavage by C2c1 CRISPR-Cas endonuclease. Cell, 2016, 167:1814-28. (# co-corresponding authors)
  5. Gao P, Yang H, Rajashankar KR, Huang Z, and Patel DJ. Type V CRISPR-Cas Cpf1 endonuclease employs a unique mechanism for crRNA-mediated target DNA recognition. Cell Res, 2016, 26:901-13.
  6. Lee M, Choi Y, Kim K, Jin H, Lim J, Nguyen TA, Yang J, Jeong M, Giraldez AJ, Yang H, Patel DJ, and Kim VN. Adenylation of maternally inherited microRNAs by Wispy. Mol Cell, 2014, 56:696-707.
  7. Yang H, Zhang T, Tao Y, Wang F, Tong L, and Ding J. Structural insights into the functions of the FANCM-FAAP24 complex in DNA repair. Nucleic Acids Res, 2013, 41:10573-83.
  8. Li S, Du J, Yang H, Yin J, Ding J, and Zhong J. Functional and structural characterization of DNMT2 from Spodoptera frugiperda. J Mol Cell Biol, 2013, 5:64-6.
  9. Zhang T*, P└li-Gulli*, Yang H, De Virgilio C, and Ding J. Ego3 functions as a homodimer to mediate the interaction between Gtr1-Gtr2 and Ego1 in the EGO complex to activate TORC1. Structure, 2012, 20:2151-60.
  10. Yang H, Zhang T, Tao Y, Wu L, Li H, Zhou J, Zhong C, and Ding J. Saccharomyces cerevisiae MHF complex structurally resembles the histones (H3-H4)2 heterotetramer and functions as a heterotetramer. Structure, 2012, 20:364-70.
  11. Yang H*, Wang J*, Du J, Zhong C, Zhang D, Guo H, Guo Y and Ding J. Structural basis of immunosupperssion by the therapeutic antibody daclizumab. Cell Res, 2010, 20:1361-71. (* co-first authors)
  12. Du J, Yang H, Zhang D, Wang J, Guo H, Peng B, Guo Y and Ding J. Structural basis for the blockage of IL-2 signaling by therapeutic antibody daclizumab. J Immunol, 2010, 184:1361-8.
  13. Du J*, Yang H*, Peng B, and Ding J. Structural modeling and biochemical studies reveal insights into the molecular basis of the recognition of beta-2-microglobulin by antibody BBM.1. J Mol Recognit, 2009, 22:465-73. (* co-first authors)
  14. Du J, Yang H, Guo Y and Ding J. Structure of the Fab fragment of therapeutic antibody Ofatumumab provides insights into the recognition mechanism with CD20. Mol Immunol, 2009, 46:2419-23.
  15. Du J, Hou S, Zhong C, Lai Z, Yang H, Dai J, Zhang D, Wang H, Guo Y and Ding J. Molecular basis of recognition of human osteopontin by 23C3, a potential therapeutic antibody for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. J Mol Biol, 2008, 382:835-42.

Education Background & Academic Experience

2018-present: Principal Investigator, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, SIBS, CAS
2017-2018: Research Associate, Structural Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA
2014-2017: Research Fellow, Structural Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA
2008-2014: Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS
2004-2008: B.S., Biotechnology, Nanjing University


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