Tsinghua University (1995)
Graduate School
University of Texas at Dallas (2000), Computer Sciences
Graduate School
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2002)

Research Interest

  • Our research focuses on structural and functional characterization of proteins in signal transduction. Experimental approaches include x-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering, enzymology and spectroscopy.
  • The G12 class heterotrimeric G proteins and the Rho-family monomeric GTPases. We are trying to understand how these G-proteins are regulated by various protein factors, and how they interact with downstream effectors to mediate a large variety of cellular functions.
  • The pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains, with the emphasis on how these modular domains interact with proteins and lipids on membranes.


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Modulation of a GEF switch: autoinhibition of the intrinsic guanine nucleotide exchange activity of p115-RhoGEF.
Chen Z, Guo L, Sprang SR, Sternweis PC Protein Sci. 2011 Jan 20 1 107-17
Recognition of the activated states of Galpha13 by the rgRGS domain of PDZRhoGEF.
Chen Z, Singer WD, Danesh SM, Sternweis PC, Sprang SR Structure 2008 Oct 16 10 1532-43
Regulation of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors by G proteins.
Sternweis PC, Carter AM, Chen Z, Danesh SM, Hsiung YF, Singer WD Adv. Protein Chem. 2007 74 189-228
Structural basis of effector regulation and signal termination in heterotrimeric Galpha proteins.
Sprang SR, Chen Z, Du X Adv. Protein Chem. 2007 74 1-65
Mapping the Galpha13 binding interface of the rgRGS domain of p115RhoGEF.
Chen Z, Singer WD, Wells CD, Sprang SR, Sternweis PC J. Biol. Chem. 2003 Mar 278 11 9912-9
C2 domains from different Ca2+ signaling pathways display functional and mechanistic diversity
Nalefski EA, Wisner MA, Chen JZ, Sprang SR, Fukuda M, Mikoshiba K, Falke JJ Biochemistry 2001 10 40 3089-100