Peking University (1992)
Graduate School
Yale University (1997)

Research Interest

  • Ion channels and membrane transporters: The research of our laboratory has been focusing on the structural and functional studies of ion channels and transporters which control the flow of ions across the cell membrane. These proteins regulate many biological processes such as the excitation of nerve and muscle cells, the secretion of hormones, and sensory transduction.
  • Ion selectivity of tetrameric cation Channels: To understand the structural basis of ion selectivity in tetrameric cation channels, we have been using the NaK channel as the model system to elucidate the basic principles of ion selectivity in CNG channels and K+ channels.
  • Ion transporters: The study on ion transporters in the lab has been focused on Na+/Ca2+ exchangers (NCX) which are crucial membrane transporters in maintaining the homeostasis of cytosolic Ca2+ for cell signaling. With the determination of a high-resolution structure of an NCX protein from Methanococcus jannaschii (NCX_Mj), we now have a working model system to elucidate the structural basis and mechanistic details of ion exchange in NCX proteins.
  • Ligand gating of cation channels: To study channel gating, the lab focuses on a group of ligand gated K+ channels that are regulated by a conserved ligand binding domain, the RCK domain. This group includes the majority of prokaryotic K+ channels and the eukaryotic high-conductance Ca2+-gated K+ channels (BK or maxiK).
  • Our research approach is a combination of membrane protein X-ray crystallography, aimed at determining the three dimensional structure of the ion transporting proteins, and channel electrophysiology, to study the physiological functions of these proteins.


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Structural and Mechanistic Roles of Novel Chemical Ligands on the SdiA Quorum-Sensing Transcription Regulator.
Nguyen Y, Nguyen NX, Rogers JL, Liao J, MacMillan JB, Jiang Y, Sperandio V MBio 2015 6 2
A motif in LILRB2 critical for Angptl2 binding and activation.
Deng M, Lu Z, Zheng J, Wan X, Chen X, Hirayasu K, Sun H, Lam Y, Chen L, Wang Q, Song C, Huang N, Gao GF, Jiang Y, Arase H, Zhang CC Blood 2014 Jun
The cardiac Na+-Ca2+ exchanger has two cytoplasmic ion permeation pathways.
John SA, Liao J, Jiang Y, Ottolia M Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Apr
Protein interactions central to stabilizing the K+ channel selectivity filter in a four-sited configuration for selective K+ permeation.
Sauer DB, Zeng W, Raghunathan S, Jiang Y Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Oct 108 40 16634-9
Crucial Points within the Pore as Determinants of K(+) Channel Conductance and Gating.
Shi N, Zeng W, Ye S, Li Y, Jiang Y J. Mol. Biol. 2011 Aug 411 1 27-35
Structural studies of ion selectivity in tetrameric cation channels.
Alam A, Jiang Y J. Gen. Physiol. 2011 May 137 5 397-403
Crystal structure of a potassium ion transporter, TrkH.
Cao Y, Jin X, Huang H, Derebe MG, Levin EJ, Kabaleeswaran V, Pan Y, Punta M, Love J, Weng J, Quick M, Ye S, Kloss B, Bruni R, Martinez-Hackert E, Hendrickson WA, Rost B, Javitch JA, Rajashankar KR, Jiang Y, Zhou M Nature 2011 Mar 471 7338 336-40
Novel insights into K+ selectivity from high-resolution structures of an open K+ channel pore.
Ye S, Li Y, Jiang Y Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2010 Aug 17 8 1019-23
Semisynthesis of NaK, a Na(+) and K(+) conducting ion channel.
Linn KM, Derebe MG, Jiang Y, Valiyaveetil FI Biochemistry 2010 Jun 49 21 4450-6
S. aureus MscL Is a Pentamer In Vivo but of Variable Stoichiometries In Vitro: Implications for Detergent-Solubilized Membrane Proteins
Dorwart MR, Wray R, Brautigam CA, Jiang Y & Blount P PLoS Biol 2010 8 12 e1000555

Honors & Awards

  • Edith and Peter OÂ’Donnell Awards
    The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) (2013)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    Investigator (2008)
  • McKnight Scholar Award
    The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience (2006)
  • David and Lucile Packard Fellowship
    The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2004)
  • Searle Scholars Award
    The Searle Scholars Program (2004)
  • Endowed Scholar
    UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (2003)