Jun Liao    Assistant Professor, PI
Institute School of Life Science and Technology
Research Area transmembrane channels and transporters
Contact Info. liaojun@@shanghaitech.edu.cn
Jun Liao received a B.A. degree in Microbiology in 1994 from Nanchang University, China. He entered a doctoral program at Institute of Biophysics, CAS, and obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2002. From 2002-2003, Dr. Jun Liao worked as a staff scientist at Institute of Biophysics, CAS. From 2003 to 2005, Dr. Liao studied the sensory mechanism of human sweet taste receptor hT1R2-hT1R3 at the laboratory of Dr. Robert F. Margolskee in Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. From 2005-2009, he received his second post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Youxing Jiang at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Liao has been promoted to instructor and research assistant professor in 2009 and 2012 respectively, because of the excellence on research. He joined the School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, as an Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator in 2014.
  Research Interests  
The existence of cytoplasmic and organelle membranes is key to a wide variety of biological processes. By separating the inside from the surrounding, these membranes enable local differences in the physical properties, which are essential to numerous ordered and specific physiological and biochemical reactions. Membrane proteins, attached to, or associated with a cell or an organelle membrane, are in charge of communication and the exchange of energy and substrate across membranes. So, membrane proteins impact nearly every aspect of cellular life. It has been estimated that 20-30% of all genes in most genomes encode membrane proteins. The structural and functional studies of the membrane proteins have always been the frontier of modern biology. Many Nobel prizes have been awarded for the groundbreaking discoveries on membrane proteins. Over 50% of all modern medicinal drugs target membrane proteins. The research of our laboratory has been focusing on the mechanisms of the selectivity, the gating and the energy coupling of channels and secondary active transporters. These properties are crucial to activities that involve rapid changes in cells, such as muscular contraction and relaxation, neural excitation, and the visual and olfactory transductions. Our research approach is a combination of membrane protein X-ray crystallography, electrophysiology and various biochemical tools. Our long-term goal is to develop novel strategies to treat diseases related to the malfunction of the membrane channels and transporters.
  Selected Publications  
1. Liao J*#, Marinelli F*, Lee C, Huang Y, Faraldo-Gómez JD#, Jiang Y# (*, first author; #, correspondence) (2016) Mechanism of extracellular ion exchange and binding-site occlusion in a sodium/calcium exchanger. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 23,590-599.

2. Barthmes M, Liao J, Jiang Y, Brüggemann A, and Wahl-Schott C (2016) Electrophysiological characterization of the archaeal transporter NCX_Mj using solid supported membrane technology. J. Gen. Physiol. 147 (6 ), 485-496.

3. He Q, Wang F, Liu S, Zhu D, Cong H, Gao F, Li B, Wang H, Lin Z, Liao J, Gu L (2016) Structural and Biochemical Insight into the Mechanism of Rv2837c from Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a c-di-NMP Phosphodiesterase. J. Biol. Chem. 291(7), 3668-3681.

4. John SA, Liao J, Jiang Y, Ottolia M.(2013) The cardiac Na+-Ca2+ exchanger has two cytoplasmic ion permeation pathways. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 110, 7500-7505.

5. Liao J, Li H, Zeng W, Sauer DB, Belmares R, Jiang Y.(2012) Structural insight into the ion-exchange mechanism of the sodium/calcium exchanger. Science 335, 686-690. (Featured in "Perspective” in Science; Highlighted in "Editors' Choice” in Science Signaling; Recommended by Faculty of 1000)

6. Li M, Liu MY, LeGall J, Gui LL, Liao J, Jiang T, Zhang JP, Liang DC, Chang WR. (2003) Crystal structure studies on rubrerythrin: enzymatic activity in relation to the zinc movement. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 8, 149-155.

7. Liao J, Liu MY, Chang T, Li M, Le Gall J, Gui LL, Zhang JP, Jiang T, Liang DC, Chang WR. (2002) Three-dimensional structure of manganese superoxide dismutase from Bacillus halodenitrificans, a component of the so-called "green protein". J. Struct. Biol. 139, 171-180.

8. Liao J, Li M, Liu M, Chang T, LeGall J, Gui L, Zhang J, Jiang T, Liang D, Chang W (2002) Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of manganese superoxide dismutase from Bacillus halodenitrificans. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 294, 60-62.