Research Group
Professor, “Thousand Talent Program for Young Outstanding Scientists”
Tel: :021-54921193

Research Interests
Eukaryote chromatin is highly organized and is composed of repeating units of nucleosome. The chromatin structures are dynamically regulated by different epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone modification, ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling, histone variant and non-coding RNA. These mechanisms can act independently, and also cross-talk with each other to play important roles in regulation of gene transcription. There are increasing evidences to link alteration of these epigenetic factors to cancer initiation and tumor progression. We are interested in mechanistic understanding of epigenetic regulation of chromatin. We will aim on the following questions: How does ATP-dependent remodeling complex drive DNA translocation on nucleosome? What is the cross-talk pathway between ATP-dependent remodeling complex and histone modification complex? How does cell establish specific heterochromatin region in the telomere? We will try to answer these questions from structural elucidation of a serial of important protein complexes by X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy combined with a series of biochemical and cellular analyses. By the end, we hope these studies will not only give us the insights into molecular mechanisms of chromatin regulation, but also provide clues for drug design and novel therapeutic approaches for some human diseases.

Selected Publications

1. Yong Chen, Fang Cao, Bingbing, Yali Dou, Ming Lei (2011) Structure of the SPRY domain of Ash2L and its interactions with RbBP5 and DPY30, Cell Res., 22, 598-602
Yong Chen, Bingbing Wan, Kevin C. Wang, Fang Cao, Yuting Yang, Angeline Protacio, Yali Dou, Howard Y. Chang, Ming Lei (2011) Crystal structure of the N-terminal region of human Ash2L shows a winged-helix motif involved in DNA binding, EMBO Rep. 12(8),797-803
2. Kevin Wang, Yul Yang, Rajnish Gupta, Angeline Protacio, Bo Liu, Jill Helms, Yong Chen, Ming Lei, Joanna Wysocka, Amartya Sanyal, Bryan Lajoie, Job Dekker, M. Corces-Zimmerman, Howard Chang (2011) A long noncoding RNA maintains active chromatin to coordinate homeotic gene express, Nature, 472(7341), 120-124
3. Ying Tang, Xijiang Pan, Yong Chen, Phang C. Tai, Sen-Fang Sui (2011) Dimeric SecA couples the preprotein translocation in an asymmetric manner. PLoS One, 6(1), e16498
4. Yong Chen, Rekha Rai, Zi-Ren Zhou, Junko Kanoh, Cyril Ribeyre, Yuting Yang, Hong Zheng, Pascal Damay, Feng Wang, Hisayo Tsujii, David Shore, Hong-Yu Hu, Sandy Chang A, Ming Lei (2011) A Conserved Motif within RAP1 Plays Diversified Roles in Telomere Protection and Regulation in Different Organisms, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 18(2): 213-221
5. Fang Cao, Yong Chen, Tomasz Cierpicki, Yifan Liu, Venkatesha Basrur, Ming Lei, Yali Dou (2010) An Ash2L/RbBP5 heterodimer stimulates the MLL1 methyltransferase activity through coordinated substrate interactions with the MLL1 SET domain. PLoS One 5(11), e14102
6. Zhixiong Zeng, Wei Wang, Yuting Yang, Yong Chen, Xiaomei Yang, J.Alan Diehl, Xuedong Liu and Ming Lei (2010) Structural basis of selective ubiquitination of TRF1 bys SCFFBX4. Dev. Cell, 18, 214-225
7. Yong Chen, Yuting Yang, Megan van Overbeek, Jill R. Donigian, Paul Baciu, Titia de Lange, Ming Lei (2008) A Shared Docking Motif in TRF1 and TRF2 Used for Differential Recruitment of Telomeric Proteins. Science, 319: 1092-1096
8. Yong Chen, Xijiang Pan, Ying Tang, Shu Quan, Phang C. Tai, Sen-Fang Sui (2008) Full-length Escherichia coli SecA dimerizes in a closed conformation in solution as determined by cryo-electron microscopy. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 28783-28787
9. Jiansen Jiang, Xuefeng Zhang, Yong Chen, Yi Wu, Z. Hong Zhou, Zengyi Chang, Sen-Fang Sui (2008) Activation of DegP chaperone-protease via formation of large cage-like oligomers upon binding to substrate proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 105: 11939-11944
10. Yong Chen, Phang C. Tai, Sen-Fang Sui (2007) The active ring-like structure of SecA revealed by electron crystallography: conformational change upon interaction with SecB. J. Struct. Biol. 159: 149-153
11. Yong Chen, Yuting Yang, Feng Wang, Ke Wan, Kenichi Yamane, Yi Zhang, Ming Lei (2006) Crystal structure of human histone lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 103:13956-13961
12. Shi-Zhen Wang, Yong Chen, Zhan-Hua Sun, Qiang Zhou, Sen-Fang Sui (2006) Escherichia coli CorA periplasmic domain functions as a homotetramer to bind substrate. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 26813-26820
13. Chang-Zhen Liu, Yong Chen and Sen-fang Sui, (2006) The identification of a new actin-binding region in p57. Cell Res., 16, 106-112
14. Hong-Wei Wang, Yong Chen, Hsiuchin Yang, Xianchuan Chen, Ming-Xing Duan, Phang C. Tai and Sen-fang Sui,Wang(2003) Ring-like pore structures of SecA: implication for bacterial protein-conducting channels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 100, 4221-4226
15. Yong Chen, Ying-Jie Lu, Hong-Wei Wang, Shu Quan, Zengyi Chang and Sen-fang Sui, Two-dimensional crystallization of a small heat shock protein HSP16.3 on lipid layer, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2003, 310: 360-366
16. Yong Chen, Jinmei Song, Sen-fang Sui and Da-Neng Wang, DnaK and DnaJ facilitated the folding process and reduced inclusion body formation of magnesium transporter CorA overexpressed in Escherichia coli, Protein Expr. Purif., 2003, 32:221-231
17. Hong-Wei Wang, Yi Wu, Yong Chen and Sen-Fang Sui(2002)Polymorphism of structural forms of C-reactive protein. Int. J. Mo.l Med. 9:665-671
Education Background & Academic Experience
1995 - 1999: B. S. in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
1999 - 2005: Ph. D. in Biophysics, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2005 - 2012: Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
2012-present: Professor, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

333 Haike Road, Pudong District,
201210, Shanghai, P.R.China
Tel: 021-20778500