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Published Paper: Hydrophobic gating in bundle crossing channels

1 minute read

Transmembrane ion channels frequently regulate ion permeation by forming bundle crossing of the pore-lining helices when deactivated. The resulting physical constriction is believed to serve as the de facto gate that imposes the major free energy barrier to ion permeation. Intriguingly, many ion channels also contain highly hydrophobic inner pores enclosed by bundle crossing, which can undergo spontaneous dewetting and give rise to a “vapor barrier” to block ion flow even in the absence of physical constriction. Using atomistic simulations, we show that hydrophobic gating and bundle-crossing mechanisms co-exist and complement one and another in the human TRPV4 channel. In particular, a single hydrophilic mutation in the lower pore can increase pore hydration and reduce the ion permeation free energy barrier by about half without affecting the bundle crossing. We believe that hydrophobic gating may play a key role in other bundle-crossing ion channels with hydrophobic inner pores. Read more

Jian passed ORP exam and is now a Ph.D candidate!

less than 1 minute read

Original research proposal (ORP) is an exam designed to test the ability of graduate students to identify significant scientific questions, to develop research proposals based on rationized and reasonable hypotheses, and more importantly to successfully defend the proposal.

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received CBI fellowship

less than 1 minute read

CBI program (Chemistry-Biology Interface) is a highly competitive UMass-funded and NIH-funded fellowship, aiming at training trainees from different background to advance scientific research “at the interface of chemistry and biology”.

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Presenting in Poster Section of 2022 BPS Annual Meeting

1 minute read

The Biophysical Society (BPS) annual meeting is held by international biophysics society, aiming at leading, disseminating and advancing knowledge in biophysics.

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Jian’s arrival at U.S.

less than 1 minute read

After a year-long remote study in China, I finally arrived at U.S. and met with Chen lab members!

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TRPV4: a thermosensitive non-selective cation channel

Which domain is the thermo-sensor of TRPV4? What is the mechanism behind the thermo-sensitivity of TRPV4?

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TMEM16F: an ion channel can scramble lipids

How can an ion channel transport lipid through the membrane bilayer?

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Prediction of infectivity-enhancing mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus S (spike) protein

which mutations can enhance the affinity to the cell receptor and thus present challenges for vaccine and antibody development?

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