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Macromolecular Structure and Function

Xiaodong Zhang

Xiaodong Zhang


Xiaodong Zhang – Professor of Macromolecular Structure and Function

My work focuses on understanding macromolecular machines through structural and functional studies.  I am particularly interested in how ATPases convert chemical energy to mechanic forces.  Currently there are three main areas of research in my group.

Transcriptional regulation

One of my main research areas is to understand the transcription activation/initiation process mediated by the bacterial σ54 factors.  This project is in collaboration with Prof. Martin BuckRead more.

In addition, we have recently started a collaboration with Dr Katsu Murakami at Pennsylvania State University studying the central enzyme of transcription, RNA polymerase (RNAP), during the elongation phase.  Read more.

Structure and mechanism of AAA ATPase p97

This is a joint project with Prof. Paul S Freemont.  Our group is working on the structures and mechanisms of the multi-functional AAA ATPase p97 and adaptor proteins.  Read more.

Mechanism of controlled gene expression involved in antibiotic resistance

We are studying a set of transcription regulators involved in controlling the efflux pumps in Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas putida.  These regulators respond to the same wide range of substrates as the efflux pumps and they are responsible for the unusual property of tolerating high level of antibiotics and other toxic substance.  Read more.