Our laboratory aims to elucidate: i) the molecular mechanisms of ciliary motions and ii) the assembly process of cilia during cell development.
We are developing cellular cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) workflow to gain molecular insights by directly imaging cells. We also employ biochemistry, chemical biology, structural biology, and single-cell approaches to understand the protein dynamics during ciliary beatings and how cilia are built step by step. Once we have high-resolution reconstructions of cellular structures in situ, we are able to directly identify the proteins by unbiasedly matching the structures to the AlphaFold2 library of the entire proteome.
In addition, we are broadly interested in leveraging cellular cryoET to address various cell biology questions. Our guiding principle is: if you do not know what that protein is or how it functions inside the cell, just look at the thing at high resolutions!
Chen, Zhen; Shiozaki, Momoko et al. (2023) De novo protein identification in mammalian sperm using high-resolution in situ cryo-electron tomography. Biorxiv.
Chen, Zhen; Greenan, Garrett A. et al. (2023) In situ cryo-electron tomography reveals the asymmetric architecture of mammalian sperm axonemes. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
Zheng, Shawn; Wolff, Georg et al. (2022) AreTomo: An integrated software package for automated marker-free, motion-corrected cryo-electron tomographic alignment and reconstruction. Journal of Structural Biology.
Chen, Zhen; Suzuki, Hiroshi et al. (2018) Structural insights into Mdn1, an essential AAA protein required for ribosome biogenesis. Cell.
Kawashima, Shigehiro A.*; Chen, Zhen* et al. (2016) Potent, reversible and specific chemical inhibitors of eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis. Cell (*equal contributions).
Chen, Zhen; Vohidov, Farrukh et al. (2012) Catalytic protein modification with dirhodium metallopeptides: specificity in designed and natural systems. Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Popp, Brian V.; Chen, Zhen et al. (2012) Sequence-specific inhibition of a designed metallopeptide catalyst. Chemical Communications.
Chen, Zhen; Popp, Brian V. et al. (2011) Site-specific protein modification with a dirhodium metallopeptide catalyst. ACS Chemical Biology.
Chen, Zhen; Wang, Yunshan et al. (2009) Nanofluidic electrokinetics in nanoparticle crystal. Applied Physics Letters.
Chen, Zhen; Zhao, Yu et al. (2009) Microfluidic patterning of nanoparticle monolayer. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics.