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Liang Tong
Professor, Department Chair
Department Chair
Please see my lab website for more detailed information about our research and my laboratory.

A major focus of our current research is on enzymes that are involved in fatty acid metabolism. These include acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC), carnitine acyltransferase,AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)and others. These enzymes are important targets for drug discovery against obesity, diabetes and other human diseases. The goals of our research are to produce structural information on these enzymes and to understand their functions at the molecular level. The structural information will also lay the foundation for drug discovery against these targets.

Another area of our research is on proteins involved in pre-mRNA 3'-end processing. Most eukaryotic mRNA precursors must undergo cleavage and polyadenylation in their 3'-ends before they can function as mRNAs.This processing machinery contains more than 16 protein factors,which form several sub-complexes (CPSF, CstF). The goal of our research is to understand the molecular basis of this important event.We will produce crystal structures of the protein subunits, protein-protein complexes, and protein-RNA complexes,and carry out functional studies to assess the structural information.

In addition, I will continue my interest in the development of new techniques and computer programs for macromolecular crystallography.

MedLine Listing of Dr. Tong's Publications
Representative Recent Publications
  • D. Tan, W.F. Marzluff, Z. Dominski & L. Tong. (2013) Structure of histone mRNA stem-loop, human stem-loop binding protein and 3'hExo ternary complex. Science 339: 318-321.
  • C.S. Huang, P. Ge, Z.H. Zhou & L. Tong (2012) An unanticipated architecture of the 750-kDa a6b6 holoenzyme of 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase Nature 481: 219-223.
  • K. Xiang, T. Nagaike,* S. Xiang,* T. Kilic, M.M. Beh, J.L. Manley & L. Tong. (2010) Crystal structure of the human symplekin-Ssu72-CTD phosphopeptide complex. Nature 467: 729-733 (*equal second authors).
  • C.S. Huang,* K. Sadre-Bazzaz,* Y. Shen, B. Deng, Z.H. Zhou & L. Tong. (2010) Crystal structure of the a6b6 holoenzyme of propionyl-coenzyme A carboxylase. Nature 466: 1001-1005 (*equal first authors).
  • X. Jiao, S. Xiang, C.-S. Oh, C.E. Martin, L. Tong & M. Kiledjian. (2010) Identification of a quality-control mechanism for eukaryotic mRNA 5?-end capping. Nature 467: 608-611.
  • S. Xiang, A. Cooper-Morgan, X. Jiao, M. Kiledjian, J.L. Manley & L. Tong. (2009) Structure and function of the 5?->3? exoribonuclease Rat1 and its activating partner Rai1. Nature 458: 784-788.
  • S. Xiang & L. Tong. (2008) Crystal structures of human and S. aureus pyruvate carboxylase and molecular insights into the carboxyltransfer reaction Nature Struct. Mol. Biol 15: 295-302.
  • G.A. Amodeo, M.J. Rudolph & L. Tong. (2007) Crystal structure of the heterotrimer core of Saccharomyces cerevisiae AMPK homologue SNF1 Nature 449: 492-495.
  • Y. Bai, T.C. Auperin, C.-Y. Chou, G.-G. Chang, J.L. Manley & L. Tong (2007) Crystal structure of murine CstF-77: Dimeric association and implications for polyadenylation of mRNA precursors Mol. Cell 25: 863-875.
  • C. Mandel, S. Kaneko, H. Zhang, D. Gebauer, V. Vethantham, J.L. Manley & L. Tong (2006) Polyadenylation factor CPSF-73 is the pre-mRNA 3'-end processing endonuclease Nature 444: 953-956.
  • Y. Shen, C.-Y. Chou, G.-G. Chang & L. Tong (2006) Is dimerization required for the catalytic activity of bacterial biotin carboxylase? Mol. Cell 22: 807-818.
  • J.A. Khan, X. Tao & L. Tong (2006) Molecular basis for the inhibition of human NMPRTase, a novel target for anticancer agents Nature Struct. Mol. Biol 13: 582-588.
  • Y. Shen, S.L. Volrath, S.C. Weatherly, T.D. Elich & L. Tong (2004) A mechanism for the potent inhibition of eukaryotic acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase by soraphen A, a macrocyclic polyketide natural product Mol. Cell 16: 881-891.
  • Zhang H, Yang Z, Shen Y, L. Tong (2003) Crystal structure of the carboxyltransferase domain of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase Science 299(5615): 2064-7.
  • Jogl G, L. Tong (2003) Crystal structure of carnitine acetyltransferase and implications for the catalytic mechanism and fatty acid transport Cell. 112(1): 113-22.
  • Y. Xu, X. Tao, B. Shen, T. Horng, R. Medzhitov, J.L. Manley, L. Tong (2000) Structural basis for signal transduction by the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domains Nature 408: 111-115.
Liang Tong
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