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Teaching Staff

Professor ZHAI, Yuanliang

Professor ZHAI, Yuanliang

Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, HKU

BSc (Sun Yat-Sen University); MPhil (Sun Yat-Sen University); PhD (HKUST)

  • 3917 3847
  • 2858 3477
  • KBSB 4N10

Teaching Areas

  • Structural biology
  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Physiology

Research Interests

  • DNA replication and human diseases
  • Chromatin dynamics
  • Epigenetic inheritance
  • Cryo-electron microscopy in structure determination

Current Research

  • Structural and functional characterization of DNA replication complexes
  • Elucidating the mechanisms regulating replication initiation in eukaryotes
  • Understanding the basis of replicative helicase loading and activation

Publications and News

  • Li, N., Gao, Y., Zhang, Y., Yu, D., Lin, W., Feng, J., Li, J., Xu, Z., Zhang, Y., Dang, S., Liu, Y., Zhou, K., Tye, B., Li, Q., Gao, N., Zhai, Y. (2024) Parental histone transfer caught at the replication fork. Nature
  • Li, J., Dong, J., Wang, W., Yu, D., Fan, X., Hui, Y., Lee, C., Lam, H., Alary, N., Yang, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhao, Q., Chen, C., Tye, B., Dang, S., and Zhai, Y.  (2023) The Human Pre-replication Complex is an Open Complex. Cell 186, 98-111 
  • Lin, J., Wu, Y., Tian, G., Yu, D., Yang, E., Lam, W., Liu, Z., Jing, Y., Dang, S., Bao, X., Wong J., Zhai, Y., & Li X. (2023) Menin 'reads' H3K79me2 mark in a nucleosomal context. Science 379, 717-723
  • Xu, Z., Feng, J., Yu, D., Huo, Y., Ma, X., Lam, W., Liu, Z., Li, X., Ishibashi, T., Dang, S., Zhai, Y. (2023) Synergism between CMG Helicase and Leading Strand DNA Polymerase at Replication Fork. Nature Communications 14: 5849​
  • Cheng, J., Li, N., Huo, Y., Dang, S., Tye, B., Gao, N., and Zhai, Y. (2022) Structural Insight into the MCM double hexamer activation by Dbf4-Cdc7 kinase Nature Communications 13:1396
  • Lee, S., Cheung, M., Li, J., Zhao, Y., Lam, W., Ho, V., Rohs, R., Zhai, Y., Leung, D., Tye, B. (2021) Humanizing the Yeast Origin Recognition Complex. Nature Communications 12, 33
  • Zhai, Y. , Li, N., Jiang, H., Huang, X., Gao, N., Tye, B.  (2017) Unique roles played by each of the non-identical MCM subunits in DNA Replication Licensing. Molecular Cell 67, 168-179.
  • Zhai, Y., Cheng, E., Wu, H., Li, N., Yung, P., Gao, N., and Tye, B. Open-ringed Structure of the Cdt1-MCM2-7 Complex as a Precursor of the MCM Double Hexamer. (2017) Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 24, 300-308
  • Li, N., Zhai, Y., Zhang, Y., Li, W., Yang, M., Lei, J., Tye, B., and Gao, N. (2015) Structure of the Eukaryotic Minichromosome Maintenance Complex at 3.8 Å. Nature, 524, 186–191