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Articles by Zihe Rao
Total Records ( 3 ) for Zihe Rao
  Xiaoyu Xue , Hongwei Yu , Haitao Yang , Fei Xue , Zhixin Wu , Wei Shen , Jun Li , Zhe Zhou , Yi Ding , Qi Zhao , Xuejun C. Zhang , Ming Liao , Mark Bartlam and Zihe Rao
  Coronaviruses (CoVs) can infect humans and multiple species of animals, causing a wide spectrum of diseases. The coronavirus main protease (Mpro), which plays a pivotal role in viral gene expression and replication through the proteolytic processing of replicase polyproteins, is an attractive target for anti-CoV drug design. In this study, the crystal structures of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) Mpro and a severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV) Mpro mutant (H41A), in complex with an N-terminal autocleavage substrate, were individually determined to elucidate the structural flexibility and substrate binding of Mpro. A monomeric form of IBV Mpro was identified for the first time in CoV Mpro structures. A comparison of these two structures to other available Mpro structures provides new insights for the design of substrate-based inhibitors targeting CoV Mpros. Furthermore, a Michael acceptor inhibitor (named N3) was cocrystallized with IBV Mpro and was found to demonstrate in vitro inactivation of IBV Mpro and potent antiviral activity against IBV in chicken embryos. This provides a feasible animal model for designing wide-spectrum inhibitors against CoV-associated diseases. The structure-based optimization of N3 has yielded two more efficacious lead compounds, N27 and H16, with potent inhibition against SARS-CoV Mpro.
  Xin Li , Zhiyong Lou , Xuemei Li , Weihong Zhou , Ming Ma , Youjia Cao , Yunqi Geng , Mark Bartlam , Xuejun C. Zhang and Zihe Rao
  X-prolyl aminopeptidases catalyze the removal of a penultimate prolyl residue from the N termini of peptides. Mammalian X-prolyl aminopeptidases are shown to be responsible for the degradation of bradykinin, a blood pressure regulator peptide, and have been linked to myocardial infarction. The x-ray crystal structure of human cytosolic X-prolyl aminopeptidase (XPN-PEP1) was solved at a resolution of 1.6Å. The structure reveals a dimer with a unique three-domain organization in each subunit, rather than the two domains common to all other known structures of X-prolyl aminopeptidase and prolidases. The C-terminal catalytic domain of XPNPEP1 coordinates two metal ions and shares a similar fold with other prolyl aminopeptidases. Metal content analysis and activity assays confirm that the enzyme is double Mn(II) dependent for its activity, which contrasts with the previous notion that each XPNPEP1 subunit contains only one Mn(II) ion. Activity assays on an E41A mutant demonstrate that the acidic residue, which was considered as a stabilizing factor in the protonation of catalytic residue His498, plays only a marginal role in catalysis. Further mutagenesis reveals the significance of the N-terminal domain and dimerization for the activity of XPNPEP1, and we provide putative structural explanations for their functional roles. Structural comparisons further suggest mechanisms for substrate selectivity in different X-prolyl peptidases.
  Yong Yang , Fang Wu , Tarsha Ward , Feng Yan , Quan Wu , Zhaoyang Wang , Tanisha McGlothen , Wei Peng , Tianpa You , Mingkuan Sun , Taixing Cui , Renming Hu , Zhen Dou , Jingde Zhu , Wei Xie , Zihe Rao , Xia Ding and Xuebiao Yao
  Chromosome movements in mitosis are orchestrated by dynamic interactions between spindle microtubules and the kinetochore, a multiprotein complex assembled onto centromeric DNA of the chromosome. Here we show that phosphorylation of human HsMis13 by Aurora B kinase is required for functional kinetochore assembly in HeLa cells. Aurora B interacts with HsMis13 in vitro and in vivo. HsMis13 is a cognate substrate of Aurora B, and the phosphorylation sites were mapped to Ser-100 and Ser-109. Suppression of Aurora B kinase by either small interfering RNA or chemical inhibitors abrogates the localization of HsMis13 but not HsMis12 to the kinetochore. In addition, non-phosphorylatable but not wild type and phospho-mimicking HsMis13 failed to localize to the kinetochore, demonstrating the requirement of phosphorylation by Aurora B for the assembly of HsMis13 to kinetochore. In fact, localization of HsMis13 to the kinetochore is spatiotemporally regulated by Aurora B kinase, which is essential for recruiting outer kinetochore components such as Ndc80 components and CENP-E for functional kinetochore assembly. Importantly, phospho-mimicking mutant HsMis13 restores the assembly of CENP-E to the kinetochore, and tension developed across the sister kinetochores in Aurora B-inhibited cells. Thus, we reason that HsMis13 phosphorylation by Aurora B is required for organizing a stable bi-oriented microtubule kinetochore attachment that is essential for faithful chromosome segregation in mitosis.
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