This page lists some of the past projects and on-going future projects. Please feel free to contact tao.ni2014 AT gmail.com for discussion.
Understanding HIV capsid
HIV capsid plays key roles in HIV replication and is a major platform engaging host dependency and restriction factors. Our previous work determined high-resolution structures of in vitor assembled HIV capsid tube in complex with host cell factor Cyclophilin A, elucidating the mechanism of capsid assembly and curvature sensing (Ni et al 2020 NSMB; Ni et al 2021 Science Advances, in press).
Understanding host-coronavirus interplay using cryoET
The project will use a combination of biochemical and structural biology approach. We are looking for candidates who are interested in virology and/or structural biology including cryoEM single particle analysis and cryoET subtomogram averaging.
MACPF pore-forming proteins
Membrane Attack Complex (MAC)/perforin family proteins represent an important ans conserved pore-forming proteins involved in immunity and defense. They form giant pores on membrane, following a dramatic transition between prepore to pore. We have determined several key structures by X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, cryoET subtomogram averaging (Ni et al 2018, Science Advances, Ni et al 2020, Science Advances).
We are continuing to solve the puzzle of pore-forming proteins, focusing on perforin-2. More interesting story is comming soon...