Weikai Li , Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-362-0261

  • 8231

  • liw@biochem.wustl.edu

  • http://biochem.wustl.edu/faculty/li.html

  • blood coagulation, crystallography, enzymology, membrane proteins, molecular medicine, structural biology

  • Membrane protein crystallography and functional studies

Research Abstract:

The Li lab studies the structure and function of two membrane embedded enzymes that support blood coagulation. 1) The vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKOR) couples blood coagulation with oxidative folding of nascent proteins. VKOR is the target of warfarin, the most commonly used oral anticoagulant for treating and preventing thrombosis diseases. 2) The vitamin K dependent ã-carboxylase (VKGC) catalyzes a remarkable reaction that incorporates carbon dioxide into glutamate residues of coagulation factors. This post-translational modification is required for the activation of coagulation factors at sites of injury. We use multidisciplinary approaches including X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, membrane biology, and cell biology. The figure shows the first crystal structure of VKOR with its reducing partner (left), and the clustering of wafarin resistance mutations around the active site (right).

Selected Publications:

Li W and Li F. Cross-crystal averaging with search models to improve molecular replacement phases. Structure 2011 19:155-161.

Li W, Schulman S, Dutton R, Boyd D, Beckwith J and Rapoport TA. Structure of a bacterial homolog of vitamin K epoxide reductase. Nature 2010 463:507-512.

Schulman S, Wang B, Li W and Rapoport TA. Vitamin K epoxide reductase prefers ER membrane-anchored thioredoxin-like redox partners. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 107:15027-15032.

Li W, Schulman S, Boyd D, Erlandson K, Beckwith J and Rapoport TA. The plug domain of the SecY protein stabilizes the closed state of the translocation channel and maintains a membrane seal. Mol Cell. 2007 26:511-21.

Li W, Kamtekar S, Xiong Y, Sarkis GJ, Grindley ND and Steitz TA. Structure of a synaptic gamma-delta resolvase tetramer covalently linked to two cleaved DNAs. Science 2005 309:1210-1215.

Last Updated: 8/12/2011 12:00:00 AM

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