Peng Yuan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Cell Biology and Physiology

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314-747-3793

  • 314-747-5444

  • BJCIH, Room 9309



  • X-ray crystallography, electrophysiology, membrane proteins, ion channels, ion transporters

  • Structure and function of ion channels and transporters

Research Abstract:

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of ion channels and transporters that play essential roles in human physiology and disease. How do channels and transporters recognize their specific substrate ions? How do they respond to various stimuli including chemical ligand, temperature, membrane voltage, and mechanical force? How do they interact with the lipid membrane where they reside? To answer these fundamental questions, we use multidisciplinary approaches including X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, biochemistry, biophysics, and electrophysiology. Dysfunction of these membrane proteins leads to a variety of diseases such as asthma, hypertension, cancer, heart failure, diabetes, and chronic pain. Our long-term goal is to provide detailed mechanistic understanding of ion channels and transporters, which will offer novel strategies for drug development and better treatment of diseases.

Selected Publications:

Ren F, Logeman BL, Zhang X, Liu Y, Thiele DJ, Yuan P. X-ray structures of the high-affinity copper transporter Ctr1. Nature Communications 2019 10: 1386.

Omattage NS, Deng Z, Pinkner JS, Dodson KW, Almqvist F, Yuan P, Hultgren SJ. Structural basis for usher activation and intramolecular subunit transfer in P pilus biogenesis in Escherichia coli. Nature Microbiology 2018 3: 1362-1368.

Deng Z, Paknejad N, Maksaev G, Sala-Rabanal M, Nichols CG, Hite RK, Yuan P. Cryo-EM and X-ray structures of TRPV4 reveal insight into ion permeation and gating mechanisms. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 2018 25: 252-260.

Lee SJ, Ren F, Zangerl-Plessl EM, Heyman S, Stary-Weinzinger A, Yuan P, Nichols CG. Structural basis of control of inward rectifier Kir2 channel gating by bulk anionic phospholipids. J General Physiology 2016 148: 227-237.

Hite RK, Yuan P, Li Z, Hsuing Y, Walz T, MacKinnon R. Cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Slo2.2 Na+-activated K+ channel. Nature 2015 527: 198-203.

Yuan P, Leonetti MD, Hsiung Y, MacKinnon R. Open structure of the Ca2+ gating ring in the high-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel. Nature 2012 481: 94–97.

Yuan P, Leonetti MD, Pico AR, Hsiung Y, MacKinnon R. Structure of the human BK channel Ca2+-activation apparatus at 3.0 A resolution. Science 2010 329: 182-186.

Last Updated: 4/2/2019 8:10:00 AM

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