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Department of biochemistry and Molecular biology

Yong-Mei Zhang, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2005-2009     Scientific Manager, Department of Infectious Diseases,
                         St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
2000-2005     Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Infectious Diseases,
                         St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

2000     Ph.D., The University of Memphis, TN
1995     B.S., Nankai University, China

Contact Info
Lab: BSB-524 / 843-792-8226
Fax: 843-792-8568

Research Interests

Bacterial cells are highly communicative and possess an extraordinary capacity for coordinated social behaviors. The research in our laboratory focuses on the molecular basis of these community behaviors including quorum sensing and motility of important bacterial pathogens. The model system that we choose to study is the ubiquitous Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes chronic infections in the lungs and death of cystic fibrosis patients. By integrating molecular, biochemical and genetic tools with structural biology analyses, we aim to determine the functions and structures of essential proteins involved in Pseudomonas quorum sensing and motility and how they contribute to pathogenicity. The ultimate goal of our research is to develop novel antibiotics to treat bacterial infections by interfering with their communication.

Recent Publications

Zhang Y-M, Noto J, Hammond C, Barth J, Argraves WS, Backert S, Peek R Jr., Smolka A. (2014) Helicobacter pylori-induced post-transcriptional regulation of H,K-ATPase α subunit gene expression by miRNA. AJP - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 306:G606-13.

Duggan BM, Roca A, Zhang Y-M. (2013) 1H, 13C and 15N assignments of the holo-acyl carrier protein of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biomol NMR Assign. 7:225-8.

Garcia M, Leonardi R, Zhang Y-M, Rehg JE, Jackowski S.  (2012)  Germline deletion of pantothenate 1inases 1 and 2 reveals the key roles for CoA in postnatal metabolism. PLoS ONE.  7:e40871.

Rella A, Yang MW, Gruber JD, Montagna MT, Luberto C, Zhang Y-M*, Del Poeta M*. (2011) Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits the growth of Cryptococcus species. Mycopathologia 173:451-461. (*Co-corresponding authors)

Miller DJ, Zhang Y-M, Subramanian C, Rock CO, White SW. (2010) Structural basis for the transcriptional regulation of membrane lipid homeostasis. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 17:971-5.

Leonardi R, Zhang Y-M, Yun MK, Zhou R, Zeng FY, Lin W, Cui J, Chen T, Rock CO, White SW, Jackowski S. (2010) Modulation of pantothenate kinase 3 activity by small molecules that interact with the substrate/allosteric regulatory domain. Chem. Biol. 17:892-902.

Zhang Y-M, Rock CO. (2010) A rainbow coalition of lipid transcriptional regulators. Mol. Microbiol. 78:5-8.

Subramanian C, Rock CO, Zhang Y-M. (2010) DesT coordinates the expression of anerobic and aerobic pathways for unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Bacteriol. 192:280-5.

Zhang Y-M, Rock CO. (2009)
Transcriptional regulation in bacterial membrane lipid synthesis. J. Lipid Res. 50:S115-S119.

Singh AK, Zhang Y-M, Zhu K, Subramanian C, Li Z, Jayaswal RK, Gatto C, Rock CO, Wilkinson BJ. (2009)
FabH selectivity for anteiso branched-chain fatty acid precursors in low-temperature adaptation in Listeria monocytogenes. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 301:188-92.

Zhu K, Zhang Y-M, Rock CO. (2009)
Transcriptional regulation of membrane lipid homeostasis in Escherichia coli. J. Biol. Chem. 284:34880-8.

Zhang Y-M, Frank MW, Zhu K, Mayasundari A, Rock CO. (2008)
PqsD is responsible for the synthesis of DHQ, an extracellular metabolite produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Biol. Chem. 283:28788-28794.

Zhang Y-M, Rock CO. (2008)
Membrane lipid homeostasis in bacteria. Nature Reviews Microbiol. 6:222-33.

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