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The laboratory of Dr. Xiong focuses on structure-function relationship of biologically important macromolecules using protein crystallography combined with other biophysical approaches.
The laboratory of Dr. Xiong focuses on structure-function relationship of biologically important macromolecules using protein crystallography combined with other biophysical approaches, including:
1) Structure-based activation mechanism of adhesion molecule integrin
The most striking feature of integrin compared to other adhesion molecules is that activation is required to bind ligands by signals within and/or outside the cells. Considerable insights into this activation mechanism have been obtained since the first structural elucidation of ectodomain of integrin aVb3 from our lab, several critical questions, however, still remain unanswered. Is the conformational change just ligand-induced or prerequisite for ligand binding? What triggers the large conformational changes? We are trying to answer these questions by working on integrin aVb3.
2) a4 integrin in multiple sclerosis
a Integrins play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, and its inhibition has shown approved clinical benefits. The beneficiary effects, however, are associated with highly concerned drawbacks such as fatal virus infections. Structural elucidation of this family integrin will provide the much needed three-dimensional models at atomic resolution for better drug design to treat this chronic and devastating ailment.
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