Department of Neurobiology
Liu, Yong-Jian
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor
M.D., Nanjing Medical University (1983)
Address: 6068 Biomedical Science Tower 3
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3301
Telephone: 412-648-3730

Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission

Dr. Liu studies the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission and their implication in the neurodegenerative diseases. His recent focus has been on the identification of a novel signaling pathway that regulates the targeting of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters to synaptic vesicles in neurons. This pathway now includes a lipid binding protein sorting nexin 5 (SNX5) that interacts with the transport protein. Furthermore, SNX5 also interacts with a novel GTP activating protein for the small GTPase Rab5. Thus the signaling pathway may reveal a novel mechanism underlying the membrane trafficking of synaptic proteins in neuron. In addition, Dr. Liu has also been working on how the newly identified scaffold protein LRRK2 is involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease by identifying its regulatory machinery and studying their functional consequence of the regulation. Dr. Liu's research has been supported by NIH funded grants.

Sample Publications:

Temporal expression of mutant LRRK2 in adult rats impairs dopamine reuptake.
Zhou H, Huang C, Tong J, Hong WC, Liu YJ, Xia XG.
Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(6):753-61.

The phox domain of sorting nexin 5 lacks phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P) specificity and preferentially binds to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2).
Koharudin LM, Furey W, Liu H, Liu YJ, Gronenborn AM.
J Biol Chem. 2009 Aug 28;284(35):23697-707.

Dileucine motif is sufficient for internalization and synaptic vesicle targeting of vesicular acetylcholine transporter.
Colgan L, Liu H, Huang SY, Liu YJ.
Traffic. 2007 May;8(5):512-22.

Rheb activates mTOR by antagonizing its endogenous inhibitor, FKBP38.
Bai X, Ma D, Liu A, Shen X, Wang QJ, Liu YJ, Jiang Y.
Science. 2007 Nov 9;318(5852):977-80.

Inhibitory regulation of EGF receptor degradation by sorting nexin 5.
Liu H, Liu ZQ, Chen CX, Magill S, Jiang Y, Liu YJ.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 7;342(2):537-46.

PubMed Search for "Liu YJ" and ("Pittsburgh" or "Xia XG")

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