Image of Chang Liu

Chang Liu

Assistant Professor

725 N. Wolfe St, WBSB 704

Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry

We study the molecular mechanisms underlying a variety of nucleic acid transactions, including DNA transposition, RNA synthesis and RNA processing. The current research focus of my laboratory is to understand the molecular underpinnings and biological significance of complex virus-host interactions in the dynamic cellular environment.

The intricate virus-host interplay in gene regulation is a sophisticated regulatory network that dictates the outcome of the battles between virus and host, creating a promising opportunity to develop innovative antiviral strategies. However, how RNA viruses, and in particular coronaviruses, interfere with host transcription and how the host restricts coronavirus RNA synthesis are largely uncharted territory, greatly hampering the design of novel antiviral agents targeting these critical interactions.

We use a combination of biophysical, biochemical, cellular, genomic, and computational approaches together with the cutting-edge cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms, biological functions, and evolutionary conservation of various coronavirus-host interactions and identify targets for novel and effective antiviral treatments.

Liu C*, Zhang Y*, Liu C, Schatz DG (2022). Structural insights into the evolution of the RAG recombinase. Nat Rev Immunol 22, 353–370

Liu C#, Shi W, Becker ST, Schatz DG, Liu B#, Yang Y# (2021). Structural basis of mismatch recognition by a SARS-CoV-2 proofreading enzyme. Science 373(6559): 1142-1146

Yang Y*#Liu C*#, Zhou W*, Shi W*, Chen M, Zhang B, Schatz DG, Hu Y#, Liu B# (2021). Structural visualization of transcription activated by a multidrug-sensing MerR family regulator. Nat Commun 12, 2702

Liu C*, Yang Y*, Schatz DG (2019). Structures of a RAG-like transposase during cut-and-paste transposition. Nature 575(7783): 540-544