Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Xin Zhou, PhD

Dr. Zhou is using creative protein engineering approaches to interrogate two post-translational modifications (PTMs), phosphotyrosine (pY) and citrullination. A large percentage of proteins in the human proteome undergo PTMs. Characterization of these specific protein variants is critical for understanding their biological role in diseases. The function of the vast majority of pY events identified in proteomics experiments has not been understood because it is difficult to generate high-quality sequence-specific pY antibodies. Dr. Zhou proposes a novel method named pY Targeting by Recombinant Antibody Pairs (pY-TRAP) for generating tight and highly selective protein-specific pY binders. Protein citrullination is the conversion of an arginine to a citrullin catalyzed by Protein Arginine Deiminases (PADs). The substrate specificities and the function of this modification have been largely unexplored due to lack of methods and molecular tools. Dr. Zhou proposes to develop a new phage display approach to characterize substrates preference of PAD enzymes.

Project title: "Understanding and perturbing protein post-translational modifications in cancer and autoimmune diseases"
Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Named Award: Merck Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): James A. Wells, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Chemical Biology