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Ming Lei


Ph.D. in Biophysics, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2001

Current position

Director, National Center for Protein Science Shanghai, China (06/2011-present)
Deputy Director, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (06/2011-present)
Associate Professor (tenured), Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School (09/2010-present) 
Joint faculty, Biophysics Program, University of Michigan (09/2006-present) 
Joint faculty, Chemical Biology Program, University of Michigan (09/2007-present)   


Peer-reviewed journals

  1. Vallabhaneni, H.#, Zhou, F., Maul, R. W., Sarkar, J., Yin, J., Lei, M., Harrington, L., Gearhart, P. J.* and Liu, Y.* (2015). Defective repair of uracil causes telomere defects in mouse hematopoietic cells. J Biol Chem 290(9): 5502-5511.
  2. Sommers, J. A.#, Banerjee, T., Hinds, T., Wan, B., Wold, M. S., Lei, M. and Brosh, R. M., Jr.* (2014). Novel function of the Fanconi anemia group J or RECQ1 helicase to disrupt protein-DNA complexes in a replication protein A-stimulated manner. J Biol Chem 289(29): 19928-19941.
  3. Huang, J.#, Brown, A. F., Wu, J., Xue, J., Bley, C. J., Rand, D. P., Wu, L., Zhang, R., Chen, J. J.* and Lei, M.* (2014). Structural basis for protein-RNA recognition in telomerase. Nat Struct Mol Biol 21(6): 507-512.
  4. Yang, Y. W.#, Flynn, R. A., Chen, Y., Qu, K., Wan, B., Wang, K. C., Lei, M. and Chang, H. Y.* (2014). Essential role of lncRNA binding for WDR5 maintenance of active chromatin and embryonic stem cell pluripotency. Elife 3: e02046.
  5. Cao, F.#, Townsend, E. C.#, Karatas, H.#, Xu, J., Li, L., Lee, S., Liu, L., Chen, Y., Ouillette, P., Zhu, J., Hess, J. L., Atadja, P., Lei, M., Qin, Z. S., Malek, S., Wang, S.* and Dou, Y.* (2014). Targeting MLL1 H3K4 methyltransferase activity in mixed-lineage leukemia. Mol Cell 53(2): 247-261.
  6. Zhou, H.#, Liu, L., Huang, J., Bernard, D., Karatas, H., Navarro, A., Lei, M. and Wang, S.* (2013). Structure-based design of high-affinity macrocyclic peptidomimetics to block the menin-mixed lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) protein-protein interaction. J Med Chem 56(3): 1113-1123.
  7. Wan, B.#, Yin, J.#, Horvath, K.#, Sarkar, J., Chen, Y., Wu, J., Wan, K., Lu, J., Gu, P., Yu, E. Y., Lue, N. F., Chang, S., Liu, Y.* and Lei, M.* (2013). SLX4 assembles a telomere maintenance toolkit by bridging multiple endonucleases with telomeres. Cell Rep 4(5): 861-869.
  8. Karatas, H.#, Townsend, E. C.#, Cao, F., Chen, Y., Bernard, D., Liu, L., Lei, M., Dou, Y. and Wang, S.* (2013). High-affinity, small-molecule peptidomimetic inhibitors of MLL1/WDR5 protein-protein interaction. J Am Chem Soc 135(2): 669-682.
  9. Lue, N. F.*, Yu, E. Y. and Lei, M. (2013). A popular engagement at the ends. Nat Struct Mol Biol 20(1): 10-12.
  10. Gu, P.#, Deng, W., Lei, M. and Chang, S.* (2013). Single strand DNA binding proteins 1 and 2 protect newly replicated telomeres. Cell Res 23(5): 705-719.
  11. Yu, E. Y.#, Sun, J.#, Lei, M.* and Lue, N. F.* (2012). Analyses of Candida Cdc13 orthologues revealed a novel OB fold dimer arrangement, dimerization-assisted DNA binding, and substantial structural differences between Cdc13 and RPA70. Mol Cell Biol 32(1): 186-198.
  12. Thiel, A. T.#, Huang, J., Lei, M. and Hua, X.* (2012). Menin as a hub controlling mixed lineage leukemia. Bioessays 34(9): 771-780.
  13. Huang, J.#, Wan, B., Wu, L., Yang, Y., Dou, Y. and Lei, M.* (2012). Structural insight into the regulation of MOF in the male-specific lethal complex and the non-specific lethal complex. Cell Res 22(6): 1078-1081.
  14. Huang, J.#, Gurung, B., Wan, B., Matkar, S., Veniaminova, N. A., Wan, K., Merchant, J. L., Hua, X.* and Lei, M.* (2012). The same pocket in menin binds both MLL and JUND but has opposite effects on transcription. Nature 482(7386): 542-546.
  15. Chen, Y.#, Cao, F., Wan, B., Dou, Y. and Lei, M.* (2012). Structure of the SPRY domain of human Ash2L and its interactions with RbBP5 and DPY30. Cell Res 22(3): 598-602.
  16. Zeng, Z.#, Min, B.#, Huang, J., Hong, K., Yang, Y., Collins, K.* and Lei, M.* (2011). Structural basis for Tetrahymena telomerase processivity factor Teb1 binding to single-stranded telomeric-repeat DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(51): 20357-20361.
  17. Yen, W. F.#, Chico, L., Lei, M. and Lue, N. F.* (2011). Telomerase regulatory subunit Est3 in two Candida species physically interacts with the TEN domain of TERT and telomeric DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(51): 20370-20375.
  18. Wang, K. C.#, Yang, Y. W., Liu, B., Sanyal, A., Corces-Zimmerman, R., Chen, Y., Lajoie, B. R., Protacio, A., Flynn, R. A., Gupta, R. A., Wysocka, J., Lei, M., Dekker, J., Helms, J. A. and Chang, H. Y.* (2011). A long noncoding RNA maintains active chromatin to coordinate homeotic gene expression. Nature 472(7341): 120-124.
  19. Sun, J.#, Yang, Y., Wan, K., Mao, N., Yu, T. Y., Lin, Y. C., DeZwaan, D. C., Freeman, B. C., Lin, J. J., Lue, N. F. and Lei, M.* (2011). Structural bases of dimerization of yeast telomere protein Cdc13 and its interaction with the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase alpha. Cell Res 21(2): 258-274.
  20. Chen, Y.#, Wan, B.#, Wang, K. C.#, Cao, F., Yang, Y., Protacio, A., Dou, Y., Chang, H. Y. and Lei, M.* (2011). Crystal structure of the N-terminal region of human Ash2L shows a winged-helix motif involved in DNA binding. EMBO Rep 12(8): 797-803.
  21. Chen, Y.#, Rai, R.#, Zhou, Z. R., Kanoh, J., Ribeyre, C., Yang, Y., Zheng, H., Damay, P., Wang, F., Tsujii, H., Hiraoka, Y., Shore, D., Hu, H. Y., Chang, S.* and Lei, M.* (2011). A conserved motif within RAP1 has diversified roles in telomere protection and regulation in different organisms. Nat Struct Mol Biol 18(2): 213-221.
  22. Zeng, Z.#, Wang, W.#, Yang, Y., Chen, Y., Yang, X., Diehl, J. A., Liu, X.* and Lei, M.* (2010). Structural basis of selective ubiquitination of TRF1 by SCFFbx4. Dev Cell 18(2): 214-225.
  23. Wang, F.#, Yang, Y., Singh, T. R., Busygina, V., Guo, R., Wan, K., Wang, W., Sung, P., Meetei, A. R. and Lei, M.* (2010). Crystal structures of RMI1 and RMI2, two OB-fold regulatory subunits of the BLM complex. Structure 18(9): 1159-1170.
  24. Cao, F.#, Chen, Y.#, Cierpicki, T., Liu, Y., Basrur, V., Lei, M.* and Dou, Y.* (2010). An Ash2L/RbBP5 heterodimer stimulates the MLL1 methyltransferase activity through coordinated substrate interactions with the MLL1 SET domain. PLoS One 5(11): e14102.
  25. Wang, W.#, Yang, Y., Gao, Y., Xu, Q., Wang, F., Zhu, S., Old, W., Resing, K., Ahn, N., Lei, M.* and Liu, X.* (2009). Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation. J Cell Mol Med 13(8B): 1679-1694.
  26. Sun, J.#, Yu, E. Y.#, Yang, Y., Confer, L. A., Sun, S. H., Wan, K., Lue, N. F.* and Lei, M.* (2009). Stn1-Ten1 is an Rpa2-Rpa3-like complex at telomeres. Genes Dev 23(24): 2900-2914.
  27. Yu, E. Y.#, Wang, F., Lei, M. and Lue, N. F.* (2008). A proposed OB-fold with a protein-interaction surface in Candida albicans telomerase protein Est3. Nat Struct Mol Biol 15(9): 985-989.
  28. Sowd, G.#, Lei, M. and Opresko, P. L.* (2008). Mechanism and substrate specificity of telomeric protein POT1 stimulation of the Werner syndrome helicase. Nucleic Acids Res 36(13): 4242-4256.
  29. Chen, Y.#, Yang, Y., van Overbeek, M., Donigian, J. R., Baciu, P., de Lange, T. and Lei, M.* (2008). A shared docking motif in TRF1 and TRF2 used for differential recruitment of telomeric proteins. Science 319(5866): 1092-1096.
  30. Wang, F.#, Podell, E. R., Zaug, A. J., Yang, Y., Baciu, P., Cech, T. R. and Lei, M.* (2007). The POT1-TPP1 telomere complex is a telomerase processivity factor. Nature 445(7127): 506-510.
  31. Chen, Y.#, Yang, Y., Wang, F., Wan, K., Yamane, K., Zhang, Y. and Lei, M.* (2006). Crystal structure of human histone lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103(38): 13956-13961.
  32. Opresko, P. L.#, Mason, P. A., Podell, E. R., Lei, M., Hickson, I. D., Cech, T. R. and Bohr, V. A.* (2005). POT1 stimulates RecQ helicases WRN and BLM to unwind telomeric DNA substrates. J Biol Chem 280(37): 32069-32080.
  33. Lei, M.#, Zaug, A. J., Podell, E. R. and Cech, T. R.* (2005). Switching human telomerase on and off with hPOT1 protein in vitro. J Biol Chem 280(21): 20449-20456.
  34. Lei, M.#, Robinson, M. A. and Harrison, S. C.* (2005). The active conformation of the PAK1 kinase domain. Structure 13(5): 769-778.
  35. Lei, M.#, Podell, E. R. and Cech, T. R.* (2004). Structure of human POT1 bound to telomeric single-stranded DNA provides a model for chromosome end-protection. Nat Struct Mol Biol 11(12): 1223-1229.
  36. Lei, M.#, Podell, E. R., Baumann, P. and Cech, T. R.* (2003). DNA self-recognition in the structure of Pot1 bound to telomeric single-stranded DNA. Nature 426(6963): 198-203.
  37. Parrini, M. C.#, Lei, M., Harrison, S. C. and Mayer, B. J.* (2002). Pak1 kinase homodimers are autoinhibited in trans and dissociated upon activation by Cdc42 and Rac1. Mol Cell 9(1): 73-83.
  38. Lei, M.#, Baumann, P. and Cech, T. R.* (2002). Cooperative binding of single-stranded telomeric DNA by the Pot1 protein of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Biochemistry 41(49): 14560-14568.
  39. Lowry, W. E.#, Huang, J., Lei, M., Rawlings, D. and Huang, X. Y.* (2001). Role of the PHTH module in protein substrate recognition by Bruton's agammaglobulinemia tyrosine kinase. J Biol Chem 276(48): 45276-45281.
  40. Lei, M.#, Lu, W., Meng, W., Parrini, M. C., Eck, M. J., Mayer, B. J. and Harrison, S. C.* (2000). Structure of PAK1 in an autoinhibited conformation reveals a multistage activation switch. Cell 102(3): 387-397.
  41. Xu, W.#, Doshi, A., Lei, M., Eck, M. J. and Harrison, S. C.* (1999). Crystal structures of c-Src reveal features of its autoinhibitory mechanism. Mol Cell 3(5): 629-638.
  42. Quadri, L. E.#, Weinreb, P. H., Lei, M., Nakano, M. M., Zuber, P. and Walsh, C. T.* (1998). Characterization of Sfp, a Bacillus subtilis phosphopantetheinyl transferase for peptidyl carrier protein domains in peptide synthetases. Biochemistry 37(6): 1585-1595.
  43. Lei, M.# and Guo, H.* (1996). Numerical confirmation of universality of transmission microsymmetry relations in a four-probe quantum dot. Phys Rev B Condens Matter 54(16): 11630-11637.
  44. Zhu, N.#, Lei, M. and Guo, H.* (1996). Magnetoresistance oscillation in window-coupled wire systems. J Appl Phys 79(9): 7036-40.
  45.  Lei, M.#, Zhu, N. and Guo, H.* (1995). Quantum Hall effect in the presence of an antidot potential. Phys Rev B Condens Matter 52(23): 16784-16792.

Book chapters

  1. Wang, F. and Lei, M. (2010). Human telomere POT1-TPP1 complex and its role in telomerase activity regulation, in telomeres and telomerase: Methods and protocols. Second Edition.
Protocols by Ming Lei
  1. Sample Preparation of Telomerase Subunits for Crystallization