Home / People / Faculty / Zhang Yan

Zhang Yan——Professor

Office 417-4, Building 24, Tianjin University
School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology
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Education Experience
2001-2006 Ph. D. School of Medicine, Cell and Molecular Biology, Ge University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA
Professional Experience
2008-2013 Research Scientist, Postdoctoral Fellow Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2013-2014 Senior Scientist R&D Systems Inc
2014-2018 Associate Professor Tianjin University
2018-2018 Professor Tianjin University
Research Area

The Zhang lab identifies and characterizes new enzymes and new metabolic pathways in nature using a combination of bioinformatics, genetic, biochemical and biophysical methods.  In particular, the Zhang lab has a long term interest in metal trafficking, metalloenzymes. and their catalytic mechanisms. Other projects in the Zhang lab include synthetic biology, and immuno-based human disease diagnosis.

For more information about the Zhang Lab, please visit



Honors and Awards
Peiyang Scholar, 2014
National Research Service Award 2012-2013
一种高产檀香油的重组酵母菌及其构建方法与应用( A genetically engineered baker yeast strain and its construction for high yield biosynthetic santalol oil production) Pending
催化谷氨酰胺合成靛蓝获得蓝色花卉的转基因方法 (A method to obtain transgenic blue rose by introducing non-ribosomal peptide synthetase catalyzing the formation of indigoidine from glutamine) Pending
铁和α酮戊二酸依赖性双加氧酶的酶活检测体系和方法(A generally applicable iron and α-oxoglutarate dependent dioxygenase enzyme assay system and assay kit)Patents No. ZL 2015 1 0897467.5
Highlighted Publications
Xing M#, Wei Y#, Zhou Y, Zhang J, Lin L, Hu Y, Hua G, Nanjaraj A.N.,Liu D, Wang F, Guo C, Tong Y, Li M, Liu Y, Ang E, Zhao H*, Yuchi Z*, Zhang Y*. Radical-mediated C-S bond cleavage in C2 sulfonate degradation by anaerobic bacteria. Nat. Commun. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09618-8.
Zhang J#, Nanjaraj A.N. #, Lin L, Yuchi Z*, Zhang Y*. Structure of glycerol dehydrogenase (GldA) from Escherichia coli. ACTA CRYSTALLOGR F.2019, Mar ; DOI: 10.1107/S2053230X19000037
Zhou Y#, Wei Y#, Lin L, Xu T, Ang E, Zhao H*, Yuchi Z*, Zhang Y*. Biochemical and structural investigation of sulfoacetaldehyde reductase from Klebsiella oxytoca. Biochem J. 2019 ,Feb; DOI:10.1042/BCJ20190005.
Nanjaraj A.N., Hu Y, Li P, Yuchi Z, Chen Y*, Zhang Y*. Cloning and expression of a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase to generate blue rose. ACS Synth. Biol. DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00187
Liu D#, Wei Y#, Liu X, Zhou Y, Jiang L, Yin J, Wang F, Hu Y, Nanjaraj A.N., Liu Y, Ang E, Zhao S*, Zhao H*, Zhang Y*. Indoleacetate decarboxylase is a glycyl radical enzyme catalysing the formation of malodorant skatole. Nature Comm. 2018 Oct 11;9(1):4224. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06627-x.
Guo C#, Hu Y#, Yang C, Nanjaraj Urs AN, Zhang Y* Developing a colorimetric assay for Fe(II)/2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase. Anal Biochem. 2018 May 1;548:109-114.
Hua G#, Hu Y#, Yang C, Liu D, Mao Z, Zhang L, Zhang Y* Characterization of santalene synthases using an inorganic pyrophosphatase coupled colorimetric assay. Anal Biochem. 2018 Apr 15;547:26-36.
Zhang Y, Yang C, Dancis A, Nakamaru-Ogiso E. EPR studies of wild type and mutant Dre2 identify essential [2Fe–2S] and [4Fe–4S] clusters and their cysteine ligands. J Biochem. 2017 Jan;161(1):67-78.
Zhang Y#, Li H#, Zhang C, An X, Liu L, Stubbe J, Huang M. The Conserved Electron Donor Complex Dre2-Tah18 Is Required for Ribonucleotide Reductase Metallocofactor Assembly and DNA Synthesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 29; 111(17): E1695-704.
Yoon H, Knight SA, Pandey A, Pain J, Zhang Y, Pain D, Dancis A. Frataxin-bypassing Isu1: characterization of the bypass activity in cells and mitochondria. Biochem J. 2014 Apr 1;459(1):71-81.
Zhang Y, Liu L, Stubbe J. Huang M. Investigation of in vivo roles of the carboxyl terminal tails of the small subunit (ββ’) of S. cerevisiae ribonucleotide reductase: contribution to cofactor formation and inter-subunit association within the active holoenzyme. J Biol Chem. 2013 May 17;288(20):13951-9. Selected as the “Papers of The Week”, highlighted at http://www.jbc.org/content/288/20/13960/suppl/DCAuthor_profile
Zhang Y, Liu L, Wu X, An X, Stubbe J , Huang M. Investigation of in vivo diferric tyrosyl radical formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rnr2: requirement of Rnr4 and contribution of Grx3/4 and Dre2. J Biol Chem. 2011. Dec 2;286(48):41499-509. Selected as the “Papers of The Week”, highlighted at http://www.jbc.org/content/286/48/41499/suppl/DCAuthor_profile http://www.asbmb.org/asbmbtoday/asbmbtoday_article.aspx?id=14939
Zhang Y, Stubbe J, Bacillus subtilis Class Ib Ribonucleotide Reductase Is a Dimanganese(III)-Tyrosyl Radical Enzyme. Biochemistry. 2011 Jun 28;50(25):5615-23.
Mühlenhoff U, Molik S, Godoy JR, Uzarska MA, Richter N, Seubert A, Zhang Y, Stubbe J, Pierrel F, Herrero E, Lillig CH, Lill R. Cytosolic monothiol glutaredoxins function in intracellular iron sensing and trafficking via their bound iron-sulfur cluster. Cell Metab. 2010 Oct 6;12(4):373-85.
Yoon H, Zhang Y, Pain J, Lyver ER, Lesuisse E, Pain D, Dancis A. Rim2, pyrimidine nucleotide exchanger, is needed for iron utilization in mitochondria. Biochem J. 2011 Nov 15;440(1):137-46.
Zhang Y, Lyver, ER, Amutha B, Ohnishi, T, Pain, D, and Dancis, A. Dre2, a conserved eukaryotic protein with both [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] clusters, functions in cytosolic iron-sulfur protein biogenesis. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sept. 28 (18) 5569-82.
Zhang Y, Lyver, ER, Knight, SAB, Pain, D, Lesuisse, E, and Dancis, A. Mrs3p, Mrs4p, and frataxin provide iron for Fe-S cluster synthesis in mitochondria. J Biol Chem. 2006 Aug 11;281(32):22493-502.
Zhang Y, Lyver, ER, Knight, SAB, Lesuisse, E, and Dancis, A. Frataxin and mitochondrial carrier proteins, Mrs3p and Mrs4p, cooperate in providing iron for heme synthesis. J Biol Chem. 2005 May 20; 280 (20):19794-807.
He Y, Alam SL, Proteasa SV, Zhang Y, Lesuisse E, Dancis A, and Stemmler T.L. Yeast frataxin solution structure, iron binding, and ferrochelatase interaction. Biochemistry. 2004 Dec 28;43(51):16254-62.
Deshmukh M, May M, Zhang Y, Gabbert KK, Karberg KA, Kranz RG, and Daldal F. Overexpression of ccl1-2 can bypass the need for the putative apocytochrome chaperone CycH during the biogenesis of c-type cytochromes. Mol. Microbiology 2002 Nov 46(4)1069-1080.
ResearcherID Publications
Year Title Author(s) Source Volume
2016 EPR studies of wild type and mutant Dre2 identify essential [2Fe--2S] and [4Fe--4S] clusters and their cysteine ligands. Zhang, Yan; Yang, Chunyu; Dancis, Andrew; et al. Journal of biochemistry
2014 Conserved electron donor complex Dre2-Tah18 is required for ribonucleotide reductase metallocofactor assembly and DNA synthesis Zhang, Yan; Li, Haoran; Zhang, Caiguo; et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111
2002 Overexpression of ccl1-2 can bypass the need for the putative apocytochrome chaperone CycH during the biogenesis of c-type cytochromes Deshmukh, M; May, M; Zhang, Y; et al. Molecular Microbiology 46
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