Principal Investigator,Professor : Hyperthermophilic Archaeal Genetic Mechanisms Laboratory

Address:NO.1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Research Interests
Archaea represent the third form of life, in addition to Bacteria and Eukarya. Most archaea that have been studied inhabit extreme environments. In recent decades, biochemical, molecular biological and genomic studies have revealed a number of fascinating features of this newly discovered group of prokaryotic organisms. Chief among them is the apparent similarity between Archaea and Eukarya in genetic mechanisms. Sulfolobus belongs to the kingdom Crenarchaeota, which is one of the two kingdoms of culturable archaea. Sulfolobus species live in acidic hot springs around the globe with optimal growth temperatures of ~80 oC and pH’s of ~3. Because Sulfolobus is aerobic and relatively easy to grow and handle in the lab, it has been widely used as a model system for the study of Archaea. The intense interest in Sulfolobus is evidenced by recent completion of three Sulfolobus genome projects. It is believed that knowledge gained from the study of Sulfolobus will increase the understanding of the biology of Archaea and their adaptation to living in extreme environments, and facilitate the biotechnological exploitation of this unique group of organisms. Moreover, Sulfolobus offers a prokaryotic model for analyzing the genetic mechanisms in more complex eukaryotic systems. Dr. Huang’s laboratory studies chromosomal organization and DNA replication in the hyperthermophilic archaea of the genus Sulfolobus. The following projects are currently ongoing in his laboratory. (1)DNA-binding proteins Sul7d and Cren7 from Sulfolobus and their roles in chromosomal organization (2)Biochemical properties and physiological function of the highly conserved Sac10b protein family (3)Key steps in DNA replication in Sulfolobus solfataricus (4)Sulfolobus viruses from hot springs in Yunnan and Tibet
Education/degrees & Work experience
Professor Huang received his PhD in the Department ofMicrobiology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in 1988. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry of the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, from 1988 to 1993. He became assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Pomona College, California, in 1993 before joining the faculty in the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 1996. He was appointed to full professorship in 1998 and had been director of the State Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources from 2000 to 2008. He served as the Deputy Director and then Director of the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in April 2008 to September 2013.
The main research areas
Genetic Mechanisms in Hyperthermophilic Archaea
1.Zhenfeng Zhang#, Yong Gong#, Li Guo, Tao Jiang, Li Huang*. Structural insights into the interaction of the crenarchaeal chromatin protein Cren7 with DNA. Molecular Microbiology. In press. (# shared the first author) (IF 5.213) 2.Xin Guo and Li Huang*. 2010. An SF3 DNA helicase encoded by plasmid pSSVi from the hyperthermophilic Archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus unwinds DNA as a higher-order oligomer and interacts with host primase. The Journal of Bacteriology, 192(7):1853-64. (IF 3.636) 3.Likui Zhang, HuiqiangLou, Li Guo, Zhengyan Zhan, Zhenhong Duan, Xin Guo and Li Huang*. 2010. Accurate DNA synthesis by Sulfolobus solfataricus DNA polymerase B1 at high temperature. Extremophiles, 14(1):107-17. (IF 1.782) 4.Xianyang Fang, Qiu Cu, Yufeng Tong, Yingang Feng, Lu Shan, Li Huang and Jinfeng Wang*,A stabilizing α/β-hydrophobic core greatly contributes to hyperthermostability of archaeal [P 62A ]Ssh10b. Biochemistry 2008, 47(43): 11212-21. (IF 3.368) 5.Li Guo, Yingang Feng, Zhenfeng Zhang, Hongwei Yao, Yuanming Luo,Jinfeng Wang and Li Huang*. Biochemical and structural characterization of Cren7, a novel chromatin protein conserved among Crenarchaea. Nucleic Acids Research 36:( 4 )1129-1137 PDF (IF 6.954) 6.Sha Wang, Wei-Feng Liu, Yong-Zhi He, Ao Zhang, Li Huang, Zhiyang Dong*, Yong-Bin Yan*, 2008,Multistate folding of a hyperthermostable Fe-superoxide dismutase (TcSOD) in guanidinium hydrochloride: The importance of the quaternary structure. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Proteins and Proteomics 1784:445–454   PDF (IF 3.078) 7.Wang Y, Duan Z, Zhu H, Guo X, Wang Z, Zhou J, She Q, Huang L. 2007. A novel Sulfolobus non-conjugative extrachromosomal genetic element capable of integration into the host genome and spreading in the presence of a fusellovirus. Virology 363: 124-33. 8.Wu K, Lai X, Guo X, Hu J, Xiang X, Huang L. 2007. Interplay between primase and replication factor C in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Mol Microbiol. 63(3):826–837. 9.Chen L, Huang L. 2006. Oligonucleotide cleavage and rejoining by topoisomerase III from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus: temperature dependence and strand annealing-promoted DNA religation. Mol Microbiol. 60:783-94. 10.Xiang X, Chen N, Huang X, Luo Y, She Q, Huang L. 2005. Spindle-Shaped Virus STSV1: Virus-Host Interactions and Genomic Features. J Virol. 79:8677-86. 11.Lou H, Duan Z, Huo X, Huang L. 2004. Modulation of hyperthermophilic DNA polymerase activity by archaeal chromatin proteins. J Biol Chem. 279:127-32. 12.Guo R, Xue H, Huang L. 2003. Ssh10b, a conserved thermophilic archaeal protein, binds RNA in vivo. Mol. Microbiol. 50:1605-15.