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Pengli Zheng


Pengli Zheng


E-mail: zhengpl(at)pku(dot)edu(dot)cn


Research Area

Our lab is mostly interested in the dynamics, contacts and functions of membrane organelles, especially the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the biggest organelle in a cell and plays important roles in many key cell functions like protein synthesis and sorting, lipid synthesis, signal transduction, stress response and organelle contact. Morphologically, the ER is mainly composed of tubules, matrices and sheets, with tubular ER mainly localize at cell periphery while matrices and sheets are mostly perinuclear. The ER morphology is highly dynamic and tightly related with its functions. For example, protein synthesis usually happens on the perinuclear ER sheets, while lipids are synthesized by the tubular ER. Meanwhile, different ER structures also mediate different signaling pathways, like the tubular mediates DNA damage-induced cell apoptosis, whereas ER sheets mediate ER stress-induced apoptosis. Moreover, ER morphology and functions are closely related to many human diseases such as cancer and neuron degeneration diseases. Our current understanding of how this complex ER network is formed and how this is related to its functions are still very limited, making it very difficult to study the molecular mechanisms of ER-related diseases.


We will combine cell biology, neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology to investigate 1) key unanswered questions of the organelle morphology and function field, such as how the high dense perinuclear ER sheets and matrices is formed, and how organelle contacts regulate their distribution; 2) how is the morphology of ER and other organelles dynamically regulated during mammalian development, disease occurrence, etc. 3) the molecular mechanism of how abnormality in organelle morphology and functions lead to human diseases, especially neurodegeneration diseases.


Selected publications:

1. Pengli Zheng#, Christopher Obara, Ewa Szczesna, Jonathon Nixon-Abell, Kishore Mahalingan, Antonina Roll-Mecak, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Craig Blackstone#. Endoplasmic Reticulum Proteins Decipher the Tubulin Code to Regulate Organelle Distribution. Nature. 2022, 601: 132-138.

2. Birong Shen*, Pengli Zheng*, Nannan Qian*, Qingzhou Chen*, Xin Zhou, Junjie Hu, Jianguo Chen#, Junlin Teng#. Calumenin-1 Interacts with Climp63 to Cooperatively Determine the Luminal Width and Distribution of Endoplasmic Reticulum Sheets. iScience. 2019, 22: 70-80.

3. Pengli Zheng*, Qingzhou Chen*, Xiaoyu Tian*, Nannan Qian, Peiyuan Chai, Bin Liu, Junjie Hu, Craig Blackstone, Desheng Zhu, Junlin Teng#, Jianguo Chen#. DNA damage triggers tubular endoplasmic reticulum extension to promote apoptosis by facilitating ER-mitochondria signaling. Cell Research. 2018, 28: 833-854.

4. Pengli Zheng, Qiao Wang, Junlin Teng, Jianguo Chen#. Calumenin and fibulin-1 on tumor metastasis: Implications for pharmacology. Pharmacological Research. 2015, 99: 11-15.

5. Qiao Wang*, Birong Shen*, Liang Chen*, Pengli Zheng*, Hui Feng, Qingsong Hao, Xiao Liu, Lin Liu, Sizheng Xu, Jianguo Chen#, Junlin Teng#. Extracellular calumenin suppresses ERK1/2 signaling and cell migration by protecting fibulin-1 from MMP-13-mediated proteolysis. Oncogene. 2015, 34: 1006-1018.

6. Qiao Wang*, Birong Shen*, Pengli Zheng*, Hui Feng, Yige Guo, Wenyuan Cao, Liang Chen, Xiao Liu, Guodong Zhao, Sizheng Xu, Weide Shen, Jianguo Chen#, Junlin Teng#. BmCREC is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident protein and required for ER/Golgi morphology. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013, 288: 26649-26657.


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