Zihe Rao, Ph.D.


  Zihe Rao, Ph.D.

Distinguished Adjunct Professor

Principal Investigator

Institute            Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies

                          School of Life Science and Technology

Research Area   Protein Machinery and New Drugs
Contact Info.     raozh@@shanghaitech.edu.cn
Remarks Member of Presidium of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research Interests
Prof. Zihe Rao mainly uses the modern-developed biophysical techniques and tools, such as X-ray and Cryo-EM methods, to study the structures and functions of protein machineries from causative pathogens of new and recurrent human infectious diseases, and the structure-based development of innovative drugs. His research focused on the crucial drug targets from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), including membrane proteins/complexes involving in cell wall biosynthesis, respiratory chain and transcription/replication systems. Besides, Prof. Zihe Rao also studies key molecular machineries relating to host invasion, replication and assembly from important pathogens including SARS-CoV, influenza virus, HIV, hepatitis virus, herpes virus, small RNA virus and flavivirus, as well as the novel development of anti-virus drugs and vaccines.

Selected Publications

  1. Wang Q*, Wu J, Wang H, Gao Y, Liu Q, Mu A, Ji W, Yan L, Zhu Y, Zhu C, Fang X, Yang X, Huang Y, Gao H, Liu F, Ge J, Sun Q, Yang X, Xu W, Liu Z, Yang H, Lou Z, Jiang B, Guddat LW, Gong P*, Rao Z* (2020). Structural basis for RNA replication by the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase. Cell. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.034.   

  2. Zhenming Jin#, Yao Zhao#, Yuan Sun#, Bing Zhang, Haofeng Wang, Yan Wu, Yan Zhu, Chen Zhu, Tianyu Hu, Xiaoyu Du, Yinkai Duan, Jing Yu, Xiaobao Yang, Xiuna Yang, Kailin Yang, Xiang Liu, Luke W. Guddat, Gengfu Xiao, Leike Zhang*, Haitao Yang* & Zihe Rao. Structural basis for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 main protease by antineoplastic drug carmofur. Nat Struct Mol Biol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41594-020-0440-6

  3.  Yan Gao#, Liming Yan#, Yucen Huang#, Fengjiang Liu#, Yao Zhao, Lin Cao, Tao Wang, Qianqian Sun, Zhenhua Ming, Lianqi Zhang, Ji Ge, Litao Zheng, Ying Zhang, Haofeng Wang, Yan Zhu, Chen Zhu, Tianyu Hu, Tian Hua, Bing Zhang, Xiuna Yang, Jun Li, Haitao Yang, Zhijie Liu, Wenqing Xu, Luke W. Guddat, Quan Wang*, Zhiyong Lou*, Zihe Rao*. Structure of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from COVID-19 virus. Science  10 Apr 2020:DOI: 10.1126/science.abb7498

  4. Zhenming Jin#, Xiaoyu Du#, Yechun Xu, Yongqiang Deng, Meiqin Liu, Yao Zhao, Bing Zhang, Xiaofeng Li, Leike Zhang, Chao Peng, Yinkai Duan, Jing Yu, Lin Wang, Kailin Yang, Fengjiang Liu, Rendi Jiang, Xinglou Yang, Tian You, Xiaoce Liu, Xiuna Yang, Fang Bai, Hong Liu, Xiang Liu, Luke W. Guddat, Wenqing Xu, Gengfu Xiao, Chengfeng Qin, Zhengli Shi, Hualiang Jiang, Zihe Rao, Haitao Yang. Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors. Nature (2020) Published: 09 April 2020

  5. Wang L, Wu J, Li J, Yang H, Tang T, Liang H, Zuo M, Wang J, Liu H, Liu F, Chen J, Liu Z, Wang Y, Peng C, Wu X, Zheng R, Huang X, Ran Y, Rao Z, Ge B. (2020)Host-mediated ubiquitination of a mycobacterial protein suppresses immunity. Nature. 2020 Jan; 577(7792):682-688. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1915-7. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

  6. Wang N#, Zhao D#, Wang J#, Zhang Y#, Wang M, Gao Y, Li F, Wang J, Bu Z*, Rao Z*, Wang X*., Architecture of African swine fever virus and implications for viral assembly. Science. 2019 Nov 1;366(6465):640-644. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz1439. ISSN: 0033-3131.

  7. Wang S#, Zhou K, Yang X, Zhang B, Zhao Y, Xiao Y, Yang X, Yang H, Guddat LW, Li J*, Rao Z*. Structural insights into substrate recognition by the type VII secretion system. Protein & Cell. 2019 Nov 23. doi: 10.1007/s13238-019-00671-z. ISSN:1674-8018.

  8. Wang M, Guo X, Yang X, Zhang B, Ren J, Liu A, Ran Y, Yan B, Chen F, Guddat LW, Hu J, Li J and Rao Z., Mycobacterial dynamin-like protein IniA mediates membrane fission. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 29;10(1):3906. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11860-z.ISSN:2041-1723.

  9. Zhang B, Li J*, Yang X, Wu L, Zhang J, Yang Y, Zhao Y, Zhang L, Yang X, Yang X, Cheng X, Liu Z, Jiang B, Jiang H, Guddat LW, Yang H*, Rao Z*., Crystal Structures of Membrane Transporter MmpL3, an Anti-TB Drug Target. Cell. 2019 Jan 24;176(3):636-648.e13. ISSN:0092-8674.

  10. Gong H, Li J, Xu A, Tang Y, Ji W, Gao R, Wang S, Yu L, Tian C, Li J, Yen HY, Man Lam S, Shui G, Yang X, Sun Y, Li X, Jia M, Yang C, Jiang B, Lou Z, Robinson CV, Wong LL, Guddat LW, Sun F*, Wang Q*, Rao Z*., An electron transfer path connects subunits of a mycobacterial respiratory supercomplex. Science. 2018 Oct 25. pii: eaat8923. doi: 10.1126/science.aat8923

  11. Yuan S, Wang J, Zhu D, Wang N, Gao Q, Chen W, Tang H, Wang J, Zhang X, Liu H*, Rao Z* and Wang X*. Cryo-EM structure of a Herpesvirus capsid at 3.1 ÅScience. 2018 Apr 6;360(6384).

  12. Yao R, Ming Z, Yan L, Li S, Wang F, Ma S, Yu C, Yang M, Chen L, Chen L, Li Y, Yan C, Miao D, Sun Z, Yan J, Sun Y, Wang L, Chu J, Fan S, He W, Deng H, Nan F, Li J, Rao Z*, Lou Z*, Xie D*. DWARF14 is a non-canonical hormone receptor for strigolactone. Nature. 2016 Aug 1;536(7617):469-473

  13. Wang X, Ren J, Gao Q, Hu Z, Sun Y, Li X, Rowlands DJ, Yin W, Wang J*, Stuart DI*, Rao Z* & Fry EE*. The structure of hepatitis A virus and the origins of picornaviruses. Nature. 2015 Jan 1;517(7532):85-8.

  14. Yuan P, Bartlam M, Lou Z, Chen S, Zhou J, He X, Lv Z, Ge R, Li X, Deng T, Fodor E, Rao Z* & Liu Y*.  Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA(N) reveals an endonuclease active site. Nature, 2009 ;458(7240) :909-13

  15. He X, Zhou J, Bartlam M, Zhang R, Ma J, Lou Z, Li X, Li J, Joachimiak A., Zeng Z, Ge R, Rao Z* & Liu YF*. Crystal structure of the polymerase PA(C)-PB1(N) complex from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. Nature, 2008 ;454(7208) :1123-6

  16. Sun F, Huo X, Zhai YJ, Wang AJ, Xu JX, Su D, Bartlam M Rao Z*. Crystal Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein Complex Ⅱ. Cell, 2005; 121: 1043-1057

  17. Rao Z, Belyaev A, Fry E, Jones I, Roy P & Stuart D. Crystal structure of SIV matrix antigen and implications for virus assembly. Nature,1995 ;378(6558):743-747

  18. Rao Z, Handford P, Mayhew M, Knott V, Brownlee G & Stuart D. The structure of a Ca(2+)-binding epidermal growth factor-like domain: its role in protein-protein interactions. Cell, 1995;82(1):131-141