U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-827-4417
Email: jianxinh@mail.nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • Staff ScientistNIDDK, NIH1999–Present
  • PostdoctoralUniversity of South Carolina1995–1999
  • Ph.D.Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry1995

 Related Links


    • Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
    Research Summary/In Plain Language

    Research Summary

    Research Goal

    The goal is to characterize the structure and function of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

    Current Research

    GPCRs are seven-transmembrane proteins that mediate the functions of a large number of extracellular stimuli (light, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.). The human genome contains about 800 distinct GPCR genes, and about 40 percent of drugs on the market target specific GPCRs. Despite significant progress made in recent decades in understanding the structure and function of GPCRs, some major questions remain unanswered. I apply site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical cross-linking approaches to address the following major questions:

    • How do GPCRs interact with G proteins and arrestins?
    • What is the structural basis and functional relevance of GPCR dimerization?

    Applying Our Research

    This research provides further insight into the structure and function of GPCRs, which could lead to novel therapeutic approaches.

    Need for Further Study

    Further study is needed to understand the dynamic structural changes in the GPCRs during receptor activation.