Photo of Xiang Chen

Xiang Chen, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


My research has focused on the regulated destruction of proteins by the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. As a structural biologist, I have been working on exploring the ubiquitin–proteasome system at the atomic level by using biophysical techniques such as NMR. I have solved the structures of ubiquitin receptors complex with various ubiquitin species or their preferred shuttle factors. I’m also directing my research interest towards expanding my skillset to study larger proteasome complexes that may not be tractable by NMR, by merging my protein chemistry and NMR skills with new skills. One of my jobs is to training and assisting my co-workers by sharing my skill set.

Areas of Expertise

1) NMR spectroscopy 2) structural biology 3) computer modeling of protein structures and complexes, 4) protein engineering and isolation


Selected Key Publications

Structures of Rpn1 T1:Rad23UBL and hRpn13Pru:hLIC2UBL reveal distinct binding mechanisms between substrate receptors and shuttle factors of the proteasome

Chen X.*, Randles L.*, Shi K., Tarasov, S.G., Aihara, H., Walters K.J. (Co-first author)
Structure. 24: 1257-1270, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Rpn1 provides adjacent receptor sites for substrate binding and deubiquitination by the proteasome

Shi Y.*, Chen X.*, Elsasser S.*, Stocks B.*, Tian G., Lee B.H., Shi Y.H., Zhang N.X., de Poot S.A.H., Tuebing F., Sun S.W., Vannoy J., Tarasov S.G., Engen J.R., Finley D., Walters K.J. (Co-first author)
Science. 351: In press, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Structure of Proteasome Ubiquitin Receptor hRpn13 and its Activation by the Scaffolding Protein hRpn2

Chen X., Lee B.H., Finley D., Walters K.J.
Mol Cell. 38: 404-415, 2010. [ Journal Article ]

Prokaryotic Ubiquitin-Like Protein Pup Is Intrinsically Disordered

Chen X., Solomon W.C., Kang Y., Cerda-Maira F., Darwin K.H., Walters K.J.
J Mol Biol. 392: 208-217, 2009. [ Journal Article ]

Ubiquitin docking at the proteasome via a novel PH domain interaction

Schreiner P.*, Chen X.*, Husnjak K.*, Randles L., Zhang N.X., Elsasser S., Finley D., Dikic I., Walters K.J., Groll M. (Co-first author)
Nature. 453: 548-552, 2008. [ Journal Article ]