Jie J. Zheng

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PDZ domains are abundant protein interaction modules that often recognize short amino acid motifs at the C-termini of target proteins. They regulate multiple biological processes such as transport, ion channel signaling, and other signal transduction systems. This review discusses the structural characterization of PDZ domains and the use of recently(More)
Because of advances in the high-throughput screening technology, identification of a hit that can bind to a target protein has become a relatively easy task; however, in the process of drug discovery, the following hit-to-lead and lead optimization still remain challenging. In a typical hit-to-lead and lead optimization process, the analogues of the most(More)
Smoothened (Smo) is a member of the Frizzled (FzD) class of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and functions as the key transducer in the Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway. Smo has an extracellular cysteine-rich domain (CRD), indispensable for its function and downstream Hh signalling. Despite its essential role, the functional contribution of the CRD to(More)
Enhancing the affinity of therapeutic T cell receptors (TCR) without altering their specificity is a significant challenge for adoptive immunotherapy. Current efforts have primarily relied on empirical approaches. Here, we used structural analyses to identify a glycine-serine variation in the TCR that modulates antigen sensitivity. A G at position 107(More)
Ocular albinism type 1 (OA), caused by mutations in the OA1 gene, encodes a G-protein coupled receptor, OA1, localized in melanosomal membranes of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This disorder is characterized by both RPE macro-melanosomes and abnormal decussation of ganglion cell axons at the brain's optic chiasm. We demonstrated previously that Oa1(More)
The intracellular signaling molecule Dishevelled (Dvl) mediates canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling via its PDZ domain. Different pathways diverge at this point by a mechanism that remains unclear. Here we show that the peptide-binding pocket of the Dvl PDZ domain can be occupied by Dvl's own highly conserved C-terminus, inducing a closed(More)
Frizzled is the earliest discovered glycosylated Wnt protein receptor and is critical for the initiation of Wnt signaling. Antagonizing Frizzled is effective in inhibiting the growth of multiple tumor types. The extracellular N terminus of Frizzled contains a conserved cysteine-rich domain that directly interacts with Wnt ligands. Structure-based virtual(More)
Genomic structural alteration is common in pediatric cancers, and analysis of data generated by the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project reveals such tumor-related alterations in many Wnt signaling-associated genes. Most pediatric cancers are thought to arise within developing tissues that undergo substantial expansion during early organ formation, growth and(More)
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