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Yi Wang

Current Position

Postdoctoral Researcher
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of California, San Diego

New website at the McCammon group, UCSD


B.S.(2003); Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China;
Major: Biotechnology
Minor: Computer Science

Research Interests


    Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of membrane proteins specialized in water transportation across biological membranes. Found in all domains of life, AQPs are highly efficient in water transportation, conducting about a billion water molecules per second. Although most AQPs are constantly open water channels, plant AQPs are regulated by signals such as pH and phosphorylation. This regulation assists plant cells to cope with drastic changes in osmotic pressure in the environment. One of our recent studies is focused on the gating mechanism of the spinach aquaporin SoPIP2;1. In collaboration with the group of prof. Richard Neutze, our molecular dynamics simulations revealed how SoPIP2;1 could switch from the closed to the open state after phosphorylation. Take a look at our Aquaporin Research page.

ADP/ATP Carrier

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the molecular currency of energy transfer in a cell. In eukaroytic cells, ATP is synthesized from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) inside the mitochondria. ATP is then exported to the cytosol where its hydrolysis releases the energy stored in the molecule. On the other hand, ADP, the product of ATP hydrolysis, is shuttled back into the mitochondria for the next round of ATP production. The exchange of ADP and ATP across the mitochondrial membrane is mediated by a membrane protein named ADP/ATP carrier (AAC). In a recent study, we performed extensive molecular dynamics simulations to study the nucleotide binding and translocation mediated by AAC. These simulations revealed rapid, spontaneous binding of ADP to deeply positioned binding sites within the carrier lumen. Take a look at our AAC Research page.

Platform Presentation

Poster Presentations


Journal Papers

Publications Database Electrostatic funneling of substrate in mitochondrial inner membrane carriers. Yi Wang and Emad Tajkhorshid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105:9598-9603, 2008. Molecular mechanisms of conduction and selectivity in aquaporin water channels. Yi Wang and Emad Tajkhorshid. Journal of Nutrition, 137:1509S-1515S, 2007. Exploring gas permeability of cellular membranes and membrane channels with molecular dynamics. Yi Wang, Jordi Cohen, Walter F. Boron, Klaus Schulten, and Emad Tajkhorshid. Journal of Structural Biology, 157:534-544, 2007. Structural mechanism of plant aquaporin gating. S. Törnroth-Horsefield, Y. Wang, K. Hedfalk, U. Johanson, M. Karlsson, E. Tajkhorshid, R. Neutze, and P. Kjellbom. Nature, 439:688-694, 2006. Molecular dynamics simulations of proteins in lipid bilayers. James Gumbart, Yi Wang, Alekseij Aksimentiev, Emad Tajkhorshid, and Klaus Schulten. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 15:423-431, 2005. What makes an aquaporin a glycerol channel: A comparative study of AqpZ and GlpF. Yi Wang, Klaus Schulten, and Emad Tajkhorshid. Structure, 13:1107-1118, 2005.

Book Chapter

Publications Database Gas conduction of lipid bilayers and membrane channels. Y. Wang, Y. Zenmei Ohkubo, and E. Tajkhorshid. In Scott Feller, editor, Current Topics in Membranes: Computational Modeling of Membrane Bilayers, volume 60, chapter 12, pp. 343-367. Elsevier, 2008.