Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Miao Yansong

Nanyang Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Asst Prof Miao Yansong

Research areas and projects:

Miao Lab research mainly focuses on studying the mechanisms of actin assembly in polarized fungal growth and plant immunity. Miao Lab interested in how diverse extracellular and intracellular signals regulate actin assembly underlying diverse physiological and pathological processes in eukaryotic cells. Actin filament assembly contributes to the multiple cellular pathways pleiotropically, by its dynamic assembly and disassembly upon cellular needs and specific stimuli, such as the activation of polarized cell growth or the host immune responses during defense mechanisms against pathogenic attack. In the much crowd intracellular environment, actin-binding proteins (ABPs) precisely regulate the dynamics assembly and re-organization of actin networks, in cooperative and competitive manners. We are particularly interested in how the intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of ABPs perceive the signals to trigger re-organization of actin assembly, by regulating the protein dynamics, protein conformation, and protein-protein interactions, via interdisciplinary approaches, such as biochemical assay, advanced cell imaging, genetic approaches.

Teaching: BS1100, BS4002, BS7001

Honours and Awards:
• Human Frontier Science Program Postdoc Long-term Fellow (2010-2013), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
• Nanyang Assistant Professorship (NAP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

• Assistant Professor (2015-present), School of Biological Science, NTU, Singapore
• Postdoctoral Fellow (2010-2014), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
• Ph.D. (2006-2009), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Mphil (2004-2006), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Bsc (1998-2002), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Research Interests
Our lab is interested in how eukaryotic cells dynamically reorganize their actin cytoskeletons to power endocytosis, polarized delivery of vesicles for cell growth, cell movement, and cell division. Our research is focus on understanding of how different actin interacting proteins (AIPs) are regulated to assemble different types of actin arrays, nucleated by Arp2/3 complex and formins, in the same cytoplasm during these processes, and at different stages of the cell cycle.

We are using multi-disciplinary approach including reconstitution of actin assembly in cell extracts, live-cell imaging, genetics, biochemistry, super-resolution microscopy, and mass spectrometry to address these questions from the molecular to cellular level. Our working systems include budding yeast, plants, and cultured mammalian cell lines.

One of our major goals is to determine the function and molecular fundamentals of several key AIPs that regulate the dynamics of different actin arrays at specific cell cycle stage or a particular physiological conditions, e.g. stress response. And we also aim to reconstitute such actin assembly by our cell-extract based system at these particular conditions.
Current Projects
  • A Novel Drug Target To Prevent The Protein Aggregation InNeurodegenerative Diseases
  • A Novel Inter-Kingdom Communication Between Plant AndPathogen Through Quorum Sensing (NIM/01/2016)
  • A novel actin filament assembly machinery in budding yeast
  • Cdk1 phospho-regulates actin cable assembly via intrinsically disordered protein
  • Discovery of Novel Antifungal Drug Targets for Pathogenic Fungus
  • Elucidating exosomes biogenesis and uptake in cancer progression
  • Investigating the protein phase behavior in polarized fungal growth by coarse-grained molecular simulation
  • Mechanism and Therapeutic Studies of Skin Fungal Infections through Fungal Polarisome Protein Pla1
  • Mechanistic Study of Actin Cytoskeleton Regulation in Eukaryotes via a Novel Reconstitution System
  • Phase Separation Regulated Life, In and Outside of Cells
Selected Publications
  • Ying Xie#, Jialin Sun#, Xiao Han, Alma Turšić-Wunder, Joel D.W. Toh, Wanjin Hong, Yong-Gui Gao*, Yansong Miao*. (2019). Polarisome scaffolder Spa2-mediated macromolecular condensation of Aip5 for actin polymerization. Nature Communications, 10, 5078.
  • Dingquan Huang#, Yanbiao Sun#, Zhiming Ma#, Meiyu Ke, Yong Cui, Zichen Chen, Chaofan Chen, Changyang Ji, Tuan Minh Tran, Liang Yang, Sin Man Lam, Yanhong Han, Guanghou Shui, Jiří Friml, Yansong Miao, Liwen Jiang, and Xu Chen. (2019). Salicylic Acid-mediated plasmodesmal Closure via Remorin-dependent Lipid organization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 116(42), 21274.
  • Zhu Qiao#, He Sun#, Justin Tze Yang Ng, Qianqian Ma, Si Hui Koh, Yuguang Mu, Yansong Miao* and Yong-Gui Gao*. (2019). Structural and computational examination of the Arabidopsis profilin-Poly-P complex reveals mechanistic details in profilin-regulated actin assembly. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 294, 18650.
  • He Sun, Zhu Qiao, Khi Pin Chua, Alma Tursic, Xu Liu, Yong-Gui Gao, Yuguang Mu, Xingliang Hou, Yansong Miao*. (2018). Profilin negatively regulates formin-mediated actin assembly to modulate PAMP-triggered plant immunity. Current Biology, 28, 1–14.
  • Yansong Miao*, Xuemei Han, Liangzhen Zheng, Ying Xie, Yuguang Mu, John R. Yates, III, and David G. Drubin*. (2016). Fimbrin phosphorylation by metaphase Cdk1 regulates actin cable dynamics in budding yeast. Nature Communications, 7, 11265 (*corresponding author).

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