Chemistry-Enabled Tools for Neuroscience
Our research focuses on inventing chemistry-enabled tools to study cellular structures, functions and signaling pathways, with a particular focus on neuroscience. We strive to understand how neuronal activities arise through the complex interplay between physical forces, chemical signals, and biological macromolecules. This mainly follows two lines of efforts: enzyme-based probes for profiling biomolecules in neurons, and optical reporters for neural activities. Our methods are drawing from a wide range of techniques, including protein engineering, molecular biology, chemical synthesis, fluorescence microscopy, computer programming and quantitative modeling. Research projects include:
1. Optical recording of action potential waveforms with genetically-encoded voltage indicators
2. Chemical labeling technique for mapping neuronal RNA localizations
3. Proximity tagging methods for profiling synaptic protein synthesis
1. Y. Xu#, L. Peng#, S. Wang#, A. Wang#, R. Ma, Y. Zhou, J. Yang, D. E. Sun, W. Lin, X. Chen, P. Zou*. Hybrid indicators for fast and sensitive voltage imaging. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2018, 130, 4013-4017.
2. A. Wang#, J. Feng#, Y. Li*, P. Zou*. Beyond fluorescent proteins: hybrid and bioluminescent indicators for imaging neural activities. ACS. Chem. Neurosci. 2018, 9, 639-650.
3. Y. Xu, P. Zou*, A. E. Cohen* (2017). Voltage imaging with genetically encoded indicators. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2016, 39, 1-10.
4. P. Zou#, Y. Zhao#, A. D. Douglass, D. R. Hochbaum, D. Brinks, C. A. Werley, D. J. Harrison, R. E. Campbell, and A. E. Cohen. Bright and fast multicoloured voltage reporters via electrochromic FRET. Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, 4625.
5. H. W. Rhee#, P. Zou#, N. D. Udeshi, J. D. Martell, V. K. Mootha, S. A. Carr, and A. Y. Ting. Proteomic mapping of mitochondria in living cells via spatially restricted enzymatic tagging. Science 2013, 339, 1328-1331.