Full time faculty

Adjunct professor

Chair professor


Yangnan GU

Yangnan Gu£¬ Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor, Young 1000-Talent Plan


Education and Work Experience


2003-2007£¬B.Sc., Biosciences and Bioengineering,  Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

2007-2013£¬Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Indiana University, USA

2011-2013£¬M.Sc., Applied Statistics, Indiana University, USA

2013-2015£¬Postdoc fellow, Duke University-Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2015-2017£¬Senior Research Associate, Duke University-Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2017-now£¬Tsinghua University, Tshinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences, Assistant Professor


Research Interest


Plants have evolved sophisticated immune mechanisms during their interactions with microbes for almost half a billion years. Different from the animal immune system, which relies on specialized immune cells, each individual plant cell is able to launch innate immune responses. Activation of rapid and precise immune responses requires coordination of many key cellular processes.


We use a combined molecular, cellular, genetic, biochemical, biostatistical and bioinformatic approach to study the intriguing mechanism behind host-pathogen interactions. We focus on the role of targeted membrane trafficking and coordinated nucleocytoplasmic transport in activation, regulation and termination of the innate immunity. We are also interested in the immune regulatory role of nuclear envelope localized macromolecular complex (e.g. nuclear pore complex) and transmembrane proteins. 


Selected Publications

1. Gu, Y. (2017). Nuclear pore complex: a strategic platform for regulating cell signaling New Phytologist (Tansley Insight) DOI-10.1111/nph.1475.

2. Gu, Y.*, Zavaliev, R and Dong, X. (2017). Membrane trafficking in plant immunity. Molecular Plant 10: 1026-1034. *Corresponding author

3. Gu, Y., Zebell, S., Liang, Z., Wang, S., Kang, B. and Dong, X. (2016). Nuclear pore permeabilization is a convergent signaling event in effector-triggered immunity. Cell 166: 1526-1538.

    •   Highlighted by commentary "Gating immunity and death at the nuclear pore complex", Cell (2016) 166: 1364-1366. 

4. Liu, L., Sonbol, FM., Huot, B., Gu, Y., Withers, J., Mwimba, M., Yao, J., He, S.Y. and Dong, X. (2016). Salicylic acid receptors activate jasmonic acid signalling through a noncanonical pathway to promote effector-triggered immunity; Nature Communications 7: 13099.

5. Gu, Y. and Dong X. (2015). Stromules: signal conduits for plant immunity. Developmental Cell 34: 3-4.

6. Saleh, A., Withers, J., Mohan, R., Marques, J., Gu, Y., Yan, S., Zavaliev, R., Nomoto, M., Tada, Y. and Dong, X. (2015). Posttranslational modifications of the master transcriptional regulator NPR1 enable dynamic but tight control of plant immune responses; Cell Host-Microbe 18: 169-182.

7. Pauwels, L., Ritter, A., Goossens, J., Durand, A.N., Liu, H., Gu, Y., Geerinck, J., Boter, M., Bossche, R.V., De Clercq, R., Van Leene, J., Gevaert, K., De Jaeger, G., Solano, R., Stone, S., Innes, R.W., Callis, J. and Goossens, A. (2015). The RING E3 ligase KEEP ON GOING modulates Jasmonate ZIM-domain 12 stability. Plant Physiology 169: 1405-1417.

8. Wang, S.#, Gu, Y.#, Zebell, S.#, Anderson, L.K., Wang, W., Mohan, R., and Dong, X. (2014). A noncanonical role for the CKI-RB-E2F cell-cycle signaling pathway in plant effector-triggered immunity. Cell Host-Microbe 16: 787-794. #Co-first authorship.

   •  Highlighted by commentary "Co-opting the cell-cycle machinery for plant immunity", Cell Host-Microbe (2014) 16: 707-709. 

9. Serrano, I.#, Gu, Y.#, Qi, D., Dubiella, U. and Innes, R.W. (2014). The Arabidopsis EDR1 protein kinase negatively regulates the ATL1 E3 ubiquitin ligase to suppress cell death. Plant Cell 26: 4532-4546. #Co-first authorship. 

10. Gu, Y. and Innes, R.W. (2012). The Keep On Going (KEG) protein of Arabidopsis regulates intracellular protein trafficking and is degraded during fungal infection. Plant Cell 24: 4717-4730.

•  Highlighted by research spotlight, IS-MPMI Reporter (2013) 1: 7 

11.  Gu, Y. and Innes, R.W. (2011). The Keep On Going (KEG) protein of Arabidopsis physically interacts with the Enhanced Disease Resistance 1 (EDR1) protein and recruits it to early endosomes; Plant Physiology 115: 1827-1838.

12.  Christiansen, K.M., Gu, Y., Rodibaugh, N.L. and Innes R.W. (2011). Negative regulation of defense signaling pathways by the EDR1 protein kinase. Molecular Plant Pathology 12: 746–758.





Lab number: +86-10-62793181

Office number: +86-10-62793182

Office location: Biotechnology Hall 4111

Tsinghua University,Beijing,China,100084
Tel:+86-10-62788604  Fax:+86-10-62788604  Email:admin-life@biomed.tsinghua.edu.cn