Bing Zhou

Bing Zhou, Ph.D.  Professor

1983-1987 Fudan University BS, Genetics

1989-1995 University of California, Berkeley, PhD, Molecular Cell Biology

1989-1995: Developmental Genetics, Drosophila

1995-2001: Human Genetics

2002-present: using model organisms to study drugs and diseases

1995-2001: Postdoctoral fellow, University of California, San Francisco/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2002- present: Tsinghua University, Professor


Research interest

Our lab is interested in the following two areas:

1. Mode of action of artemisinin

Malaria is one of the three major infectious diseases currently inflicting human being. Artemisinin, or Qinghaosu, is the only major hope that we have against drug-resistant malaria parasites. Despite years of use and research, the mode of action of artemisinin remains a mystery.

Our prior work with yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has shown artemisinin inhibits yeast through interfering with its mitochondrial functions. Our current work is to explore exactly how this work was achieved, by combining the use of yeast, malaria parasites and mammalian cells.

2. Metal homeostasis and diseases in Drosophila models

The homeostasis of metals, such as zinc and iron, is not well elucidated in multicellular organisms. Many diseases may be relevant to trace metal metabolism. For example, neurodegeneration is often accompanied by metal accumulation in the affected pathological regions. In addition, several important molecules involved in neurodegeneration such as APP, Prion, have been shown to bind metals with high affinity. It is unclear, however, whether this association is functional or significant in disease development. 

The excellent genetic platform of Drosophila has not yet been well taken advantage of to address the biology of trace element metabolism. We adopt the fruit fly to study metal homeostasis and diseases. Our study provides a nice complement to the existing mammalian studies. 


Courses offered


Selected publications

1.   Yin S, Qin Q, Zhou B (2017). Functional studies of Drosophila zinc transporters reveal the mechanism for zinc excretion in Malpighian tubules. BMC Biol. 2017 Feb 14; 15(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s12915-017-0355-9.
2.   Xiao G, Wan Z, Fan Q, Tang X, Zhou B (2014). The metal transporter ZIP13 supplies iron into the secretory pathway in Drosophila melanogaster. Elife 3:e03191. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03191.
3.   Huang Y, Wu Z, Cao Y, Lang M, Lu B, Zhou B (2014). Direct Zinc Binding Is Critical for Tau Toxicity Independent of Hyperphosphorylation. Cell Reports 8(3):831-42.
4.   Xiao G, Fan Q, Wang X, Zhou B (2013). Huntington disease arises from a combinatory toxicity of polyglutamine and copper binding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110 (37):14995-5000.
5.   Qin Q, Wang X, Zhou B (2013). Functional studies of Drosophila zinc transporters reveal the mechanism for dietary zincabsorption and regulation. BMC Biol. 11:101. doi: 10.1186/1741-7007-11-101.
6.   Tang X, Zhou B (2013). Ferritin is the key to dietary iron absorption and tissue iron detoxification in Drosophila melanogaster. FASEB J. 27(1):288-298.
7.   Cui Y, Zhao S, Wu Z, Dai P, Zhou B (2012). Mitochondrial Release of the NADH Dehydrogenase Ndi1 Induces Apoptosis in Yeast. Molecular Biology of the Cell 23:4373-4382.
8.   Feng Y*, Li W*, Li J*, Wang J, Ge J, Xu D, Liu Y, Wu K, Zeng Q, Wu J, Tian C, Zhou B, Maojun Yang (2012). Structural insight into the type-II mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenases. Nature 491:478-482 (*lab student co-first author)
9.   Lang M, Wang L, Fan Q, Xiao G, Wang X, Zhong Y, Zhou B (2012). Genetic Inhibition of SLC 39 Family Transporter 1 Ameliorates Abeta Pathology in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's Disease. PLoS Genetics 8(4):e1002683
10.   Wu Z, Du Y, Xue H, Wu Y, Zhou B (2012). Aluminum induces neurodegeneration and its toxicity arises from increased iron accumulation and ROS production. Neurobiology of Aging 33(1):199-211. e1-12
11.   Wang J, Huang L, Li J, Fan Q, Rong Y, Li Y, Zhou B. (2010) Artemisinin directly targets malarial mitochondria through its specific mitochondrial activation. PLoS One 5(3): e9582
12.   Wu Z, Li C, Lv S, Zhou B. (2009). Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration: insights from a Drosophila model. Human Molecular Genetics 18(19):3659-3672.
13.   Wang X, Wu Y, and Zhou B. (2009). Dietary zinc absorption is mediated by ZnT1 in Drosophila melanogaster. FASEB J. 23(8):2650-2661
14.   Li W, Mo W, Shen D, Sun L, Wang J, Lu S, Gitschier JM, Zhou B. (2005). Yeast model uncovers dual roles of mitochondria in the action of artemisinin. PLoS Genetics. 1(3): 0329-0334
15.   Zhou B, Westaway S, Levinson B, Johnson M., Gitschier J, Hayflick S. (2001). A novel pantothenate kinase is defective in Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome. Nature Genetics (cover), 28(4), 345-349
16.   Zhou B, Gitschier J. (1997) hCTR1: A human gene for copper uptake identified by complementation in yeast. PNAS 94, 7481-7486.


Contact information

Office: Room109, Life Science Building, Tsinghua University

Tel: 86-10-62795322

Fax: 86-10-62772253