Liang GE, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor

2001-2005     B.S.                       

            Shandong Normal University

2005-2011     Ph.D.                      

            Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, SIBS, CAS

2011-2015     Postdoctoral Fellow                     

            University of California, Berkeley

2015-2017     Research Specialist           

            University of California, Berkeley

2017-             Assistant Professor/Principal Investigator

            School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University and Center for Life Sciences


Research interest

The nature of life is maintenance of metabolic homeostasis against the challenges from the environment. We are interested in understanding a fundamental question in cell biology: how cells maintain homeostasis in response to stresses. We focus on investigating three interconnected cellular processes: autophagy (a key mechanism for clearance and renewal of cellular components in response to stress), unconventional secretion (a recently identified ER-Golgi trafficking-independent secretion process under stress conditions), and organelle interaction (coordinated action of organelles through membrane contact to cope with stress). We employ cutting-edge techniques of cell biology, biochemistry, mouse model, and computational biology to study the mechanism and coordination of the three cellular processes, as well as to understand their biological functions and the related human diseases.

Selected publications

1. Min Zhang, Lei Liu, Xubo Lin, Yang Wang, Qing Guo, Ying Li, Shulin Li, Yuxin Sun, Di Zhang, Xiachen Lv, Li Zheng and Liang Ge*. A translocation pathway for vesicle-mediated unconventional protein secretion. Cell (2020) 181:637-652.
2. Min Zhang, and
Liang Ge*. Cell-Free Reconstitution of Autophagic Membrane Formation. Methods Mol Biol (2019), 1880:135-148. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8873-0_7.
3. Min Zhang, Yu Wang, and
Liang Ge*. Endomembrane remodeling in autophagic membrane formation. Autophagy (2018);14(5):918-920.
4. Min Zhang, Dawei Liu, and
Liang Ge*. In vitro dissection of autophagy. Curr Protoc Cell Biol (2017), 77, 11.23.1–11.23.17. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.3

5. Liang Ge*, Min Zhang, Sam Kenny, Anandita Mathur, Dawei Liu, Miharu Maeda, Kota Saito, Ke Xu, and Randy Schekman. Remodeling of ER-exit sites initiates a membrane supply pathway for autophagosome biogenesis. EMBO Report (2017) 18(9):1586-1603. * Corresponding author.

6. Livia W Brier, Min Zhang, Liang Ge*. Mechanistically dissecting autophagy: insights from in vitro reconstitution. J Mol Biol (2016) 8;428(9 Pt A):1700-13.*Corresponding author

7. Liang Ge, Livia Wilz and Randy Schekman. Biogenesis of autophagosomal precursors for LC3 lipidation from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment. Autophagy (2015) 11(12):2372-4

8. Liang Ge, Min Zhang and Randy Schekman. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and COPII generate LC3 lipidation vesicles from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment. eLife (2014) Nov 28; 3:e04135.

9. Liang Ge, Sulochanadevi Baskaran, Randy Schekman and James H Hurley. The protein-vesicle network of autophagy. Curr Opin Cell Biol (2014) 29C:18-24.

10. Liang Ge and Randy Schekman. The ER-Golgi intermediate compartment feeds the phagophore membrane. Autophagy (2013) 10(1):170-2

11. Liang Ge, David Melville, Min Zhang and Randy Schekman. The ER-Golgi intermediate compartment is a key membrane source for the LC3 lipidation step of autophagosome biogenesis. eLife (2013) Aug 6; 2:e00947. Selected for F1000Prime and highlighted by Daniel Klionsky [Amélie Bernard and Daniel J Klionsky. Defining the membrane precursor supporting the nucleation of the phagophore. Autophagy (2014) 10(1):1-2].

12. Liang Ge, Wei Qi, Li-Juan Wang, Hong-Hua Miao, Yu-Xiu Qu, Bo-Liang Li and Bao-Liang Song. Flotillins play an essential role in Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1-mediated cholesterol uptake. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2011) 108(2):551-556

13. Liang Ge, Jing Wang, Wei Qi, Hong-Hua Miao, Jian Cao, Yu-Xiu Qu, Bo-Liang Li and Bao-Liang Song. The cholesterol absorption inhibitor Ezetimibe acts by blocking the sterol-induced internalization of NPC1L1. Cell Metabolism (2008) 7:508-519. Selected for F1000Prime; Featured Article; Commented in Cell Metabolism (2008) 7:469-471

14. Jin-Hui Zhang*,Liang Ge*, Wei Qi, Liqing Zhang, Hong-Hua Miao, Bo-Liang Li, Maojun Yang and Bao-Liang Song. The N-terminal domain of NPC1L1 protein binds cholesterol and plays essential roles in cholesterol uptake. J Biol Chem (2011) 286(28):25088-097            *Equal contribution

15. Bei-Bei Chu*, Liang Ge*, Yang Zhao, Jing Wang, Bo-Liang Li and Bao-Liang Song. Requirement of myosin Vb·Rab11a·Rab11-FIP2 complex in cholesterol-regulated translocation of NPC1L1 to the cell surface. J Biol Chem (2009) 284(33):22481-90.  *Equal contribution


NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) (2015-2017)

Jane Coffin Child Foundation Fellowship (2013-2015)

Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship (2012)


Contact information