The cryo-EM structure of E. coli CueR-TAC

  Transcription is the first and the most-regulated step of gene expression, by which RNA polymerase (RNAP) copies genetic information from DNA to RNA. It is fundamentally important to understand the structure, function, and regulation of the transcription machinery--RNAP. RNAPs are well conserved across bacterial species but are less conserved between bacteria and human. Therefore, bacterial RNAPs are promising drug target for antibiotic discovery. Two categories of bacterial RNAP inhibitors (Rifamycins and Fidaxomicin) are currently in clinical use for the treatment of various infectious diseases.


  Our lab focuses on the molecular mechanism of transcription and transcription regulation. We also develop new bactericidal antibiotics targeting bacterial RNA polymerase. We employ multiple approaches in Structure biology (X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM), Biochemistry, Enzymology, Microbiology, and Bioinformatics. Our current projects include:

  • Molecular mechanism of bacterial transcription initiation

  • Transcription regulation by alternative initiator “sigma” factors

  • Molecular mechanism of transcription-coupled DNA repair

  • Molecular mechanism of bacterial transcription termination

  • Discovery and mechanism study of new RNAP regulatory proteins

  • Discovery of new antibiotics targeting bacterial RNA polymerase

 Lab  News

Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology,

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

The Zhang Lab

| CAS Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology | CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences |


300 Fenglin Rd. Shanghai, China​​