• 2021

    Liu D*Thélot FA*, Piccirilli JA, Liao M#, Yin P#. Sub-3 Angstrom cryo-EM structure of RNA enabled by engineered homomeric self-assembly.
    Thélot FA, Zhang W, Song K, Xu C, Huang J, Liao M. Distinct allosteric mechanisms of first-generation MsbA inhibitorsScience. 2021 Oct 29;374(6567):580-585. doi: 10.1126/science.abi9009. Epub 2021 Sep 23. PMID: 34554829.
    - Featured in Current Biology: How to avoid a post-antibiotic age (by Michael Gross)
    Sharma S*, Zhou R*, Wan L, Shan Feng, Song K, Xu C, Li Y#, Liao M#. Mechanism of LolCDE as a molecular extruder of bacterial triacylated lipoproteins. Nat Commun 12, 4687 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24965-1. *Co-first author. #Co-corresponding author.
    Plummer AM*, Culbertson AT*, Liao M. The ABCs of Sterol Transport. Annu Rev Physiol. 2021 Feb 10;83:153-181. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-031620-094944. Epub 2020 Nov 3. PMID: 33141631. *Co-first author.


  • 2020

    Luo M*, Zhou W*, Patel H, Srivastava AP, Symersky J, Bonar MM, Faraldo-Gómez JD#, Liao M#, Mueller DM#. Bedaquiline inhibits the yeast and human mitochondrial ATP synthases. Commun Biol. 2020 Aug 19;3(1):452. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01173-z. PMID: 32814813; PMCID: PMC7438494. *Co-first author; #Co-corresponding author.

    Fan M, Zhang J, Tsai CW, Orlando BJ, Rodriguez M, Xu Y, Liao M, Tsai MF, Feng L. Structure and mechanism of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter holocomplex. Nature. 2020 Jun;582(7810):129-133. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2309-6. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID: 32494073.

    Sui X, Wang K, Gluchowski NL, Elliott SD, Liao M#, Walther TC#, Farese RV Jr#. Structure and catalytic mechanism of a human triacylglycerol-synthesis enzyme. Nature. 2020 May;581(7808):323-328. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2289-6. Epub 2020 May 13. PMID: 32433611. #Co-corresponding author.

    Orlando BJ, Liao M. ABCG2 transports anticancer drugs via a closed-to-open switch. Nat Commun. 2020 May 8;11(1):2264. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16155-2. PMID: 32385283; PMCID: PMC7210939.
    - Selected for Editors' Highlights (

    Thélot F, Orlando BJ, Li Y, Liao M. High-resolution views of lipopolysaccharide translocation driven by ABC transporters MsbA and LptB2FGC. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2020 Apr 23;63:26-33. doi: 10.1016/ Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32335504.

    Wu X, Siggel M, Ovchinnikov S, Mi W, Svetlov V, Nudler E, Liao M, Hummer G, Rapoport TA. Structural basis of ER-associated protein degradation mediated by the Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase complex. Science. 2020 Apr 24;368(6489):eaaz2449. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz2449. PMID: 32327568.


    2015 - 2019

  • Cryo-EM map of NKCC1

    Structure and mechanism of the cation-chloride cotransporter NKCC1.
    Chew TA*, Orlando BJ*, Zhang J*, Latorraca NR, Wang A, Hollingsworth SA, Chen DH, Dror RO, Liao M#, Feng L#.  

    Nature. 2019 Aug;572(7770):488-492. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1438-2.

    PMID: 31367042

    EMDB (PDB): 0470 (6NPH), 0471 (6NPJ), 0472 (6NPK), 0473 (6NPL), 0474, 0475

  • Large protein organelles form a new iron sequestration system with high storage capacity.
    Giessen TW#, Orlando BJ, Verdegaal AA, Chambers MG, Gardener J, Bell DC, Birrane G, Liao M#, Silver PA#.  

    Elife. 2019 Jul 8;8. pii: e46070. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46070.

    PMID: 31282860; PMCID: PMC6668986

    EMDB (PDB): 9383 (6NJ8)
    PDB: 6N63

  • Structural basis of lipopolysaccharide extraction by the LptB2FGC complex.
    Li Y*, Orlando BJ*, Liao M.  

    Nature. 2019 Mar;567(7749):486-490. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1025-6.

    PMID: 30894744; PMCID: PMC6532066

    EMDB: 9118 (LptB2FG), 9125 (LptB2FGC, final map), 9128 (LptB2FGC, map with clear LPS density), 9129 (LptB2FGC, βJRlong map), 9130 (LptB2FGC, βJRshort map), 9124 (vanadate-trapped LptB2FG) and 9126 (vanadate-trapped LptB2FGC).
    PDB: 6MHU (LptB2FG), 6MI7 (LptB2FGC), 6MHZ (vanadate-trapped LptB2FG) and 6MI8 (vanadate-trapped LptB2FGC)

  • Structural basis of coreceptor recognition by HIV-1 envelope spike.
    Shaik MM, Peng H, Lu J, Rits-Volloch S, Xu C, Liao M, Chen B.  

    Nature. 2019 Jan;565(7739):318-323. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0804-9.

    PMID: 30542158; PMCID: PMC6391877.

  • DNA melting initiates the RAG catalytic pathway.
    Ru H, Mi W, Zhang P, Alt FW, Schatz DG, Liao M#, Wu H#.

    Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2018 Aug;25(8):732-742. doi:10.1038/s41594-018-0098-5.

    PMID: 30061602; PMCID: PMC6080600

  • Cryo-electron microscopy structure of the lipid droplet-formation protein seipin.
    Sui X, Arlt H, Brock KP, Lai ZW, DiMaio F, Marks DS, Liao M#, Farese RV Jr#,
    Walther TC#.

    J Cell Biol. 2018 Oct 16. pii: jcb.201809067. doi:10.1083/jcb.201809067.

    PMID: 30327422
    EMDB: 9146
    PDB: 6MLU

  • X-ray and cryo-EM structures of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter.
    Fan C*, Fan M*, Orlando BJ*, Fastman NM*, Zhang J, Xu Y, Chambers MG, Xu X, Perry
    K, Liao M#, Feng L#.

    Nature. 2018 Jul 11. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0330-9.
    View full article:

    PMID: 29995856
    EMDB: 7800(Ma in A8–35) | 7801(Fg in PMAL-C8) | 7802,7803,7804(Fg in nanodiscs: all,type1,type2)
    PDB: 6C5W | 6C5R

  • Structure basis for RNA-guided DNA degradation by Cascade and Cas3.
    Xiao Y*, Luo M*, Dolan AE, Liao M# , Ke A#.

    Science. 2018 Jul 6;361(6397). pii: eaat0839. doi: 10.1126/science.aat0839.

    PMID: 29880725
    EMDB: 7347 (prenicking state) | 7346 (postnicking state)
    PDB: 6C66 (prenicking state)

  • High-resolution cryo-EM analysis of the yeast ATP synthase in a lipid membrane.
    Srivastava AP*, Luo M*, Zhou W, Symersky J, Bai D, Chambers MG, Faraldo-Gómez JD, Liao M#, Mueller DM#.

    Science. 2018 Apr 12. pii: eaas9699. doi:10.1126/science.aas9699
    Abstract  |  Reprint  |  Full text

    PMID: 29650704
    EMDB: 7548(F1Fo) | 7549(Fo) | 7546(F1Fo-oligomycin) | 7547(Fo-oligomycin)
    PDB: 6CP6(F1Fo) | 6CP7(Fo) | 6CP3(F1Fo-oligomycin) | 6CP5(Fo-oligomycin)

  • Structural basis of MsbA-mediated lipopolysaccharide transport.
    Wei Mi, Yanyan Li, Sung Hwan Yoon, Robert K. Ernst, Thomas Walz, Maofu Liao.

    Nature. 2017 Sep 6. doi: 10.1038/nature23649.
    View full article:

    PMID: 28869968
    EMDB: 8469 | 8467 | 8465 | 8669 | 8670 | 8671 PDB: 5TV4 | 5TTP 

  • Cryo-EM structure of the protein-conducting ERAD channel Hrd1 in complex with Hrd3.
    Stefan Schoebel*, Wei Mi*, Alexander Stein, Sergey Ovchinnikov, Ryan Pavlovicz, Frank DiMaio, David Baker, Melissa G. Chambers, Huayou Su, Dongsheng Li, Tom A. Rapoport#, Maofu Liao#.

    Nature. 2017 Aug 17;548(7667):352-355. doi: 10.1038/nature23314.

    PMID: 28682307
    EMDB: 8637 | 8642 | 8639 | 8638  PDB: 5V6P | 5V7V  EM Data: EMPIAR-10099

  • Structure Basis for Directional R-loop Formation and Substrate Handover Mechanisms in Type I CRISPR-Cas System.
    Yibei Xiao*, Min Luo*, Robert P. Hayes, Jonathan Kim, Sherwin Ng, Fang Ding, Maofu Liao#, Ailong Ke#.

    Cell. 2017 Jun 29;170(1):48-60.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.012..
    PMID: 28666122
    EMDB: 8478 | 8477  PDB: 5U0A | 5U07

    Read more @ HMS News, Science Newsline,, and Science Daily.

  • Molecular mechanism of V(D)J recombination from synaptic RAG1-RAG2 complex structures.
    Heng Ru, Melissa G. Chambers, Tian-Min Fu, Alexander B. Tong, Maofu Liao#, Hao Wu#.

    Cell. 2015 Nov 19;163(5):1138-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.10.055.
    PMID: 26548953  PMCID: PMC4690471
    EMDB: 6487 | 6488 | 6489 | 6490 | 6491     PDB: 3JBW | 3JBX | 3JBY     EM Data: EMPIAR-10049

  • 2010 - 2014

    Publications at UCSF (Molecular Electron Microscopy)

    Gira Bhabha, Hui-Chun Cheng, Nan Zhang, Arne Moeller, Maofu Liao, Jeffrey A. Speir, Yifan Cheng, Ronald D. Vale. (2014) Allosteric communication in the dynein motor domain. Cell 159:857-68. PMID: 25417161

    Maofu Liao, Erhu Cao, David Julius and Yifan Cheng. (2014) Single particle electron cryo-microscopy of a mammalian ion channel. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 27: 1–7. PMID: 24681231

    Maofu Liao*, Erhu Cao*, David Julius and Yifan Cheng. (2013) Structure of the TRPV1 ion channel determined by electron cryo-microscopy. Nature 504, 107–112. (* equal contribution) PMID: 24305160
    (See also NEWS & VIEWS by Richard Henderson, UCSF research story)

    Erhu Cao*, Maofu Liao*, Yifan Cheng and David Julius. (2013) TRPV1 structures in distinct conformations reveal activation mechanisms. Nature 504, 113–118. (* equal contribution) PMID: 24305161

    Daniele Canzio, Maofu Liao, Nariman Naber, Ed Pate, Adam Larson, Shenping Wu, Diana Marina, Jennifer Garcia, Hiten Madhani, Roger Cooke, Peter Schuck, Yifan Cheng, Geeta J. Narlikar. (2013) A conformational switch in HP1 releases auto-inhibition to drive heterochromatin assembly. Nature 496: 377–381. PMID: 23485968

    Dina Schneidman-Duhovny, Andrea Rossi, Agustin Avila-Sakar, Seung Joong Kim, Javier Velázquez-Muriel, Pavel Strop, Hong Liang, Kristin A. Krukenberg, Maofu Liao, Ho Min Kim, Solmaz Sobhanifar, Volker Dötsch, Arvind Rajpal, Jaume Pons, David A. Agard, Yifan Cheng and Andrej Sali. (2012) A method for integrative structure determination of protein-protein complexes. Bioinformatics 28(24): 3282-3289. PMID: 23093611

    Shenping Wu, Agustin Avila-Sakar, JungMin Kim, David S. Booth, Charles H. Greenberg, Andrea Rossi, Maofu Liao, Xueming Li, Akram Alian, Sarah L. Griner, Narinobu Juge, Yadong Yu, Claudia M. Mergel, Javier Chaparro-Riggers, Pavel Strop, Robert Tampé, Robert H. Edwards, Robert M. Stroud, Charles S. Craik, Yifan Cheng. (2012) Fabs enable single particle cryoEM studies of small proteins. Structure 20(4): 582-92. PMID: 22483106

    Metka Lenassi, Gerard Cagney, Maofu Liao, Tomaž Vaupotič, Koen Bartholomeeusen, Yifan Cheng, Nevan J. Krogan, Ana Plemenitaš, B. Matija Peterlin. (2010) HIV Nef is secreted in exosomes and triggers apoptosis in bystander CD4+ T cells. Traffic 11: 110-122. PMID: 19912576

  • 2004 - 2010

    Publications at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Protein Biochemistry and Virus Membrane Fusion)

    Margaret Kielian, Chantal Chanel-Vos and Maofu Liao. (2010) Alphavirus entry and membrane fusion. Viruses 2010, 2(4): 796-825. PMID: 21546978

    Maofu Liao, Claudia Sánchez-San Martín, Aihua Zheng and Margaret Kielian. (2010) In vitro reconstitution reveals key intermediate states of trimer formation by the dengue virus membrane fusion protein. Journal of Virology 84(11): 5730-40. PMID: 20335260

    M. Umashankar, Claudia Sánchez-San Martín, Maofu Liao, Brigid Reilly, Alice Guo, Gwen Taylor, and Margaret Kielian. (2008) Differential cholesterol binding by class II fusion proteins determines membrane fusion properties. Journal of Virology 82(18): 9245-53. PMID: 18632857

    Maofu Liao and Margaret Kielian. (2006) Functions of the stem region of the Semliki Forest virus fusion protein during virus fusion and assembly. Journal of Virology 80(22): 11362-11369. PMID: 16971447

    Maofu Liao and Margaret Kielian. (2006). Site-directed antibodies against the stem region reveal low pH-induced conformational changes of the Semliki Forest virus fusion protein. Journal of Virology 80(19): 9599-9607. PMID: 16973563

    Maofu Liao and Margaret Kielian. (2005). Domain III from class II fusion proteins functions as a dominant-negative inhibitor of virus membrane fusion. Journal of Cell Biology 171(1): 111-120. PMID: 16216925

    Maofu Liao and Margaret Kielian. (2005). The conserved glycine residues in the transmembrane domain of the Semliki Forest virus fusion protein are not required for assembly and fusion. Virology 332(1): 430-437. PMID: 15661173

    Don L. Gibbons, Anna Ahn, Maofu Liao, Lena Hammar, R. Holland Cheng, and Margaret Kielian. (2004) Multistep regulation of membrane insertion of the fusion peptide of Semliki Forest virus. Journal of Virology 78(7): 3312-3318. PMID: 15016852

  • 2000

    Publications at Tsinghua University (HIV vaccine design)

    Maofu Liao, Yun Lu, Yi Xiao, Manfred P. Dierich, Ying-Hua Chen. (2000) Induction of high level of specific antibody response to the neutralizing epitope ELDKWA on HIV-1 gp41 by peptide-vaccine. Peptides. 21(4): 463-468. PMID: 10822100

    Yi Xiao, Maofu Liao, Yun Lu, Manfred P. Dierich, Ying-Hua Chen. (2000) Epitope-vaccines: a new strategy to induce high levels of neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1. Immunobiology 201(3-4): 323-331. PMID: 10776789