Research Interests

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					ZHANG Yonglian

Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Professor and Head of Shanghai Key Laboratory for Molecular Andrology
State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
320, Yue-yang Road, Shanghai, 200031, China
Tel. 8621-5492-1163
Fax. 8621-5492-1011


Epididymis is composed of a long tubule which linked testes and vas deferen, which is essential for sperm
maturation, protection and storage. Sperm came from testes is not fully differentiated. By passing through the
long tubule of epididymis, sperm gains its motility, capacitation and fertilization abilities by interacting with
epididymal secretory proteins and undergoing a series of modification in the epididymal lumen. Searching for
these epididymis-specific genes and their roles in sperm maturation will be of help not only in understanding
the molecular mechanisms of sperm maturation, but also providing new insights for personalized diagnosis and
treatment of infertility and male contraceptive drugs design. A large number of epididymis-specific genes were
cloned in our lab in the past decades, their characterizations, functions and participations in sperm motility,
capacitation and fertility have been investigated by using molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches.
Recently, we are starting to study the roles of non-coding RNA sequences in sperm maturation by in vitro and
in vivo approaches. Meantime, we pay much attention to translational medicine.

Now, there are three main fields undergoing in our lab:

   The roles of epididymis-specific genes in sperm maturation by using molecular, cellular approaches and
    genetic tools, including RNAi, conditional knock out or knock in;

   Participations of non-coding RNAs in epididymis and infertility diseases and underlying mechanisms by
    using in vitro and in vivo approaches;

   Epigenetic regulation on epididymal gene expression and its potential roles in sperm maturation;

   1953-1957, BS, Fu-Dan University, Department of Chemistry, CAS;
   1978-1982, PhD (equivalent), Institute of Biochemistry, CAS;


   1957-1978, Division of Radiobiology, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry;
   1978-1982, PhD (equivalent), Division of Steroid Hormones Biochemistry, Shanghai Institute of
   1985-1986, Assistant Professor, Division of Steroid Hormones Biochemistry, Shanghai Institute of
   1986-1991, Associate Professor, Division of Steroid Hormones Biochemistry, Shanghai Institute of
   1991-Present, Professor, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology;
   2007-Presnet, Director of Shanghai Key Laboratory for Molecular Andrology;


1983-1985, 1988 (July-November), 1989 (June-October) 1993 (September-November) Visiting Scholar,
        Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK. Characterization
        and transcriptional regulation of rat prostatic steroid binding protein(PSBP) gene expression.

1990 July-1991 February & 1991 June-1992 January Visiting Scholar, Department of Human Oncology,
        University of Wisconsin, Madison. Androgen responsive elements searching.

1995, 1997 (January-April) Visiting Scholar, The Laboratory for Reproductive Biology, University of North
        Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill. NC. USA The roles of the nuclear orphan receptor GCNF/RTR in

1999 (September-October) Visiting Prof., Dept. of Endocrinology, Division of Andrology, Sydney University,
        Sydney, Austrilia. Hormone regulation of RTR gene expression in hpg mice and testing a potential
        diagnosis marker for prostate cancer.


1977    A group merit awarded by the Ministry of the Chinese Defence

1977    A group merit awarded by the Science Congress of Shanghai
1978    The whole group won a grand achievement in scientific research from CAS

1978    A group merit awarded by the Chinese National Sciences Congress

1993    Merit Award in Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, first-class

1994    The Model Worker of the Shanghai City

1995    The Top Ten Woman of the Shanghai City

1997    The Top Ten Female scientists of the Shanghai City.

1997    National the third-class Merit in Natural Sciences.

1997    The second-class Merit award in sciences and technology of Shanghai.

2001    The best scientific paper awarded by the National Society of the Biochem. & mol. Biol.

2001    Elected as Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences

2002    The Life Science Merit awarded by He-Liang He-Li Foundation

2003    The Model Worker of China

2004    The Advanced Individual in National State Key Laboratory of China

2004    The Advanced Individual in National Basic Research Program “973” of China

2004    The Meritorious worker in Science and Technology of the Shanghai City

2005    The top ten female scientists in the Chinese Academy of Sciences

2007    The Nature Science Award of shanghai, first-class

2008    The National Nature Science Award of China, second-class


1.     P. Li, H. C. Chan, B. He, S. C. So, Y. W. Chung, Q. Shang, Y. D. Zhang, and Y. L. Zhang. 2001. An
       antimicrobial peptide gene found in the male reproductive system of rats. Science. 291(5509):
2.     Q. Liu, K. G. Hamil, P. Sivashanmugam, G. Grossman, R. Soundararajan, A. J. Rao, R. T. Richardson, Y.
       L. Zhang, M. G. O'Rand, P. Petrusz, F. S. French, and S. H. Hall. 2001. Primate epididymis-specific
       proteins: characterization of ESC42, a novel protein containing a trefoil-like motif in monkey and
       human. Endocrinology. 142(10): 4529-4539.
3.     Y. X. Hu, J. Y. Guo, L. Shen, Y. Chen, Z. C. Zhang, and Y. L. Zhang. 2002. Get effective polyclonal
       antisera in one month. Cell Res. 12(2): 157-160.
4.     K. G. Hamil, Q. Liu, P. Sivashanmugam, S. Yenugu, R. Soundararajan, G. Grossman, R. T. Richardson,
       Y. L. Zhang, M. G. O'Rand, P. Petrusz, F. S. French, and S. H. Hall. 2002. Cystatin 11: a new member
       of the cystatin type 2 family. Endocrinology. 143(7): 2787-2796.
5.     Y. Hu, Z. Zhou, C. Xu, Q. Shang, Y. D. Zhang, and Y. L. Zhang. 2003. Androgen down-regulated and
      region-specific expression of germ cell nuclear factor in mouse epididymis. Endocrinology. 144(4):
6.    C. X. Zhou, Y. L. Zhang, L. Xiao, M. Zheng, K. M. Leung, M. Y. Chan, P. S. Lo, L. L. Tsang, H. Y.
      Wong, L. S. Ho, Y. W. Chung, and H. C. Chan. 2004. An epididymis-specific beta-defensin is important
      for the initiation of sperm maturation. Nat Cell Biol. 6(5): 458-464.
7.    J. S. Zhang, Q. Liu, Y. M. Li, S. H. Hall, F. S. French, and Y. L. Zhang. 2006. Genome-wide profiling
      of segmental-regulated transcriptomes in human epididymis using oligo microarray. Mol Cell
      Endocrinol. 250(1-2): 169-177.
8.    H. X. Yuan, A. H. Liu, L. Zhang, H. Zhou, Y. Wang, H. Zhang, G. Wang, R. Zeng, Y. L. Zhang, and Z. J.
      Chen. 2006. Proteomic profiling of regionalized proteins in rat epididymis indicates consistency
      between specialized distribution and protein functions. J Proteome Res. 5(2): 299-307.
9.    H. Diao, C. Y. Guo, D. H. Lin, and Y. L. Zhang. 2007. Intein-mediated expression is an effective
      approach in the study of beta-defensins. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 357(4): 840-846.
10.   C. F. Zhu, Q. Liu, L. Zhang, H. X. Yuan, W. Zhen, J. S. Zhang, Z. J. Chen, S. H. Hall, F. S. French, and
      Y. L. Zhang. 2007. RNase9, an androgen-dependent member of the RNase A family, is specifically
      expressed in the rat epididymis. Biol Reprod. 76(1): 63-73.
11.   J. Y. Li, H. Y. Wang, J. Liu, Q. Liu, J. S. Zhang, F. C. Wan, F. J. Liu, S. H. Jin, and Y. L. Zhang. 2008.
      Transcriptome analysis of a cDNA library from adult human epididymis. DNA Res. 15(3): 115-122.
12.   Y. C. Zhou, M. Zheng, Q. X. Shi, L. Zhang, W. Zhen, W. Y. Chen, and Y. L. Zhang. 2008. An
      epididymis-specific secretory protein HongrES1 critically regulates sperm capacitation and male
      fertility. PLoS One. 3(12): e4106.
13.   W. Zhen, P. Li, B. He, J. Y. Guo, and Y. L. Zhang. 2009. The novel epididymis-specific
      beta-galactosidase-like gene Glb1l4 is essential in epididymal development and sperm maturation in rats.
      Biol Reprod. 80(4): 696-706.
14.   D. M. Cao, Y. Li, R. Yang, Y. Wang, Y. C. Zhou, H. Diao, Y. Zhao, Y. L. Zhang, and J. Lu. 2010.
      Lipopolysaccharide-induced epididymitis disrupts epididymal beta-defensin expression and inhibits
      sperm motility in rats. Biol Reprod. 83(6): 1064-1070.
15.   S. G. Hu, G. X. Yao, X. J. Guan, Z. M. Ni, W. B. Ma, E. M. Wilson, F. S. French, Q. Liu, and Y. L.
      Zhang. 2010. Research resource: Genome-wide mapping of in vivo androgen receptor binding sites in
      mouse epididymis. Mol Endocrinol. 24(12): 2392-2405.
16.   Y. Zhao, H. Diao, Z. M. Ni, S. G. Hu, H. G. Yu, and Y. L. Zhang. 2011. The epididymis-specific
      antimicrobial peptide beta-defensin 15 is required for sperm motility and male fertility in the rat (Rattus
      norvegicus). Cell Mol Life Sci. 68(4): 697-708.
17.   C. M. Wang, C. Y. Huang, Y. H. Gu, Y. C. Zhou, Z. M. Zhu, and Y. L. Zhang. 2011. Biosynthesis and
      distribution of Lewis X- and Lewis Y-containing glycoproteins in the murine male reproductive system.
      Glycobiology. 21(2): 225-234.

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