Tong-Bao LIU, Ph.D.
Professor, Microbiology Division, State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University
- Ph.D. Microbiology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. 2008
- M.S. Microbiology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. 2005
- B.Sc. Agronomy, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China. 2002
- 2015- Professor, State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, China.
- 2009-2015: Postdoc/Research Teaching Specialist, Public Health Research Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA
- 2008-2009: Postdoc, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, China.
Cryptococcus neoformans is a major yeast pathogen that often infects the human central nervous system (CNS) to cause meningitis, resulting in over 600,000 deaths worldwide annually. As an experimental model organism, Cryptococcus allows us to study the interactions between host and the fungal pathogens and how it sense extracellular signals that are important for their virulence.
- Protein ubiqutination and fungal virulence.
Ubiquitination is an enzymatic, post-translational modification (PTM) process in which an ubiquitin protein is attached to a substrate protein, requiring three types of enzyme: ubiquitin-activating enzymes (E1), ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2), and ubiquitin ligases (E3). E3 ubiquitin ligases play an essential role in regulation of many cellular processes, such as cell trafficking, signaling, cell cycle control, cyclins degradation etc. We identified Fbp1, a key F-box protein of an SCF (Skp1, Cullin, F-box protein) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that is essential for fungal virulence in neoformans. We are investigating how this E3 ubiquitin ligase is involved in fungal development and fungal virulence, and what are the responsible substrates. We are also extending our study to analyze other F-box proteins in Cryptococcus.
- Autophagy and fungal virulence
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved protein degradation pathway that involves cell degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components through the actions of lysosomes. The genes participating in this process are donated as ATGs. Autophagy was found to be essential for fungal virulence in many pathogenic fungi including C. neoformans. We are trying to identify new autophagy-related proteins and investigating how autophagy is involved in fungal virulence in C. neoformans.
- Functional and regulation mechanism study of transcription factor Frt1 in Cryptococcus neoformans (No.31400113), 2015-2017, 250,000RMB, National Nature Science Foundation of China, Host.
- Southwest University startup funds, 2015-2018, 500,000RMB, Southwest University, Host.
- Ero R, Dimitrova V, Chen Y, Bu W, Feng S, Liu T.B., Wang P, Xue C, Tan SM, Gao Y. (2015) Crystal structure of Gib2, a signal-transducing protein scaffold associated with ribosomes in Cryptococcus neoformans. Scientific reports. doi:10.1038/srep08688. (IF2014=5.578)
- Liu T.B., Subbian S., Pan W., Eugenin E., Xie J. and Xue C. (2014) Cryptococcus inositol utilization modulates the host protective immune response during brain infection. Cell Communication and Signaling. 2014 Sep 10;12(1):51.(IF2014=3.378)
- Liu T.B., Liu X.H., Lu J.P., Zhang L., Min H., Lin F.C. (2010) The cysteine protease MoAtg4 interacts with MoAtg8 and is required for differentiation and pathogenesis in Magnaporthe oryzae. Autophagy, 6(1): 74-85. (IF2014=11.753)
- Liu T.B., Kim J.C., Wang Y, Toffaletti D.L., Eugenin E, et al. (2013) Brain Inositol Is a Novel Stimulator for Promoting Cryptococcus Penetration of the Blood-Brain Barrier. PLoS Pathog 9(4): e1003247. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003247.(IF2014=7.562, Featured Research by PLoS Pathogens)
- Liu T.B., Xue C. (2014) The Fbp1-mediated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway controls Cryptococcus virulence by regulating fungal intracellular growth in macrophages. Infection and Immunity. 82(2): 557-568. doi:10.1128/IAI.00994-13. (IF2014=3.731)
- Liu T.B., Wang Y., Barker G.M., Fahmy H., Jiang L., Xue C. (2013) The Glucose Sensor-Like Protein Hxs1 Is a High-Affinity Glucose Transporter and Required for Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064239 (IF2014=3.234)
- Magditch D.A., Liu T.B., Xue C, Idnurm A (2012) DNA Mutations Mediate Microevolution between Host-Adapted Forms of the Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS Pathog 8(10): e1002936. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002936. (IF2014=7.562)
- Liu T.B., Perlin D., Xue C. (2012) Molecular mechanism of cryptococcal meningitis. Virulence. 3(2): 1–9. (IF2014=4.216)
- Liu T.B., Xue C. (2011) The Ubiqutin-Proteasome System and F-box Proteins in pathogenic fungi. Mycobiology. 39(4): 243-248.
- Wang Y., Liu T.B., Patel S., Jiang L., Xue C. (2011) The casein kinase I Cck1 regulates multiple signaling pathways and is essential for cell integrity and fungal virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. Eukaryotic Cell. 10(11): 1455-64. (IF2014=2.82)
- Liu T.B., Wang Y., Stukes S., Chen Q., Casadevall A., Xue C. (2011) The F-Box protein Fbp1 regulates sexual reproduction and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. Eukaryot Cell. 10(6): 791-802. (IF2014=2.82)
- Wang Y., Liu T.B. (co-first authors), Delmas G., Park S., Perlin D., Xue C. (2011) Two major inositol transporters and their role in cryptococcal virulence. Eukaryot Cell. 10(5): 618-28. (IF2014=2.82)
- Xue, C., Liu, TB., Chen, L., Li, W., Liu, I., Kronstad J.W., Seyfeng, A., and Heitman, J. (2010) Role of an expanded inositol transporter repertoire in Cryptococcus neoformans sexual reproduction and virulence. mBio, 1(1): e00084-10. (IF2014=6.786)
- Liu T.B., Chen G.Q., Min H., Lin F.C. (2009) MoFLP1, encoding a novel fungal fasciclin-like protein, is involved in conidiation and pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae. Zhejiang Univ. SCI. B, 10(6): 434-444. (IF2014=1.278)
- Lin F.C., Liu X.H., Lu J.P., Liu T.B. (2009) Studies on autophagy machinery in Magnaporthe oryzae. Advances in Genetics, Genomics and Control of Rice Blast Disease. Springer. pp.33-40.
- Liu X.H., Liu T.B., Lin F.C. (2008) Monitoring Autophagy in Magnaporthe oryzae. Methods in Enzymology, 451: 271-293. (IF2014=2.088)
- Liu T.B., Lu J.P., Liu X.H., Min H., Lin F.C. (2008) A simple and effective method for total RNA isolation of appressoria in Magnaporthe oryzae. Zhejiang Univ. SCI. B, 9(10): 811-817. (IF2014=1.278)
- Lu J.P., Duan Z.B., Liu T.B., Lin F.C. (2007) Cloning, sequencing and expression analysis of the NAR promoter activated during hyphal stage of Magnaporthe grisea. Zhejiang Univ. SCI. B, 8(9): 661-665. (IF2014=1.278)
- Liu T.B., Lu J.P., Lin F.C. (2006) Construction of subtraction libraries association with appressorium formation expressed genes of Magnaporthe grisea. Acta Phytopathologica Sinica, 36(2): 129-134.
- Lu J.P., Liu T.B., Lin F.C. (2005) Identification of mature appressorium-enriched transcripts in Magnaporthe grisea, the rice blast fungus, using suppression subtractive hybridization. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 245: 131-137. (IF2014=2.121)
- Lu J.P., Liu T.B., Lin F.C. (2005) Representative appressorium stage cDNA library of Magnaporthe grisea. Zhejiang Univ. SCI. B., 6B (2): 132-136. (IF2014=1.278)
Abstracts/Presentations in National and International Meetings:
- Gorden Research Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology, Plymouth, NH. June 2012: “The SCF(Fbp1) E3 ligase regulates sexual reproduction and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.”
- 8th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis, Charleston, SC. May 2011: “Role of inositol and fungal inositol transporters in Cryptococcus sexual reproduction and virulence.”
- 8th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis, Charleston, SC. May 2011: “SCF(Fbp1) regulates sexual reproduction and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.”
- Gorden Research Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology, Plymouth, NH. June 2010: “Role of inositol sensing and acquisition in the sexual development and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.”
- Gorden Research Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology, Plymouth, NH. June 2010: “A novel F-box protein Fbp1 regulates sexual reproduction and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans”