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XIE, Can
Office Address: Jinguang Life Science Building,Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District,Beijing, P.R.China 100871
Lab Address: Jinguang Life Science Building,Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District,Beijing, P.R.China 100871
Lab Homepage: http://www.Navigation-X.org
Personal Homepage: http://www.Navigation-X.org/can-xie
Please visit our website for more information, updates and useful links: http://www.Navigation-X.org​

Dr. Can Xie received his B.A. in Biology with Prof. Youhui Shen from Hunan Normal University in 1995, his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry with Prof. Shouyi Chen and Prof. Jinsong Zhang from Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2001. He did a fellowship with Dr. Timothy Springer in Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. He began as Principal Investigator at Peking University (PKU) in 2009 and has been here ever since. He currently is Principal Investigator of Biophysics at PKU, and Adjunct Professor at Beijing Computational Science Research Center (CSRC), Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP).

Dr. Xie and his lab have made significant contributions to the field of animal magnetoreception and navigation by identifying the world’s first putative magnetoreceptor (MagR, Qin et al. 2016, Nature Materials), a protein with innate magnetic feature. It was regarded as “opened a new field” and “remarkable discovery”, and has profound influence on both biological and physical fields. This work has been followed up by many other scientists in the world.

Dr. Xie and his lab are making contributions to the structural coloration and bio-invisibility field as well. Camouflage and warning coloration are used extensively in nature and by humans in some form or another since the beginning of human civilization. We are trying to understand the molecular mechanism of reflectin-mediated dynamic structural coloration and bio-invisibility, and with a perspective for bioinspired photonic materials.

Almost 15 years of research experience on receptor and sensory biology, walking through a long journey from ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology and biophysics, Dr. Can Xie made multiple discoveries previously.

Dr. Xie previously successfully isolated a new transmembrane receptor gene NTHK1 in plant (Nicotiana tabacum histidine kinase-like 1) during his Ph.D with Prof. Shouyi Chen and Jinsong Zhang. He showed that NTHK1 is actually not a Histidine Kinase (HK) as suggested by its high homology to its ancient ancestors in prokaryotes, but a Serine-Threonine Kinase (STK). The findings not only overturned a previously proposed mechanism for ethylene receptor signaling which based on a false prediction that all ethylene receptors are histidine-kinase, but also provided an explanation why there is no HK found in animals whereas STK are wide-spreaded, opposite to the prokaryotes world. The work has been successfully replicated by many labs later on and widely accepted worldwide.

During his postdoc fellowship with Timothy Springer at Harvard, Dr. Xie I determined the electron microscopic (EM) structures of two leukocyte I-domain containing integrins (L2 andX2) for the first time (working with Nori Nishida). Three distinctive conformations were identified and the transition between a bent conformation and two extended conformations was suggested as a universal mechanism for integrin activation. Integrin aXb2 has every unfavorable features haunting structural studies, such as high molecular weight (>200KDa), heterodimer, disulfide-bond, highly glycosylated, sticky (the protein literally binds almost everything including plastic tube, glass, BSA and so on), and extremely flexibility, the crystal diffracted very poorly, and getting the phase remained one of the biggest obstacles for structural determination. Dr. Xie spent eight years and finally solved the long-waiting crystal structure of integrin aXb2, which is also the first crystal structure of complement receptor (working with Jianghai Zhu). The work has been done during this stage by Dr. Xie and other Scientists, explain at the molecular level how immunologically important integrins become activated in the immunological synapse in immune responses, at the leukocyte-endothelial interface in leukocyte trafficking from blood to tissues, and in phagocytosis of opsonized pathogens.

Dr. Can Xie`s academic interests now focus on the the molecular mechanism of (I) animal magnetoreception, migration and navigation, (II) structural color, dynamic color change and bio-invisibility. As Dr. Hans Frauenfelder proposed in Physical Biology 2014, ‘Ask not what physics can do for biology—ask what biology can do for physics’, Dr. Xie`s lab has been working on the interface between the biological and physical worlds. And he loves it.
Honors and Awards
“2015 Top 10 Scientific Advances in the Life Sciences of China” (for the discovery of animal magnetoreceptor MagR) by China Association for Science and Technology, 2016

Roche Research Award for Outstanding Young Teachers, 2012
Professional Society Affiliations
2016-Present Royal Institute of Navigation, UK
2009-Present The Chinese Crystallographic Society
2015-Present The Biophysics Society of China
2005-2012 The American Crystallographic Association
2002-2009 The Protein Society
Editorial Activities
2014-Present: Editorial Board, Progress in Biochemistry and Biophysics

Ad hoc Reviewer of:
Nature Materials
Plos Biology
IEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Scientific Reports
Current Molecular Medicine (CMM)
PLoS One
FASEB Journal
Science China
Chinese Journal of Biotechnology
The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology:
Molecular Biology Reports
Research Interests
My lab at Peking University focuses on receptor biology, and is pursuing research in two major directions: (I) The Molecular machanism of magnetoreception and navigation in animals and (II) Coloration and Structural Color (The color of an organism is a structural adaptation that helps it survive).

Integration of structural biology, functional biology and computational biology in our research allows us to see the future of biological interactions at the higher resolution and indynamic. Almost 15 years of research experience on receptor and sensory biology, walking through a long journey from ecology, molecular biology,biochemistry, structural biology and biophysics, now we can tackle complex receptorproteins and understand fundamental biological questions at atomic level.

Please visit our website for more information, updates and useful links: http://www.Navigation-X.org​
Representative Peer-Reviewed Publications
1. Zhe Guan, Tiantian Cai, Zhongmin Liu, Yunfeng Dou, Xuesong Hu, Peng Zhang, Xin Sun, Hongwei Li, Yao Kuang, Qiran Zhai, Hao Ruan, Xuanxuan Li, Zeyang Li, Qihui Zhu, Jingeng Mai, Qining Wang, Luhua Lai, Jianguo Ji, Haiguang Liu, Bin Xia, Taijiao Jiang, Shu-Jin Luo, Hong-Wei Wang, Can Xie*, Origin of the reflectin gene and hierarchical assembly of its protein. Current Biology (In Press), 2017
2. Siying Qin, Hang Yin, Celi Yang, Yunfeng Dou, Zhongmin Liu, Peng Zhang, He Yu, Yulong Huang, Jing Feng, Junfeng Hao, Jia Hao, Lizong Deng, Xiyun Yan, Xiaoli Dong, Zhongxian Zhao, Taijiao Jiang, Hong-WeiWang, Shu-Jin Luo and Can Xie*, A magnetic protein biocompass, Nature Materials, 15(2): 217-226. 2016 (advance online publication, 16 November 2015 (DOI 10.1038/nature4484)).
3. Christopher S. Kollmann, Xiaopeng Bai, Ching-Hsuan Tsai, Hongfang Yang, Kenneth E. Lind, Steven R. Skinner, Zhengrong Zhu, David I. Israel, John W. Cuozzo, Barry A. Morgan, Koichi Yuki, Can Xie, Timothy A. Springer, Motomu Shimaoka, Ghotas Evindar , Application of encoded library technology (ELT) to a protein–protein interaction target: Discovery of a potent class of integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) antagonists , Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry , 2014 , in press (online published)
4. Liu L, Jin L, Huang X, Geng Y, Li F, Qin Q, Wang R, Ji S, Zhao S, Xie Q, Wei C, Xie C, Ding B, Li Y. , OsRFPH2-10, a RING-H2 Finger E3 Ubiquitin Ligase, Is Involved in Rice Antiviral Defense in the Early Stages of Rice dwarf virus Infection , Mol Plant , 2014 , online published
5. Lin L, Tian X, Hong S, Dai P, You Q, Wang R, Feng L, Xie C, Tian ZQ, Chen X. , A bioorthogonal Raman reporter strategy for SERS detection of glycans on live cells , Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. , 2013 , 2013 Jul 8;52(28):7266-71
6. Xu X, Dong GX, Hu XS, Miao L, Zhang XL, Zhang DL, Yang HD, Zhang TY, Zou ZT, Zhang TT, Zhuang Y, Bhak J, Cho YS, Dai WT, Jiang TJ, Xie C, Li RQ, Luo SJ . , The genetic basis of white tigers , Current Biology , 2013 , 1031-1035
7. Lianshun Feng, Senlian Hong, Jie Rong, Qiancheng You, Peng Dai, Rongbing Huang, Yanhong Tan, Weiyao Hong, Can Xie, Jing Zhao, and Xing Chen , Bifunctional Unnatural Sialic Acids for Dual Metabolic Labeling of Cell-Surface Sialylated Glycans , J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2013 , DOI: 10.1021/ja402326z.,( co-corresponding author)
8. Xie C, Zhu J, Chen X, Mi L, Nishida N, Springer TA , Structure of an integrin with an aI domain, complement receptor type 4. , EMBO J , 2010 , 29(3): 666-679., (It is the first complement receptor structure and also the first αI domain integrin structure.)
9. Xing Chen, Can Xie, Noritaka Nishida, Zongli Li, Thomas Walz, and Timothy A. Springer , Requirement of open headpiece conformation for activation of leukocyte integrin αXβ2 , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA , 2010 , 107: 14727-32
10. Xie C, et. al, , Stabilized Low Affinity Conformation of Integrins for Drug Discovery. , US Patent , 2008 , NP Ref: 033393-063940-P; ,(The patent is about a new technology of expressing and purifying huge, heterodimeric, glycoprotein with mammalian expression systems)
11. Vorup-Jensen, T, Chi, L, Gjelstrup, LC, Jensen, UB, Jewett CA, Xie C, Shimaoka M, Linhardt RJ, Springer TA , Binding between the integrin αXβ2 (CD11c/CD18) and heparin , J. Biol. Chem. , 2007 , 282:30869-77
12. Nishida N*, Xie C*, Shimaoka M, Cheng Y, Walz T, Springer TA , Activation of leukocyte β2 integrins by conversion from bent to extended conformation , Immunity , 2006 , 583-594 (* : Co-first author),(It is the first EM structure of aI Integrins. It also provided structural basis of antibody activation of integrin function).
13. Xie C, Shimaoka M, Xiao T, Schwab P, Klickstein LB, Springer TA , The integrin α subunit leg extends at a Ca2+-dependent epitope in the thigh/genu interface upon activation , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA , 2004 , 101: 15422-15427
14. Chen JF, Takagi J, Xie C, Xiao T, Luo BH, Springer TA , The relative influence of metal ion binding sites in the I-like domain and the interface with the hybrid domain on rolling and firm adhesion by integrin α4β7 , J. Biol. Chem. , 2004 , 279: 55556-55561
15. Xie C, Zhang JS, Zhou HL, Li J, Zhang ZG, Wang DW, Chen SY , Serine/threonine kinase activity in the putative histidine kinase-like ethylene receptor NTHK1 from tobacco , Plant J. , 2003 , 33(2):385-393,(It is the first report of Ser/Thr kinase activity, but not Histidine kinase activity of plant ethylene receptor, which overturned a previously proposed mechanism for ethylene signaling based on histidine kinase activity of the receptors)
16. Xie C, Zhang ZG, Zhang JS, He XJ, Cao WH, He SJ, Chen SY , Spatial expression and characterization of a putative ethylene receptor protein NTHK1 in tobacco , Plant Cell Physiol. , 2002 , 43(7):810-815
17. Zhang JS *, Xie C *, Shen YG, Chen SY, 2001, , A two-component gene (NTHK1) encoding a putative ethylene receptor homolog is both developmently- and stress-regulated in tobacco , Thero. Appl. Genet. , 2001 , 102 (6/7): 815-824. (* : Co-first author)
18. Zhang JS, Xie C, Wu XL, Du BX, Chen SY , Tobacco two-component gene NTHK2 , Chinese Science Bulletin , 2001 , 46(7): 574-577
19. Xie C, Zhang JS, Chen SY , Protein Phosphorylation and two-component system , Progress in Biotechnology , 2001 , 21(6), 9-14
20. Wang WM, Zhu LH, Xie R, Xie C, Jin L , Morphological and anatomical analysis of a floral organ mutant in rice , Acta Botanica Sinica , 2000 , 42(4): 379-382
21. Xie C, Zhang JS, Chen SY , Tobacco floral homeotic gene NFBP6 is specifically expressed during pollen and ovule development , Science in China(Series C) , 1999 , 42(5),481-484
22. Zhang JS, Xie C, Li ZY, Chen SY , Expression of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase gene in response to salt stress in a rice salt-tolerance mutant and its original variety, , Theor Appl Genet. , 1999 , 99, (6), 1006-1011
23. Zhang JS, Xie C, Liu F, Liu FH, Chen SY, , 1999, , A novel tobacco gene coding for a product similar to bacterial two-component regulators , Chinese Science Bulletin , 1999 , 44(11), 1025-1029
Laboratory Introduction

Please visit our website for more information, updates and useful links: http://www.Navigation-X.org

Our lab seeks to understand how biological species perceive and interact with the physical world. Working at the interface between biological world and physical world, our lab mainly pursue research in two major areas: (I) The molecular mechanism of animal magnetoreception, migration and navigation; (II) Structural color, dynamic color change and bio-invisibility.

System as complicated as a living organism nevertheless follows the basic physical principles. Therefore, studying biological organisms with interdisciplinary techniques and perspectives, as what is going on in our lab, provides a unique angle to reveal the essence of physical phenomenon.