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Academic Staff

Professor ZHOU, Keda 周鈳達

Professor ZHOU, Keda 周鈳達

  • BSc, MSc (Sun Yat-sen U), PhD (Colorado State U)
  • Assistant Professor
L3-79, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9521
+852 2855 1254
  • Chromatin higher order structures
  • Factors modulating chromatin structures during transcription
  • Structure and dynamics of large molecular machines in DNA related processes
  • Mechanisms of reading and writing m6A methylation

Dr. Keda Zhou is currently an assistant professor in The School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Hong Kong. He received both B.Sc and M.Sc degree from The Sun Yat-Sen University in GuangZhou, China, and his Ph.D. Degree in Biochemistry from The Colorado State University in USA. After graduation, he continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Colorado (Boulder). Dr. Zhou joined The University of Hong Kong 2022.

In all eukaryotes, the large genomes are organized and compacted with an equal amount of protein to form chromatin. As the basic unit of chromatin, the nucleosome is formed by tightly wrapping ~147 bp DNA around a histone octamer (two copies of each four core histones H3, H4, H2A and H2B) in a left-handed superhelix. Hundreds of thousands of nucleosomes, like beads on a string, are further compacted into higher order structures. Therefore, the accessibility of DNA is controlled by nucleosomes. The composition of the eukaryotic nucleosome is variable with respect to DNA sequence, DNA modifications, histone variants and histone post-translational modifications (PTMs), which makes nucleosomes the epigenetic hubs of the genome. These epigenetic marks not only modulate nucleosome structure and dynamics, but also recruit different binding factors to further regulate chromatin structure. Processes that take place on DNA such as DNA replication, DNA repair and RNA transcription are profoundly regulated by the nucleosome and its associated partners. My previous research revealed how the histone variant CENP-A is decoded by the kinetochore protein CenpN, how centromeric chromatin is compacted by CENP-N, and how nucleosomes are maintained through transcription by the histone chaperone FACT. These published works introduce my broad interests in three questions: 1, how are epigenetic marks on chromatin “written”, “read” and “erased”? 2, how do nucleosome binding factors shape chromatin structure? 3, how does the nucleosome regulate transcription and its associated processes such as transcription? My group will focus on solving important structures of chromatin factors during transcription and establishing cryoET platform for studying chromatin in situ.

Cellular event

  1. Keda Zhou, Magdalena Gebala, Dustin Woods, Kousik Sundararajan, Garrett Edwards, Dan Krzizike, Jeff Wereszczynski, Aaron F. Straight, and Karolin Luger. (2022) CENP-N promotes the compaction of centromeric chromatin. Nature structure and molecular biology. 29(4), 403-413

  2. Hengyou Weng, Feng Huang, Zhaojin Yu, Zhenhua Chen, Emily Prince, Yalin Kang, Keren Zhou, Wei Li, Jiacheng Hu, Chen Fu, Tursunjan Aziz, Hongzhi Li, Jingwen Li, Ying Yang, Li Han, Subo Zhang, Yuelong Ma, Mingli Sun, Huizhe Wu, Zheng Zhang, Mark Wunderlich, Sean Robinson, Daniel Braas, Johanna Ten Hoeve, Bin Zhang, Guido Marcucci, James C Mulloy, Keda Zhou, Hong-Fang Tao, Xiaolan Deng, David Horne, Minjie Wei, Huilin Huang, Jianjun Chen. (2022) The m6A reader IGF2BP2 regulates glutamine metabolism and represents a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer cell.

  3. Yang Liu, Hugo Bisio, Chelsea Marie Toner, Sandra Jeudy, Nadege Philippe, Keda Zhou, Samuel Bowerman, Alison White, Garrett Edwards, Chantal Abergel and Karolin Luger. (2021) Virus-encoded histone doublets are essential and form nucleosome-like structures. Cell. S0092-8674(21)00823-0.
  4. Jonathan W Markert, Keda Zhou, Karolin Luger. (2021). Structure and function of the chromatin remodeler SMARCAD1 with its nucleosome substrate. Science Advance. 7 (42), eabk2380.
  5. Yang Liu*, Keda Zhou*, Naifu Zhang, Hui Wei, Yong Zi Tan, Zhening Zhang, Bridget Carragher, Clinton S Potter, Sheena D’Arcy, Karolin Luger, (2020), FACT caught in the act of manipulating the nucleosome. Nature. 577, 426-431. *co-first author, equal contribution.
  6. Keda Zhou, Yang Liu, Karolin Luger, (2020), Histone chaperone FACT FAcilitates Chromatin Transcription: mechanistic and structural insights. Current opinion in structural biology, 65, 26-32.
  7. Keda Zhou*, Guillaume Gaullier* and Karolin Luger, (2018), Nucleosome structure and dynamics are coming of age. Nature structural and molecular biology. *co-first author, equal contribution.
  8. Satyakrishna Pentakota *, Keda Zhou *, Charlotte Smith, Stefano Maffini, Arsen Petrovic, Garry P. Morgan, John R. Weir, Ingrid R. Vetter, Andrea Musacchio & Karolin Luger, 2017, Decoding the centromeric nucleosome through CENP-N, eLife. 6: e33442. * co-first author, equal contribution.
  9. Shengya Cao*, Keda Zhou*, Zhening Zhang, Karolin Luger, Aaron F. Straight, (2017), Constitutive centromere-associated network contacts confer differential stability on CENP-A nucleosomes in vitro and in the cell, Molecular biology of the cell, E17-10_0596. * co-first author, equal contribution.
  10. Uma Muthurajan, Francesca Mattiroli, Serge Bergeron, Keda Zhou, Yajie Gu, Srinivas Chakravarthy, Pamela Dyer, Thomas Irving, and Karolin Luger, (2016), In vitro Chromatin Assembly - Strategies and Quality Control. METHODS ENZYMOL. 573: 3–41.
  11. Yelagandula, R., Hume Stroud, Sarah Holec, Keda Zhou, Suhua Feng, Xuehua Zhong, Uma M. Muthurajan, Xin Nie, Tomokazu Kawashima, Martin Groth, Karolin Luger, Steven E. Jacobsen, and Frederic Berger, (2014) The histone variant H2A.W defines heterochromatin and promotes chromatin condensation in Arabidopsis. Cell.158, 98–109.
  • HKU-100 scholar awardee (2022)


Last updated: Nov 16, 2022