205 Veterinary Science
1971 Commonwealth Avenue
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN55108
B.S., Hebei Agricultural University
M.S., Beijing Agricultural University
Ph.D., Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine
Post-Doctoral, University of Minnesota
Dr. Ji's laboratory is interested in the functional genomics and molecular pathogenesis of a serious human and animal pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, and antibacterial drug discovery. Specifically, we focus on different two-component signal transduction regulatory systems and several functional unknown essential proteins. Current efforts include determination of function of critical unknown genes and regulons for bacterial growth, multidrug resistance and pathogenesis, and identification of host cell signaling pathways associated with pathogenicity during host-pathogen interaction. These efforts will provide new insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenicity, as well as may deliver unexploited targets for developing potent preventive and/or therapeutic agents against this life-threatening pathogen, including MSSA and MRSA, and benefit public health. In addition, we are actively involved in the identification of novel antibacterial agents by screening chemical compound library. Molecular genetic, antisense RNA, advanced next-generation RNA-seq and ChIP-seq technologies, genomics, proteomics, cell culture, bioluminescence assays, immunochemical, and sophisticated imaging methods are used in these studies.
(For a comprehensive list of Dr. Ji's recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)
Yang, J., X. Liang, and Y. Ji. 2013. The mutated staphylococcal H35A α-toxin inhibits the adhesion and invasion of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Virulence. 4: 77-81.
Yan, M., J. Hall, J. Yang, and Y. Ji. 2012. The essential YhcSR two-component signal transduction system directly regulates the lac and opuCABCD operons of Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50608. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050608.
Lei, T., J. Yang, L. Zheng, T. Markowski, B. Witthuhn, and Y. Ji. 2012. The essentiality of staphylococcal Gcp is independent of its repression of branched-chain amino acids biosynthesis. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46836. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046836.
Bin, L., B. Kim, E. Goleva, A. Brauweiler, J. Streib, Y. Ji, P Schlievert, and D. Leung. 2012. Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin modulates skin host response to viral infection. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 130(3): 683-691.e2.
Hall, J. and Y. Ji. 2012. Identification of predominant SNPs as a novel method for genotyping bovine Staphylococcus aureus isolates. Virulence. 3: 98-102.
Yan, M., C. Yu, J. Yang, and Y. Ji. 2011. The essential two-component YhcSR regulator is involved in the regulation of nitrate metabolism pathway of Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. 8: 1799-1805.
Lei, T., X. Liang, J. Yang, M. Yan, L. Zheng, B. Walcheck, and Y. Ji. 2011. The C-terminal domain of the novel essential protein Gcp is critical for interaction with another essential protein YeaZ of Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS ONE 6(5): e20163. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020163
Liang, X., J. Hall, J. Yang, M. Yan, K. Doll, R. Bey, and Y. Ji. 2011. Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with hyperproduction of alpha-toxin in Staphylococcus aureus. PLos ONE 6(4): e18428. doi:10.1371/journal.one.0018428
Liang, X., C. Gao, M. Rutherford, and Y. Ji. 2010. Activation of NF-κB pathway and TNF-α are involved in the cytotoxicity of anthrax lethal toxin in bovine BoMac macrophages. Vet. Microbiol. 146: 111-117.
Liang X., J. Yang, and Y. Ji. 2009. The H35A mutated alpha-toxin interferes with cytotoxicity of staphylococcal alpha-toxin. Infect. Immun. 77: 977-983.
Yan M., C. Yu, J, Yang, L. Zhang, and Y. Ji. 2009. Development of shuttle vectors for evaluation of essential gene regulation in Staphylococcus aureus. Plasmid 61: 188-192.
Yin D. and Y. Ji. 2008. Identification of essential genes in Staphylococcus aureus by construction and screening of conditional mutant library. Methods Mol. Biol. 416: 297-305.
Liang X. and Y. Ji. 2007. Involvement of α5β1-integrin and TNF-α in Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin-induced death of epithelial cells. Cell. Microbiol. 9. 1809-1821.
Zheng L., C. Yu, K. Bayles, I. Lasa, and Y. Ji. 2007. Conditional mutation of an essential putativeglycoprotease eliminates autolysis in Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. 189: 2734-2742.
Yu, C., Zheng, L., Sun, J., and Y. Ji. 2007. Genomic analysis of gene expression of Staphylococcus aureus. Methods Mol Biol. 391: 169-178.
Ji, Y. (Editor). 2007. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Protocols. Totowa: The Humana Press Inc.
Liang X. and Y. Ji. 2006. Alpha-toxin interferes with integrin-mediated adhesion and internalization of Staphylococcus aureus by human lung epithelial cells. Cell. Microbiol. 8: 1656-1668.
Liang X., C. Yu, J. Sun, H. Liu, C. Landwehr, D. Holmes, and Y. Ji. 2006. Inactivation of a two-component signal transduction system, SaeRS, eliminates adhesion and attenuates virulence of Staphylococcus aureus. Infect. Immun. 74: 4655-4665.
Sun J., L. Zheng, C. Landwehr, J. Yang, and Y. Ji. 2005. Identification of a novel essential two-component signal transduction system, YhcSR, in Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. 187: 7876-7880.
Zheng, L., Yang, J., Landwehr, C., Fan, F., and Y. Ji. 2005. Identification of an essential glycoprotease in Staphylococcus aureus. FEMS Microbiology Letters 245: 279-285.
Liang, X., L. Zheng, C. Landwehr, D. Lunsford, D. Holmes, and Y. Ji. 2005. Global regulation of gene expression by ArlRS, a two- component signal transduction regulatory system in Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol.187:5486-5492.
Yin, D., F. Brian, M. Lonetto, M.R. Etherton, D. Payne, D. Holmes, M. Rosenberg, and Y. Ji. 2004. Identification of antimicrobial targets using a comprehensive genomic approach. Pharmacogenomics 5: 101-113.
Ji, Y., B. Zhang, S. Van Horn, P. Warren, M. Burnham, G. Woodnutt, and M. Rosenberg. 2001. Identification of critical staphylococcal genes using conditional growth phenotypes generated by antisense RNA. Science 293: 2266-2269.
“Comprehensive identification of genes differently expressed during MRSA infections”, MAES
“Biomarker screening of essential putative glycoprotease inhibitor”, NIH/NIAID
Current Students and postdoctoral associate
Jeffrey Hall, Ph.D. candidate, MICaB
Ting Lei, postdoctoral associate