Zheng, Yong-Hui

  • V-Z

B.A. , 1988, Biochemistry, Jilin University, China
Ph.D. , 1998, Medical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Japan
Postdoctoral Fellow , 1998-1999, Vanderbilt University
Post-doctoral Scientist , 1999-2004, University of California, San Francisco
Assistant Researcher , 2004-2005, University of California, San Francisco


Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
4195 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
 Phone: (517) 884-5314


My laboratory focuses on retrovirus-host interactions using HIV-1, a human retrovirus that causes AIDS. In particular, we are interested to study natural host factors that have the ability to inhibit retrovirus replication. These host proteins are called restriction factors. Understanding the antiviral activity of these restriction factors has permitted the discovery of novel antiretroviral mechanisms, and holds the great promise of new antiretroviral therapies. During the past, we have demonstrated the anti-HIV-1 activity of human APOBEC3DE and APOBEC3H proteins, which belong to the APOBEC3 sub-family of cytidine deaminases. APOBEC3 proteins have very potent antiretroviral activity, but, unfortunately, most of them are neutralized by the viral protein Vif. Thus, a complex competition exists between the host cell and the virus that is driven by evolution.

A major effort in the laboratory is to discover new type of restriction factors. Recently, we reported that MOV10 has very broad and potent antiretroviral activities. MOV10, a putative RNA helicase, can be packaged into virions and inhibits viral replication at a post-entry step, resulting in 20- to 100-fold reduction of HIV-1 infectivity. In addition, we reported a novel HIV-1 restriction phenotype in a human T cell line CEM.NKR. Although these cells express normal levels of CD4 and CXCR4, they are highly resistant to HIV-1 infection. In fact, we found that they express an unknown restriction factor that potently inhibits HIV-1 replication.

Below are some questions addressed in ongoing studies:

  • What is the precise antiretroviral mechanism of APOBEC3?
  • How does Vif overcome APOBEC3?
  • What is the antiretroviral mechanism of MOV10?
  • What is the unknown restriction factor in CEM.NKR cells?

Postdocs and rotation students who are interested in Molecular Biology of HIV/AIDS are welcome to send application directly to Yong-Hui Zheng by email at: zhengyo@msu.edu

Prospective graduate students interested in the Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program should directly apply the Graduate School's Admissions Office for admission to the Biomolecular Science Program (http://www.grad.msu.edu).

Open Postdoctoral Position in HIV Virology and Host Interactions


Recent Publications:


Dang Y, Abudu A, Son S, Harjes E, Spearman P, Matsuo H, Zheng YH. Identification of a single amino acid required for APOBEC3 antiretroviral cytidine deaminase activity. Journal of Virology 85(11):5691-5695.

Wang X, Abudu A, Son S, Dang Y, Venta PJ, Zheng YH. Analysis of human APOBEC3H haplotypes and anti-human immunodeficiency virus type-1 activity. Journal of Virololgy 85(7):3142-3152.


Dang Y, Wang X, York IA, Zheng YH. Identification of a critical T[Q/D/E]x5ADx2[I/L] motif from primate lentivirus Vif proteins that regulate APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F neutralizing activity. Journal of Virology 84(17):8561-70.

Dang Y, Davis RW, York IA, and Zheng YH. Identification of 81LGxGxxIxW89 and 171EDRW174 domains from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virus Vif that regulate APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F neutralizing activity. Journal of Virology 84(11):5741-50.

Wang X, Han Y, Dang Y, Fu W, Zhou T, Ptak RG, and Zheng YH. Moloney leukemia virus 10 (MOV10) protein inhibits retrovirus replication. Journal of Biological Chemistry 7;285(19):14346-55.


Ying Dang, Xiaojun Wang, Tao Zhou T, Ian A. York, and Yong-Hui Zheng. Identification of a novel WxSLVK motif in the N-terminus of HIV and SIV Vif that is critical for APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F neutralization. Journal of Virology 83:8544-8552.

Tao Zhou, Yanxing Han, Ying Dang, Xiaojun Wang, and Yong-Hui Zheng. A novel HIV-1 restriction that is biologically distinct from APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases in a human T cell line CEM.NKR. Retrovirology 6(1): 31.


Yanxing Han, Xiaojun Wang, Ying Dang, and Yong-Hui Zheng. Demonstration of a Novel HIV-1 Restriction Phenotype from a Human T cell line. PLoS ONE 3(7): e2796.

Yanxing Han, Xiaojun Wang, Ying Dang, and Yong-Hui Zheng. APOBEC3G Requires an Endogenous Cofactor to Block HIV-1 Replication. PLOS Pathogens 4(7): e1000095.

Ying Dang, Lai Mun Siew, and Yong-Hui Zheng. APOBEC3G is degraded by the proteasomal pathway in a Vif-dependent manner without being polyubiquitylated. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283:13124-31.

Ying Dang, Lai Mun Siew, Xiaojun Wang, Yanxing Han, Russell Lampen, and Yong-Hui Zheng. Human Cytidine Deaminase APOBEC3H Restricts HIV-1 Replication. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283:11606-14.


Xiaojun Wang, Patrick T. Dolan, Ying Dang, and Yong-Hui Zheng. Biochemical differentiation of APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G proteins associated with HIV-1 life cycle. Journal of Biological Chemistry 282:1585-1594.


Ying Dang, Xiaojun Wang, Walter J. Esselman, and Yong-Hui Zheng. Identification of APOBEC3DE as another antiretroviral factor from the human APOBEC family. Journal of Virology 80:10522-33.