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Luo Lab , Publications



(Infection and Immunity) Intracellular multiplication and trafficking of bacterial pathogens and host response to bacterial infection.


Our laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms that allow microbial pathogens to survive and multiply within the hostile host cells and how host cells respond to infection. We use Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires disease as a model organism. One essential pathogenic factor of this bacterium is the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system that injects approximately 300 virulence proteins (effectors) into host cells to create a niche permissive for bacterial replication. One focus of our research is to determine the function of these proteins and their roles in bacterial infection. The second focus is to examine the mechanism of the detection and response of immune cells to intracellular pathogens, particularly the signaling pathway involved in the detection of the bacterial ribosomal protein RpsL that triggers lysosomal cell death.  Finally, we are interested in study the function of Fic proteins found in diverse bacteria. The long term goal of these studies is to elucidate the signal transduction pathways important for bacterial virulence, immune detection and other events important for the establishment of successful infection, such information will be invaluable not only in combating infectious diseases but also in our understanding of cell signaling in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001

M.S. Beijing Agricultural University, 1994

B.S., Beijing Agricultural University, 1991

Awards and Recognitions

Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2019)

Purdue University Faculty Scholar (2012-2016)

Purdue College of Science Research Award (2015)

NIH-NIAID Independent Scientist Award (2011-2015)

Other Activities

PLoS Pathogens, Associate Editor (2013-)

Selected Publications:

Gan N , Guan H , Huang Y, Yu T, Fu J, Nakayasu ES, Puvar K, Das C, Wang D, Ouyang S*, Luo ZQ *. Legionella pneumophila regulates the activity of UBE2N by deamidase-mediated deubiquitination. EMBO J . 2019 Dec 11:e102806. doi: 10.15252/embj.2019102806. [Epub ahead of print]

Gan N , Zhen X , Liu Y , Xu X , He C, Qiu J, Liu Y, Fujimoto GM, Nakayasu ES, Zhou B, Zhao L, Puvar K, Das C, Ouyang S*, Luo ZQ *. Regulation of phosphoribosyl ubiquitination by a calmodulin-dependent glutamylase. Nature . 2019 Aug;572(7769):387-391. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1439-1. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

Gan N, Nakayasu ES, Hollenbeck PJ, Luo ZQ *. Legionella pneumophila inhibits immune signalling via MavC-mediated transglutaminase-induced ubiquitination of UBE2N. Nat ure Microbiol . 2019 Jan;4(1):134-143. doi: 10.1038/s41564-018-0282-8. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Qiu J, Sheedlo MJ, Yu K, Tan, Y, Nakayasu ES, Das C, Liu X, Luo ZQ *. Ubiquitination independent of E1 and E2 enzymes by bacterial effectors. Nature . 2016. 533, 43-44. doi:10.1038/nature17888                                                  Highlighted and commented by: Nature, Molecular Cell, Current Biology, Cell Host & Microbes, Nature Review Microbiology and Science Signaling . This discovery was selected as one of the 10 breakthroughs in Cell Signaling of 2016 by Science Signaling .

Zhu W. , Tao L. , Quick M. L., Joyce J.A., Qu J.M., Luo Z.-Q*. 2015. Sensing cytosolic RpsL by macrophages induces lysosomal cell death and termination of bacterial infection. PLoS Pathogens . 11(3):e1004704. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004704. eCollection 2015 Mar. †,equal contribution authors. PMID:25738962

Tan Y. Arnold A. J. and Luo Z.-Q * . 2011. Legionella pneumophila regulates the small GTPase Rab1 activity by reversible phosphorylcholination. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 108:21212-7 PMID: 22158903

Tan Y. and Luo Z.-Q * . 2011. Legionella pneumophila SidD is a deAMPylase that modifies Rab1. Nature . 475:506-509. PMID: 21734656. (cited by Faculty 1000 as a must read article)

Chen C†. Banga, S†., Mertens, K†., Weber M., Gorbaslieva, I.,Tan Y., Luo, Z.-Q*. and Samuel J. E. * 2010 Large-scale identification and translocation of Type IV secretion substrates by Coxiella burnetii Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA . 107:21755-21760. †, equal contribution authors *,corresponding authors. PMID: 21098666.

Banga, S., Gao, P., Shen X., Fiscus V., Zong W-X., Chen L. and Luo Z.-Q*. 2007. Legionella pneumophila inhibits macrophage apoptosis by targeting pro-death members of the Bcl2 protein family. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA . 104: 5121-5126. PMID: 17360363

Liu Y., Gao P. Banga S. and Luo Z.-Q * . 2008. An in vivo gene deletion system for determining temporal requirement of bacterial virulence factors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105:9385-90. (cited by Faculty 1000). PMID: 18599442

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