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Biochemistry Department - Primary Faculty

Vivien Yee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


  • Ph.D.: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Postdoc: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • Postdoc: University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Research Interests

Our structural biology group investigates biomedically important proteins and enzymes with interesting mechanistic questions. Our projects have focused on proteins involved in drug metabolism, neurodegenerative disorders, antiviral defense, or are model systems for metabolic enzymes. Our laboratory combines X-ray crystallography with modeling and mutagenesis studies to investigate the relationship between structure and function, and to understand mechanisms of protein activity or of disease. Current projects are part of efforts to design novel inhibitors against protein targets for the eventual development of cancer therapeutics. This work combines biophysical techniques to evaluate binding and structural studies to elucidate interactions between protein and ligands.

Selected References

  • Rege N.K., Wickramasinghe N.P., Tustan A.N., Phillips N.F.B., Yee V.C., Ismail-Beigi F., Weiss M.A.
    “Structure-based stabilization of insulin as a therapeutic protein assembly via enhanced aromatic-aromatic interactions.”
    J Biol Chem 293(28):10895-10910 (2018).
  • Glidden M.D., Aldabbagh K., Phillips N.B., Carr K., Chen Y.S., Whittaker J., Phillips M., Wickramasinghe N.P., Rege N., Swain M., Peng Y., Yang Y., Lawrence M.C., Yee V.C., Ismail-Beigi F., Weiss M.A.
    “An ultra-stable single-chain insulin analog resists thermal inactivation and exhibits biological signaling duration equivalent to the native protein.”
    J Biol Chem 293(1):47-68 (2018).
  • Wiencek J.R., Hirbawi J., Yee V.C., and Kalafatis M.
    “The dual regulatory role of amino acids Leu480 and Gln481 of prothrombin”
    J Biol Chem 291: 1565-81 (2016). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Yu L., Lee S.J., and Yee V.C.
    “Crystal structures of polymorphic prion protein beta1 peptides reveal variable steric zipper conformations”
    Biochemistry 54: 3640-8 (2015). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Maeda S., Zhang W.G., Souri M., Yee V.C., and Ichinose A.
    “Impaired dimer assembly and decreased stability of naturally recurring R260C mutant A subunit for blood coagulation factor XIII”
    J Biochem 152: 471-8 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Lee S., Antony L., Hartmann R., Knaus K.J., Surewicz K., Surewicz W.K., and Yee V.C.
    “Conformational diversity in prion protein variants influences intermolecular beta-sheet formation”
    EMBO J 29: 251-62 (2010). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Pereira N.L., Aksoy P., Moon I., Peng Y., Redfield M.M., Burnett J.C. Jr., Wieben E.D., Yee V.C., and Weinshilboum R.M.
    “Natriuretic peptide pharmacogenetics: membrane metallo-endopeptidase (MME): common gene sequence variation, functional characterization and degradation”
    J Mol Cell Cardiol 49: 864-74 (2010). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Collard F., Zhang J., Nemet I., Qanungo K.R., Monnier V.M., and Yee V.C.
    “Crystal structure of the deglycating enzyme fructosamine oxidase (amadoriase II)”
    J Biol Chem 283: 27007-16 (2008). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Peng Y., Feng Q., Wilk D., Adjei A.A., Salavaggione O.E., Weinshilboum R.M., and Yee V.C.
    “Structural basis of substrate recognition in thiopurine s-methyltransferase”
    Biochemistry 47: 6216-25 (2008). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Hall P.R., Zheng R., Antony L., Pusztai-Carey M., Carey P.R., and Yee V.C.
    “Transcarboxylase 5S structures: assembly and catalytic mechanism of a multienzyme complex subunit”
    EMBO J 23: 3621-31 (2004). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Hartmann R., Justesen J., Sarkar S.N., Sen G.C., and Yee V.C.
    “Crystal structure of the 2'-specific and double-stranded RNA-activated interferon-induced antiviral protein 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase”
    Mol Cell 12: 1173-85 (2003).


Vivien Yee Faculty's publications at pubmed