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Chen Liang

Associate Professor

Chen Liang

HIV and host cell interactions

Accepting graduate students

Lady Davis Institute Room 326

Jewish General Hospital
3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road
Montreal, QC H3T 1E2
Tel: (514) 340-8260
Fax: (514) 340-7537


Research Orientations

Dr.  Liang is currently a project director at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, McGill University. He is well recognized for his earlier work on HIV-1 genomic RNA packaging and particle assembly, with a focus on elucidating the mechanisms behind the selective packaging of the dimeric viral genomic RNA, and deciphering the molecular details of viral Gag protein multimerization. His group has since expanded its scope of research toward understanding the complex interactions between HIV-1 and the host cells by taking the proteomic and genomic approaches to identify cellular factors that potently modulate HIV-1 replication and to elucidate their mechanisms of action. Dr Liang’s group is also actively involved in HIV-1 vaccine research and HIV-1 latency study.

One aspect of the research in Dr. Liang’s lab involves discovering host restriction factors that inhibit HIV-1 infection of CD4+ T cells and understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Cellular factors currently being pursued include bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2, also named tetherin) that inhibits virus release from the cell surface, APOBEC3G and MOV10 that both target HIV-1 RNA-protein complex and impair viral reverse transcription, interferon induced transmembrane (IFITM) proteins that inhibit virus entry. His group is also interested in the role of cellular helicases in various steps of HIV-1 RNA replication. This latter study has led to the identification of several helicases that regulate viral RNA transcription, translation, packaging, and reverse transcription. The goal of his research is to advance the understanding of HIV-1 pathogenesis and to discover new avenues for novel HIV interventions.

Selected Recent Publications

Kun Li, Ruben M Markosyan, Yi-Min Zheng, Ottavia Golfetto, Brittani Bungart, Minghua Li, Shilei Ding, Chen Liang, James C Lee, Enrico Gratton, Fredric S Cohen and Shan-Lu Liu. 2013. IFITM proteins restrict viral membrane hemifusion. PLoS Pathogen 9(1):e1003124.

Rui Jia, Qinghua Pan, Shilei Ding, Liwei Rong, Shan-Lu Liu, Yunqi Geng, Wentao Qiao, and Chen Liang*. 2012. The N-terminal region of IFITM3 modulates its antiviral activity through regulating IFITM3 cellular localization. Journal of Virology 86:13697-13707.

Rene-Pierre Lorgeoux, Fei Guo and Chen Liang*. 2012. From promoting to inhibiting: diverse roles of helicases in HIV-1 Replication. Retrovirology 9(1):79.

Fei Guo and Chen Liang*. 2012. Transmembrane interactions of HIV-1 Vpu and tetherin. Curr HIV Res. 10(4): 292-297.

Jennifer Lu, Qinghua Pan, Liwei Rong, Wei He, Shan-Lu Liu and Chen Liang*. 2011. IFITM proteins inhibit HIV-1 infection. Journal of Virology 85(5):2126-2137.

Bjorn D. Kuhl, Vicky Cheng, Mark A. Wainberg, and Chen Liang*. 2011. Tetherin and its viral antagonists. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 6(2):188-201.

Quan Zhang, Zhenlong Liu, Zeyun Mi, Xiaoyu Li, Pingping Jia, Jinming Zhou, Xiao Yin, Xuefu You, Liyan Yu, Fei Guo, Jing Ma, Chen Liang, and Shan Cen. 2011. High-throughput assay to identify inhibitors of Vpu-mediated down-regulation of cell surface BST-2. Antiviral Research. 91:321-329.

Li Xing, Chen Liang, and Lawrence Kleiman. 2011. Coordinate roles of Gag and RNA helicase A in promoting the annealing of formula to HIV-1 RNA. Journal of Virology 85(4):1847-1860.

Bjorn D. Kuhl, Richard D. Sloan, Daniel A. Donahue, Chen Liang, and Mark A. Wainberg. 2011. Vpu-mediated tetherin antagonism of ongoing HIV-1 infection in CD4+ T-cells is not directly related to the extent of tetherin cell surface downmodulation. Virology. 417:353-361.

Jianyong Zhang and Chen Liang*. 2010. BST-2 diminishes the infectivity of HIV-1 particles. Journal of Virology 84(23):12336-12343.

Bjorn D. Kuhl, Richard D. Sloan, Daniel A. Donahue, Tamara Bar-Magen, Chen Liang, and Mark A. Wainberg. 2010. Tetherin restricts direct cell-to-cell infection of HIV-1. Retrovirology 7:115.

Liwei Rong, Jianyong Zhang, Jennifer Lu, Qinghua Pan, Rene-Pierre Lorgeoux, Fei Guo, Shan-Lu Liu, Mark A. Wainberg, and Chen Liang*. 2009. The transmembrane domain of BST-2 determines its sensitivity to down-modulation by HIV-1 Vpu. Journal of Virology 83(15):7536-7546.

Yongdong Zhou, Liwei Rong, Jianyong Zhang, Claudette Aloysius, Qinghua Pan and Chen Liang*. 2009. Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 1 modulates Rev-dependent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA expression. Virology 393:210-220.

Qinghua Pan, Liwei Rong, Xiaoyan Zhao, and Chen Liang*. 2009. Fragile X mental retardation protein restricts replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Virology 387:125-137. 

Yongdong Zhou, Liwei Rong, Jennifer Lu, Qinghua Pan, and Chen Liang*. 2008. The insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 1 associates with the Gag protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and affects virus assembly. Journal of Virology 82:5683-5692.

Jing Ma, Liwei Rong, Yongdong Zhou, Bibhuti Bushan Roy, Jennifer Lu, Levon Abrahamyan, Andrew J Mouland, Qinghua Pan and Chen Liang*. 2008. The Requirement of the DEAD-Box Protein DDX24 for the packaging of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 RNA. Virology. 375:253-264.

Yongdong Zhou, Jing Ma, Bibhuti Bushan Roy, Jenny Yang-yang Wu, Qinghua Pan, Liwei Rong and Chen Liang*. 2008. The packaging of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA is restricted by overexpression of an RNA helicase DHX30. Virology. 372(1):97-106..