SIBS has achieved important progresses in the following areas:
In research on brain development, SIBS scientists have identified a series of mechanisms regulating growth cone guidance and directional neuronal migration. In the field of learning and memory, they have showed crossmodal interactions between olfactory and visual learning and regulation of saliency-based decision-making by the dopamine-mushroom body circuit in Drosophila. Moreover, in mammals the scientists have found that long-term potentiation occurs at neuron-glial synapses, mediated by Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. In mechanisms of neural diseases, they have found associations between β2-adrenergic receptors and Alzheimer’s disease and the role of the regulated surface expression of δ-opioid receptors in opioid analgesia and tolerance.
Cellular Signal Transduction
A number of findings have been made in areas of molecular regulations of G protein-coupled receptor, Wnt, NF-κB and ERK signaling pathways. SIBS scientists have discovered biological functions of E2F6 in hypoxia-induced apoptosis and regulatory pathways, found RKTG as a new regulator in ERK signaling pathway. They have also revealed β-arrestins as essential negative regulators of innate immune activation via Toll like receptor-IL-1 signaling, and elucidated that β-arrestin1 directly interacts with STAT1 in nucleus after IFN-γ treatment and accelerates STAT1 tyrosine dephosphorylation by recruiting TC45.
SIBS scientists have revealed the regulatory mechanism of histone H3K9 methylation and the function in leukaemia, discovered the bistable expression of a master regulator WOR1 which controls the white-opaque switching in Candida albicans. They have also found the processing of pre-miRNA by YL1 N-terminal dsRBD domain, and discovered the new gene of epigenetic control.
A series of progresses have been made in discovering the pathogenesis, therapeutic mechanism and new targets of some tumors. Our scientists have identified α-catenin from the common deletion region of human chromosomal 5q as a possible leukemia tumor suppressor gene. They have also elucidated nanomolar concentration of a camptothecin analog NSC606985 induces leukemic-cell apoptosis through protein kinase C. In addition, they have revealed an important role of phosphatidyl in leukemic cell differentiation.
Research advances have been made in elucidating the key scientific questions in immunology, improving clinical diagnosis and treatment technologies. Our scientists have discovered the new mechanism for the survival of CD4 T cells and autoimmunity, the regulation of NK cell activity in organism, and demonstrated the functional importance of the newly identified signaling pathway mediated by P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1. They have also identified an unexpected function for c-Fos as a direct regulator of Tcrb recombination and described a mechanism to explain the recombination ordering. In addition, they have found that the association of KIR2DL1 with β-arrestin 2 mediated recruitment of the tyrosine phosphatases SHP-1 and SHP-2 to KIR2DL1 and facilitated 'downstream' inhibitory signaling.
Stem Cell Research
Several achievements have been made in research areas of self-renewal and induced differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Our scientists have established core technology of embryonic stem cell lines culture and differentiation, found the new modification pattern of transcription factor Oct4 which plays an important role in the self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells. The mechanism of differentiation of embryonic stem cell into cardiac cells has been carefully investigated and new insight was proposed. They have also discovered a new mechanism of the self-renewal of neural-stem cells in the early stage of development. There are also ongoing clinical trial to treat bone injury by stem cells at SIBS. In addition, the generation of induced rat pluripotent stem cell lines by SIBS scientists is a major contribution to the stem cell field.
Important progresses have been made toward understanding the genetic and environmental factors as well as regulatory mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Thus far, our scientists have uncovered a new mechanism by which Ufd1 regulates the synthesis of cholesterol, the role of SIRT1 in regulation of insulin sensitivity, and the conformational changes of glucokinase implicated in diabetes. They have also demonstrated that loss or dysfunction of β-arrestin-2 leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and proposed a model illustrating the mechanism whereby cholesterol is internalized into cells by NPC1L1 through clathrin/AP2-mediated endocytosis, with ezetimibe being able to inhibit cholesterol absorption by blocking the internalization of NPC1L1. In addition, they have revealed the physilogical importance of tyrosine-dependent and -independent signaling mechanisms in the control of energy homeostasis in animal models.
Plant, Insect and Microbe Research
Our scientists have completely sequenced the chromosome 4 of the rice genome, discovered an array of key genes (WX, SKC1, EUI, GW2, GIF1, PROG1, Pigm and etc.) which are essential in regulation of rice important agronomic traits including yield, rice quality and stress tolerance. In addition, they have also invented plant-mediated insect RNA interference which provides a novel technology for insect biological control.
Publications, Patents & Awards
In 2015, SIBS’s scientists published 851 research articles in journals included in the Science Citation Index (SCI), of which 387 listed SIBS as the affiliation of the first author. In the same year, SIBS’s scientists published 103 papers in high-profile journals such as Science, Nature, Cell and their series publications, of which 48 listed SIBS as the affiliation of the first author.
SIBS also filed 121 invention patents and was granted 48 invention patents in 2015.
Our scientists have received a wide array of science and technology awards and citations for original achievement.
In 2001, the project entitled “Study on interaction between anminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and tRNA” from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2002, the project entitled “Generation and clinical application of recombinant human epidermal growth factor” from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology was granted the second prize of National S&T Advancement Award.
In 2005, the project entitled “Structural and functional studies on ribosome-inactivating proteins and ribosomal RNA” from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology was honored with the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2007, the projects named “Cross talk between G protein-coupled receptor signaling and other signaling pathways” from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2007, the projects entitled “Sequence and functional analysis of rice chromosome 4” from the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2008, the project entitled “Molecular mechanisms of sperm maturation in epididymis” from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology received the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2010, the project entitled “New roles of glial cells” from the Institute of Neuroscience won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2011, the Research Group for Neural Development and Plasticity from the Institute of Neuroscience was awarded Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In 2011, Professor Andreas Dress of CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology was honored with the State International Science and Technology Cooperation Award.
In 2012, the project entitled "Molecular Genetic Mechanisms for Rice Complex Quantitative Traits" from the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.
In 2013, the project entitled "Study on the regulatory mechanisms during dendritic cell activation and T helper cell differentiation in their related diseases" from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology won the second prize of National Natural Science Award.