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Principal Investigators

Faculty and Staff

Principal Investigators
QIAN Youcun
Ph.D., Professor, Principal Investigator
Laboratory of Immunity and Diseases

Research Interests or Current Research Focus
1. Normal microbiota benifits host while dysregulated microbiota links pathogenesis. We are interested in investigating the mutual relationships of intestinal microbiota and the mucosal immune system.
2. Inflammation palys important roles in physiological and pathological conditions. We are interested in disecting the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation related diseases including autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, cancer and metabolic diseases.

Major Research Achievement
1. Discovering a novel role of microRNA-23b in suppressing multiple IL-17 associated autoimmune diseases.
2. Demenstrating several negative regulation mechanisms of IL-17 signaling, including TRAF3-mediated suppression of IL-17R signaling, Act1-TRAF6-IKKi/TBK1-Act1 feedback suppression loop, and Act1 degradation mediated cell desensitization.
3. Uncovering a novel mechanism of Act1 mediated signaling co-operation of FGF2 and IL-17 in intestinal epithelium damage repair.
4. Identifying IL-17RE as the specific receptor for IL-17C and demonstrating its functions in intestinal mucosal immunity, including host defense against intestinal pathogen infection and involvement in the pathogenesis of dysregulated microbiota-associated colon cancer.
5. Disclosing the role of NLRC5 in host defense against intracellular bacterial pathogen infection through regulating MHC class I expression and its associated CD8+ T cell function.

1996 - 1999 Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, CAS
1987 - 1990 MS in cell biology, Nanjing Normal University
1983 - 1987 BS in biology, Nanjing Normal University

Major Academic Appointments
2008 - present Professor, Institute of Health Sciences, SIBS, CAS
2005 - 2007 Project Staff, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, USA.
2003 - 2005 Research associate, Department of Immunology, ClevelandClinic Foundation, USA.
2000 - 2003 Post-doctor, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA.
1990 - 1996 Pharmaceutical Engineer, Yangzhou Pharmaceutical Institute, Jiangsu, China.

Recent Publications

  1. Song X, Dai D, He X, Zhu S, Yao Y, Gao H, Wang J, Qu F, Qiu J, Wang H, Li X, Shen N*, and Qian Y*. Growth Factor FGF2 Cooperates with Interleukin-17 to Repair Intestinal Epithelial Damage. Immunity 43, September 15, 2015 (Epub 2015 Aug. 25, DOI:
  2. Zhang L, Ke F, Liu Z, Bai J, Liu J, Yan S, Xu Z, Lou F, Wang H, Zhu H, Sun Y, Cai W, Gao Y, Li Q, Yu XZ, Qian Y, Hua Z, Deng J, Li QJ, Wang H. MicroRNA-31 negatively regulates peripherally derived regulatory T-cell generation by repressing retinoic acid-inducible protein 3. Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 13;6:7639. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8639.
  3. Pan W, Zhu S, Dai D, Liu Z, Li D, Li B, Gagliani N, Zheng Y, Tang Y, Weirauch MT, Chen X, Zhu W, Wang Y, Chen B, Qian Y, Chen Y, Fang J, Herbst R, Richman L, Jallal B, Harley JB, Flavell RA, Yao Y, Shen N. MiR-125a targets effector programs to stabilize Treg-mediated immune homeostasis. Nat Commun. 2015 May 12;6:7096.
  4. Han X, Yang Q, Lin L, Xu C, Zheng C, Chen X, Han Y, Li M, Cao W, Cao K, Chen Q, Xu G, Zhang Y, Zhang J, Schneider RJ, Qian Y, Wang Y, Brewer G, Shi Y. Interleukin-17 enhances immunosuppression by mesenchymal stem cells. Cell Death Differ. 2014 Nov;21(11):1758-68.
  5. Song X, Gao H, Lin Y, Yao Y, Zhu S, Wang J, Liu Y, Yao X, Meng G, Shen N, Shi Y, Iwakura Y, Qian Y*. Alterations in the Microbiota Drive Interleukin-17C Production from Intestinal Epithelial Cells to Promote Tumorigenesis. Immunity. 2014 Jan 16;40(1):140-52.
    (Featured by the journal; evaluated by Faculty of 1000;selected as best of Immunity 2014)
  6. Qu F, Gao H, Zhu S, Shi P, Zhang Y, Liu Y, Jallal B, Yao Y, Shi Y and Qian Y*. TRAF6 dependent Act1 phosphorylation by the IKK-related kinases suppresses IL-17-induced NF-κB activation. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2012) 32(19):3925-37.
  7. Zhu S, Pan W, Song X, Liu Y, Shao X, Tang Y, Liang D, He D, Wang H, Liu W, Shi Y, Harley J, Shen N* and Qian Y*. The microRNA miR-23b suppresses IL-17-associated autoimmune inflammation by targeting TAB2, TAB3 and IKK-α. Nat. Med. (2012) 18(7)1077-1086.
    (News and Views in Nat. Med. 18, 1009-1010, 2012; Research highlighted in Nat. Rev. Immunol., doi:10.1038/nri3250, 2012; evaluated by F1000, 2012).
  8. Yao Y, Wang Y, Chen F, Huang Y, Zhu S, Leng Q, Wang H, Shi Y, Qian Y*. NLRC5 regulates MHC class I antigen presentation in host defense against intracellular pathogens. Cell Res. (2012) 22(5):836-47.
    (Research highlighted by Cell Res. (2012) 22(7):1099-101; Research highlighted by A IBMN. Featured article in NPG immunology website.)
  9. Shi P, Zhu S, Liu Y, Liu Y, Chen Z, Shi Y and Y Qian*. Persistent Stimulation with Interleukin-17 Desensitizes Cells through SCFβ-TrCP–Mediated Degradation of Act1. Sci. Signal. 4(197), ra73, 2011.
  10. Song X, Zhu S, Shi P, Liu Y, Shi Y, Levin SD, Qian Y*. IL-17RE is the functional receptor for IL-17C and mediates mucosal immunity to infection with intestinal pathogens. Nat Immunol. 12(12) 1151-1158, 2011.
    (News and views in Nat. Immunol., 12(12)1131–1133,2011; Research highlighted in Nat. Rev. Immunol., doi:10.1038 /nri3118; Previewed in Immunity 35, 498-500, October 28, 2011; Evaluated twice as top 2% in Faculty of 1000 Biology and medicine).
  11. Zhu S, Pan W, Shi P, Gao H, Zhao F, Song X, Liu Y, Zhao L, Li X, Shi Y, Qian Y*. Modulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through TRAF3-mediated suppression of interleukin 17 receptor signaling. J Exp Med. 207(12):2647-62, 2010.
    (Research highlighted by Nat. Med. (2011) 17: 52,by Nat. Immunol. (2011) 12: 19 and by SciBX (the Science Business eXchange); evaluated as top 2% in Faculty of 1000 Biology and Medicine).
  12. Liu C, Qian W, Qian Y, Giltiay NV, Lu Y, Swaidani S, Misra S, Deng L, Chen ZJ, Li X. Act1, a U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase for IL-17 signaling. Sci Signal. 2(92):ra63, 2009.
  13. Qian Y, Giltiay N, Xiao J, Wang Y, Tian J, Han S, Scott M, Carter R, Jorgensen T and Li X. Deficiency of Act1, a critical modulator of B cell function, leads to development of Sjogren’s syndrome. Eur J Immunol. 38(8):2219-28, 2008.
  14. Xiao H, Qian W, Staschke K, Qian Y, Cui G, Deng L, Ehsani M, Wang X, Qian YW, Chen ZJ, Gilmour R, Jiang Z, Li X. Pellino 3b negatively regulates interleukin-1-induced TAK1-dependent NF kappaB activation. J Biol Chem. 83(21): 14654-64, 2008.
  15. Qian Y, Liu C, Hartupee J, Altuntas CZ, Gulen MF, Jane-Wit D, Xiao J, Lu Y, Giltiay N, Liu J, Kordula T, Zhang QW, Vallance B, Swaidani S, Aronica M, Tuohy VK, Hamilton T, Li X. The adaptor Act1 is required for interleukin 17-dependent signaling associated with autoimmune and inflammatory disease. Nat Immunol. 8(3):247-56, 2007.
  16. Yao J, Kim T, Qin J, Jiang Z, Qian Y, Xiao H, Lu Y, Wen Q, Gulen MF, Sizemore N, Didonato J, Sato S, Akira S, Su B, Li X. IL-1-induced TAK1- versus MEKK3-dependent NFkB activation pathways bifurcate at IRAK modification. J Biol Chem. 282(9):6075-89, 2007.
  17. Qin J, Qian Y, Yao J, Cui G, Li X. SIGIRR inhibits IL-1R-and TLR4-mediated signaling through different mechanisms. J Biol Chem. 280(26):25233-41, 2005.
  18. Qian Y, Qin J, Cui G, Naramura M, Snow EC, Ware CF, Fairchild RL, Omori SA, Rickert RC, Scott M, Kotzin BL, Li X. Act1, a negative regulator in CD40- and BAFF- mediated B cell survival. Immunity. 21(4): 575-587, 2004.
  19. Qin J, Jiang Z, Qian Y, Casanova JL, Li X. IRAK4 kinase activity is redundant for interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor-associated kinase phosphorylation and IL-1 responsiveness. J Biol Chem. 279(25):26748-53, 2004.
  20. Zhao Z, Qian Y, Wald D, Xia YF, Geng JG, Li X. IFN regulatory factor-1 is required for the up-regulation of the CD40-NF-kappa B activator 1 axis during airway inflammation. J Immunol. 170(11):5674-80, 2003.
  21. Wald D, Qin J, Zhao Z, Qian Y, Naramura M, Tian L, Towne J, Sims JE, Stark GR, Li X. SIGIRR, a negative regulator of Toll-like receptor-interleukin 1 receptor signaling. Nat Immunol. 4(9):920-7, 2003.
  22. Qian Y., Zhao Z., Jiang Z., and Li, X. Role of NF-kB activator Act1 in CD40-mediated signaling in epithelial cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 99: 9386-9391, 2002.
  23. Jiang Z., Ninomiya-Tsuji J., Qian Y., Matumoto K., and Li X. IRAK-dependent IL-1-induced signaling complexes phosphorylate TAK1 and TAB2 at the plasma membrane and activate TAK1 in the cytosol. Mol. Cell. Biol. 20(20): 7158-7167, 2002.
  24. Qian Y, Commane M, Ninomiya-Tsuji J, Matsumoto K, Li X. IRAK-mediated translocation of TRAF6 and TAB2 in the IL-1-induced activation of NFkB. J. Biol. Chem. 276(45): 41661-41667, 2001.

Invited reviews, comments and book chapters
1. Song X, Gao H, Qian Y*. Th17 Differentiation and Their Pro-inflammation Function. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 841:99-151.
2. Song X, Qian Y*. IL-17 family cytokines mediated signaling in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Cell Signal. 2013 Jul 31; 25(12):2335-2347.
3. Song X, Qian Y*. Peli1 sets the CNS on fire. Nat Med. 2013 May;19 (5):536-8.
4. Shu Z, Pan W, Qian Y*. MicroRNA in immunity and autoimmunity. J Mol Med (Berl) . 2013 Sep; 91(9):1039-50.
5. Song X, Qian Y*. The activation and regulation of IL-17 receptor mediated signaling. Cytokine. 2013 May; 62(2):175-82.
6. Yao Y, Qian Y*. Expression regulation and function of NLRC5. Protein Cell. 2013 Mar; 4(3):168-75.
7. Zhu S and Qian Y*. (2012) IL-17/IL-17 receptor system in autoimmune disease: mechanisms and therapeutic potential. Clin. Sci. 122(11), 487-511.
8. Qian Y*, Kang Z, Liu C, Li X*. (2010) IL-17 signaling in host defense and inflammatory diseases. Cell Mol Immunol. 7(5):328-33.
9. Qian Y, Shi Y. (2009) Natural killer cells go inside: entosis versus cannibalism. Cell Res. 19(12):1320-1.

Group Members

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