About Dr. Liu
I am trained in the general areas of biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, and I have become very interested in physiology in recent years. I teach Biochemistry ii (upper undergraduate and graduate level) and Biological Clocks (graduate level, team with Dr. David Freeman). The major focus of my lab is the biochemical and molecular basis of circadian rhythms in physiology and behavior. We use mice and rats and cultured mammalian cells as model systems and employ highly integrated approaches in our experiments. I have always been fascinated by the prevalence of the circadian phenomenon and the multi-dimensional organization of the system. Leveraging our expertise and various cell and animal clock models, my lab carries out three main areas of research: i) probe the biochemical and structural basis of circadian behavior; ii) identify novel genes and networks that modulate clock function; and iii) investigate the physiology of blood pressure regulation and pathophysiology of hypertension, centering on circadian rhythms of blood pressure, asleep hypertension and chronotherapeutics. We study the circadian system at multiple levels of biological organization (i.e., cell, tissue, organ, and organism). Scientifically, our goal is to fill in the gaps in knowledge about the molecular and cellular processes connecting genes to behavior, and to elucidate how the molecular clocks regulate behavior, physiology, and metabolism. Ultimately, I hope to gather sufficiently detailed knowledge to effectively modulate our timekeeping system to improve treatments for clock-related disorders and enhance body fitness.
• Circadian rhythms in mammals
• Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
B. S. Biology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, P.R. China; M.S., Molecular Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China; Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI; Post-Doc, Molecular Genetics, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
• Liu AC*, Welsh DK* (co-first author), Ko CH, Tran HG, Zhang EE, Priest AA, Buhr ED, Singer O, Meeker K, Verma IM, Doyle FJ, Takahashi JS, Kay SA (2007) Intercellular coupling confers robustness against mutations in the SCN circadian clock network. Cell 129: 605-616 (PMID: 17482552)
• Liu AC, Tran HG, Zhang EE, Priest AA, Welsh DK, Kay SA (2008) Redundant function of REV-ERB alpha and beta and non-essential role for BMAL1 cycling in transcriptional regulation of intracellular circadian rhythms. PLoS Genetics 4(2): e1000023 (PMCID: PMC2265523)
• Zhang EE*, Liu AC* (co-first author), Hirota T*, Miraglia LJ, Welch G, Pongsawakul PY, Liu X, Atwood A, Huss JW, Janes J, Su AI, Hogenesch JB* and Kay SA* (co-senior author) (2009) A Genome-wide siRNA screen for modifiers of the circadian clock in human cells. Cell 139: 199-210 (PMCID: PMC2777987; PMID: 19765810)
• Ukai-Tadenuma M, Yamada R, Xu H, Ripperger JA, Liu AC and Ueda HR (2011) Delay in feedback repression by Cry1 is required for circadian clock function. Cell 144: 268-281 (PMID: 21236481)
• Ramanathan C, Khan SK, Kathale ND, Xu H, Liu AC (2012) Monitoring cell-autonomous circadian clock rhythms of gene expression using luciferase bioluminescence reporters. J. Visualized Experiments. (67), e4234 (PMID: 23052244)
• Khan SK, Xu H, Ukai-Tadenuma M, Burton B, Wang Y, Ueda HR and Liu AC (2012) Identification of cryptochrome differentiating domain required for feedback repression in circadian clock function. Journal of Biological Chemistry 287 (31): 25917-26 (PMID: 22692217; PMCID: PMC3406676)
• Evans JA, Pan H, Liu AC, Welsh DK (2012) Cry1-/- circadian rhythmicity depends on SCN intercellular coupling. Journal of Biological Rhythms 27 (6): 443-452
• Anafi RC, Lee Y, Sato TK, Venkataraman A, Ramanathan C, Kavakli IH, Hughes ME, Baggs JE, Growe JP, Liu AC, Kim J and Hogenesch JB (2014) Machine learning helps identify CHRONO as a circadian clock component. PLoS Biol 12(4): e1001840 (PMID: 24737000)
• Ramanathan C, Xu H, Khan SK, Shen Y, Gitis PJ, Welsh DK, Hogenesch JB, and Liu AC (2014) Cell type-specific functions of Period genes revealed by novel adipocyte and hepatocyte circadian clock models. PLoS Genet 10(4): e1004244 (PMID: 24699442; PMCID: PMC3974647)
• Xu H*, Gustafson CL* (co-first author), Sammons PJ, Khan SK, Parsley NC, Ramanathan C, Lee HW, Liu AC* and Partch CL* (co-senior author) (2015) Cryptochrome 1 regulates the circadian clock through dynamic interactions with the BMAL1 C-terminus, Nature Struct Mol Biol, in press.