2010 – current: Senior Research Associate, School of BABS
2007 – 2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of BABS
2003 – 2007: PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, UNSW
2002 – 2003: MSc in Biotechnology, UNSW
Dr Du’s research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of intracellular lipid trafficking and investigating how changes in membrane lipid distribution and metabolism contribute to metabolic disorders and cancer. He received a PhD from UNSW in 2007 for studies examining molecular machinery controlling cholesterol homeostasis and cell signalling. After his PhD training, Dr Du continued to investigate molecular functions of lipid transfer proteins, such as Niemann Pick Type C proteins and oxysterol-binding protein-related proteins. He has since developed a keen interest in intracellular lipid trafficking and its role in human diseases. He has gained further extensive experience in genetics, molecular cloning, genome editing, protein purification, lipidomics, advanced fluorescent microscopy, and new model systems such as yeast and mouse. In 2010, Dr Du became a Senior Research Associate. He is currently leading a research team focusing on organellar membrane lipid dynamics mediated by lipid transfer proteins at the School of BABS, UNSW.
Dr Du has a record of continuing publications in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals, including Cell, Nature, Science, Molecular Cell, Nature Communications, Developmental Cell, Cell Reports, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Lipid Research, Molecular Biology of the Cell, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr Du serves as a referee for the NHMRC and a reviewer for the International Journal of Cell Biology, PLOS ONE and others. He is also an active member of the ASBMB and Biochemical Society (London).
Dr Du’s publications and citations can be found at:
Zhang T, Li YE, Yuan Y, Du X, Wang Y, Dong X, Yang H, Qi S. TMEM41B and VMP1 are phospholipid scramblases. Autophagy 1-3 12 Jun 2021
Li YE*, Wang Y*, Du X*, Zhang T, Mak HY, Hancock SE, McEwen H, Pandzic E, Whan RM, Aw YC, Lukmantara IE, Yuan Y, Dong X, Don A, Turner N, Qi S and Yang H. (2021) TMEM41B and VMP1 are scramblases and regulate the distribution of cholesterol and phosphatidylserine. Journal of Cell Biology; 220 (6), e202103105(*co-first)
Yan R, Cao P, Song W, Qian H, Du X, Coates HW, Zhao X, Li Y, Gao S, Gong X, Liu X, Sui J, Lei J, Yang H, Brown AJ, Zhou Q, Yan C, Yan N. (2021) A structure of human Scap bound to Insig-2 suggests how their interaction is regulated by sterols. Science Jan 14:eabb2224. doi: 10.1126/science.abb2224.
Du, X., Yang, H. (2021) Seipin regulates the formation of nuclear lipid droplets from a distance. Journal of Cell Biology Jan 4;220(1):e202011166. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202011166.
Qian, H.*, Wu, X.*, Du, X.*, Yao, X., Zaho, X., Yang, H., and Yan, N. (2020) Structural basis of low pH-dependent lysosomal cholesterol egress by NPC1 and NPC2. Cell 182, 1-14 (*co-first)
Qian, H., Zhao, X., Yan, R., Yao, X., Gao, S., Sun, X., Du, X., Yang, H., Wong, C. C. L., and Yan, N. (2020) Structural basis for catalysis and substrate specificity of human ACAT1. Nature 581, 333-338
Du, X.*, Zhou, L., Aw, Y. C., Mak, H. Y., Xu, Y., Rae, J., Wang, W., Zadoorian, A., Hancock, S. E., Osborne, B., Chen, X., Wu, J. W., Turner, N., Parton, R. G., Li, P., and Yang, H.* (2020) ORP5 localizes to ER-lipid droplet contacts and regulates the level of PI(4)P on lipid droplets. Journal of Cell Biology 219 (*co-corresponding)
Wang, H., Ma, Q., Qi, Y., Dong, J., Du, X., Rae, J., Wang, J., Wu, W. F., Brown, A. J., Parton, R. G., Wu, J. W., and Yang, H. (2019) ORP2 Delivers Cholesterol to the Plasma Membrane in Exchange for Phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-Bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2). Molecular Cell 73, 458-473 e457
Dong, J.*, Du, X.*, Wang, H.*, Wang, J., Lu, C., Chen, X., Zhu, Z., Luo, Z., Yu, L., Brown, A. J., Yang, H., and Wu, J. W. (2019) Allosteric enhancement of ORP1-mediated cholesterol transport by PI(4,5)P2/PI(3,4)P2. Nature Communications 10, 829 (*co-first)
Yan, R., Qian, H., Lukmantara, I., Gao, M., Du, X., Yan, N., and Yang, H. (2018) Human SEIPIN Binds Anionic Phospholipids. Developmental Cell 47, 248-256 e244
Du, X.*, Zadoorian, A., Lukmantara, I. E., Qi, Y., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H.* (2018) Oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 5 (ORP5) promotes cell proliferation by activation of mTORC1 signaling. Journal of Biological Chemistry 293, 3806-3818 (*co-corresponding)
Du, X., Turner, N., and Yang, H. (2018) The role of oxysterol-binding protein and its related proteins in cancer. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 81, 149-153
Ghai, R.*, Du, X.*, Wang, H., Dong, J., Ferguson, C., Brown, A. J., Parton, R. G., Wu, J. W., and Yang, H. (2017) ORP5 and ORP8 bind phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-biphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P 2) and regulate its level at the plasma membrane. Nature Communications 8, 757 (*co-first)
Pagac, M., Cooper, D. E., Qi, Y., Lukmantara, I. E., Mak, H. Y., Wu, Z., Tian, Y., Liu, Z., Lei, M., Du, X., Ferguson, C., Kotevski, D., Sadowski, P., Chen, W., Boroda, S., Harris, T. E., Liu, G., Parton, R. G., Huang, X., Coleman, R. A., and Yang, H. (2016) SEIPIN Regulates Lipid Droplet Expansion and Adipocyte Development by Modulating the Activity of Glycerol-3-phosphate Acyltransferase. Cell Reports 17, 1546-1559
Du, X.*, Zhang, Y., Jo, S. R., Liu, X., Qi, Y., Osborne, B., Byrne, F. L., Smith, G. C., Turner, N., Hoehn, K. L., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H.* (2015) Akt activation increases cellular cholesterol by promoting the proteasomal degradation of Niemann-Pick C1. Biochemical Journal 471, 243-253 (*co-corresponding)
Du, X., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H. (2015) Novel mechanisms of intracellular cholesterol transport: oxysterol-binding proteins and membrane contact sites. Current Opinion in Cell Biology 35, 37-42
Chu, B. B., Liao, Y. C., Qi, W., Xie, C., Du, X., Wang, J., Yang, H., Miao, H. H., Li, B. L., and Song, B. L. (2015) Cholesterol transport through lysosome-peroxisome membrane contacts. Cell 161, 291-306
Du, X., Kazim, A. S., Dawes, I. W., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H. (2013) The AAA ATPase VPS4/SKD1 regulates endosomal cholesterol trafficking independently of ESCRT-III. Traffic 14, 107-119
Du, X., Kazim, A. S., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H. (2012) An essential role of Hrs/Vps27 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking. Cell Reports 1, 29-35
Du, X., Kumar, J., Ferguson, C., Schulz, T. A., Ong, Y. S., Hong, W., Prinz, W. A., Parton, R. G., Brown, A. J., and Yang, H. (2011) A role for oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 5 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking. Journal of Cell Biology 192, 121-135
Fei, W., Shui, G., Gaeta, B., Du, X., Kuerschner, L., Li, P., Brown, A. J., Wenk, M. R., Parton, R. G., and Yang, H. (2008) Fld1p, a functional homologue of human seipin, regulates the size of lipid droplets in yeast. Journal of Cell Biology 180, 473-482
Du, X., Kristiana, I., Wong, J., and Brown, A. J. (2006) Involvement of Akt in ER-to-Golgi transport of SCAP/SREBP: a link between a key cell proliferative pathway and membrane synthesis. Molecular Biology of Cell 17, 2735-2745
Du, X., Pham, Y. H., and Brown, A. J. (2004) Effects of 25-hydroxycholesterol on cholesterol esterification and sterol regulatory element-binding protein processing are dissociable: implications for cholesterol movement to the regulatory pool in the endoplasmic reticulum. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279, 47010-47016