Robin Du

Senior Research Associate

Professional Experience:

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

 

Research Contribution:

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, 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 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: 

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=5qcHpYoAAAAJ&hl=en

Selected Publications:

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

 

 

Journal articles
add
Qian H; Zhao X; Yan R; Yao X; Gao S; Sun X; Du X; Yang H; Wong CCL; Yan N, 2020, 'Structural basis for catalysis and substrate specificity of human ACAT1', Nature, vol. 581, pp. 333 - 338, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2290-0
2020
Qian H; Wu X; Du X; Yao X; Zhao X; Lee J; Yang H; Yan N, 2020, 'Structural Basis of Low-pH-Dependent Lysosomal Cholesterol Egress by NPC1 and NPC2', Cell
2020
Du X; Zhou L; Aw YC; Mak HY; Xu Y; Rae J; Wang W; Zadoorian A; Hancock SE; Osborne B; Chen X; Wu JW; Turner N; Parton RG; Li P; 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, vol. 219, http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201905162
2020
Dong J; Du X; Wang H; Wang J; Lu C; Chen X; Zhu Z; Luo Z; Yu L; Brown AJ; Yang H; Wu JW, 2019, 'Allosteric enhancement of ORP1-mediated cholesterol transport by PI(4,5)P 2 /PI(3,4)P 2', Nature Communications, vol. 10, pp. 829, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08791-0
2019
Xu Y; Mak HY; Lukmantara I; Li YE; Hoehn KL; Huang X; Du X; Yang H, 2019, 'CDP-DAG synthase 1 and 2 regulate lipid droplet growth through distinct mechanisms', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 294, pp. 16740 - 16755, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.009992
2019
Wang H; Ma Q; Qi Y; Dong J; Du X; Rae J; Wang J; Wu WF; Brown AJ; Parton RG; Wu JW; Yang H, 2019, 'ORP2 Delivers Cholesterol to the Plasma Membrane in Exchange for Phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-Bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P 2 )', Molecular Cell, vol. 73, pp. 458 - 473.e7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.11.014
2019
Xu Y; Du X; Turner N; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2019, 'Enhanced acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase activity increases cholesterol levels on the lipid droplet surface and impairs adipocyte function', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 294, pp. 19306 - 19321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.011160
2019
Du X; Turner N; Yang H, 2018, 'The role of oxysterol-binding protein and its related proteins in cancer', Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, vol. 81, pp. 149 - 153, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.07.017
2018
Yan R; Qian H; Lukmantara I; Gao M; Du X; Yan N; Yang H, 2018, 'Human SEIPIN Binds Anionic Phospholipids', Dev. Cell, vol. 47, pp. 248 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.09.010
2018
Du X; Zadoorian A; Lukmantara IE; Qi Y; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2018, 'Oxysterol-binding protein–related protein 5 (ORP5) promotes cell proliferation by activation of MTORC1 signaling', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 293, pp. 3806 - 3818, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA117.001558
2018
Du X; Lukmantara I; Yang H, 2017, 'CRISPR/Cas9-mediated generation of niemann–pick C1 knockout cell line', Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1583, pp. 73 - 83, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-6875-6_7
2017
Ghai R; Du X; Wang H; Dong J; Ferguson C; Brown AJ; Parton RG; Wu JW; 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, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00861-5
2017
Liu X; Xie B; Qi Y; Du X; Wang S; Zhang Y; Paxinos G; Yang H; Liang H, 2016, 'The expression of SEIPIN in the mouse central nervous system', Brain Structure and Function, vol. 221, pp. 4111 - 4127, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-015-1151-3
2016
Wang M; Gao M; Liao J; Qi Y; Du X; Wang Y; Li L; Liu G; Yang H, 2016, 'Adipose tissue deficiency results in severe hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in the low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice', Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, vol. 1861, pp. 410 - 418, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.02.018
2016
Tuong ZK; Lau P; Du X; Condon ND; Goode JM; Oh TG; Yeo JC; Muscat GEO; Stow JL, 2016, 'RORα and 25-hydroxycholesterol crosstalk regulates lipid droplet homeostasis in macrophages', PLoS ONE, vol. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147179
2016
Pagac M; Cooper DE; Qi Y; Lukmantara IE; Mak HY; Wu Z; Tian Y; Liu Z; Lei M; Du X; Ferguson C; Kotevski D; Sadowski P; Chen W; Boroda S; Harris TE; Liu G; Parton RG; Huang X; Coleman RA; Yang H, 2016, 'SEIPIN Regulates Lipid Droplet Expansion and Adipocyte Development by Modulating the Activity of Glycerol-3-phosphate Acyltransferase', Cell Reports, vol. 17, pp. 1546 - 1559, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.10.037
2016
Qi Y; Kapterian TS; Du X; Ma Q; Fei W; Zhang Y; Huang X; Dawes IW; Yang H, 2016, 'CDP-diacylglycerol synthases regulate the growth of lipid droplets and adipocyte development', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 57, pp. 767 - 780, http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.M060574
2016
Du X; Zhang Y; Jo SR; Liu X; Qi Y; Osborne B; Byrne FL; Smith GC; Turner N; Hoehn KL; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2015, 'Akt activation increases cellular cholesterol by promoting the proteasomal degradation of Niemann-Pick C1', Biochemical Journal, vol. 471, pp. 243 - 253, http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20150602
2015
Du X; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2015, 'Novel mechanisms of intracellular cholesterol transport: oxysterol-binding proteins and membrane contact sites', Current Opinion in Cell Biology, vol. 35, pp. 37 - 42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ceb.2015.04.002
2015
Chu B-B; Liao Y-C; Qi W; Xie C; Du X; Wang J; Yang H; Miao H-H; Li B-L; Song B-L, 2015, 'Cholesterol Transport through Lysosome-Peroxisome Membrane Contacts', Cell, vol. 161, pp. 291 - 306, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.019
2015
Du X; Kazim AS; Dawes IW; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2013, 'The AAA ATPase VPS4/SKD1 regulates endosomal cholesterol trafficking independently of ESCRT-III.', Traffic, vol. 14, pp. 107 - 119, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tra.12015
2013
Du X; Yang H, 2013, 'Endosomal cholesterol trafficking: protein factors at a glance.', ACTA Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica, vol. 45, pp. 11 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gms095&#65279
2013
Ta MT; Kapterian T; Fei W; Du X; Brown AJ; Dawes IW; Yang H, 2012, 'Accumulation of squalene is associated with the clustering of lipid droplets.', FEBS Journal, vol. 279, pp. 4231 - 4244, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.12015
2012
Du X; Kazim A; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2012, 'An essential role of Hrs/Vps27 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking', Cell Reports, vol. 1, pp. 29 - 35, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2011.10.004
2012
Du X; Yang H, 2011, 'Sterol-binding proteins and endosomal cholesterol transport', Frontiers in Biology, vol. 6, pp. 190 - 196
2011
Du XR; Kumar J; Ferguson C; Schulz TA; Ong YS; Hong W; Prinz WA; Parton RG; Brown AJ; Yang H, 2011, 'A role for oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 5 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 192, pp. 121 - 135, http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201004142
2011
Fei W; Li H; Shui G; Kapterian TS; Bielby C; Du X; Brown AJ; Li P; Wenk M; Liu P; Yang H, 2011, 'Molecular characterization of seipin and its mutants: implications for seipin in triacylglycerol synthesis.', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 52, pp. 2136 - 2147, http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.M017566
2011
Fei W; Du XR; Yang H, 2011, 'Seipin, adipogenesis and lipid droplets.', Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 22, pp. 204 - 210, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2011.02.004
2011
Sharpe LJ; Du X; Brown AJ, 2008, 'Approaches to investigate the role of signaling in ER-to-golgi transport', Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 457, pp. 215 - 225, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59745-261-8_16
2008
Fei W; Shui G; Gaeta BA; Du XR; Kuerschner L; Liu P; Brown AJ; Wenk M; Parton R; Yang H, 2008, 'Fld1p, a functional homologue of human seipin, regulates the size of lipid droplets in yeast', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 180, pp. 473 - 482, http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/icb.200711136
2008
Du XR; Kristiana I; Wong J; Brown AJ, 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 the Cell, vol. 17, pp. 2735 - 2745, http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E05-11-1094
2006
Du XR; Pham Y; Brown AJ, 2004, 'Effects of 25-hydroxycholesterol on cholesterol esterification andsterol regulatory element-binding protein processing are dissociable -Implications for cholesterol movement to the regulatory pool in theendoplasmic reticulum', The Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 279, pp. 47010 - 47016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M408690200
2004
Book Chapters
add
Sharpe LJ; Du XR; Brown AJ, 2008, 'Approaches to investigate the role of signaling in ER-to-Golgi transport', in Sheehan D; Tyther R (ed.), Methods in Molecular Biology, Two Dimensional Electrophoresis Protocols, Humana Press, Inc., United States, pp. 215 - 227
2008

2019, Research Excellence Awards, Australian Association of Chinese Biomedical Scientists