Science in the Aye Lab

The Aye lab focuses on chemistry-driven methods development in Chemical Biology, with the goals to understand biochemistry and cellular biology of electrophile signaling pathways and molecular regulation of redox-sensitive and electrophile-responsive proteins of importance in human pathophysiology.


Our Research Arena

  • Synthetic Methodology
  • Chemical Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • and more recently, C. elegans and zebrafish in vivo research models

Research Programs

1) T-REX On-Demand Redox Targeting

We are exploiting T-REX, the target-specific redox perturbation platform that our lab has recently developed, to deconstruct individual oxidative and electrophilic signaling events in living systems, specifically, cultured mammalian cells, zebrafish, and C. elegans.

Fang & Fu et al., J Am Chem Soc (2013) 135 14496

Parvez & Fu et al., J Am Chem Soc (2015) 137 10

Lin et al., J Am Chem Soc (2015) 137 6232

Long et al., J Am Chem Soc (2016) 138 3610 – Selected by the JACS Editors as a JACS SpotsLight Article

Parvez & Long et al., Nature Protocols (201611 2328

Long & Parvez et al. (2017) Nature Chemical Biology – doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2284

Long et al. (2016) ACS CRT (in honor of ACS CRT Young Investigator Award) – Selected as an ACS Editors’ Choice Article; Selected for Journal Cover Art

Long et al. (2017) ACS Chemical Biology doi: 10.1021/acschembio.6b01148

Long & Lin et al. (2017) Submitted (original research)

2) Novel Functions of Protein Multimers in Nucleotide Signaling, DNA regulation, and Genome Maintenance

We are seeking to advance mechanistic understanding of nucleotide drugs-driven protein oligomeric regulation and functional consequences in DNA replication and genome integrity through approaches that combine in vitro studies, cell culture, and mouse models.

Fu et al., Biochemistry (201352 7050

Fu et al., ChemBioChem (2014) 15  2598

Aye and Weiss labs, Oncogene (2015) 34 2011

Wisitpitthaya et al., ACS Chem Bio (2016) 11 2021

Fu & Long et al. (2017) In Revision

Long & Fu et al. (2017) In Preparation

3) Biophysics and Biochemical Regulation of Redox-Dependent Metalloenzymes

We are investigating the mechanism and regulation of redox-dependent metalloenzymes in isolated systems and in intact mammalian cells.

4) A Chemical Approach to Modulate Protein Trafficking

We are developing a new chemical platform for manipulating intracellular protein trafficking.


Specific Opportunities for Training & Experience in-House

Program 1:
synthetic methodology and new reaction discovery, protein expression/purification, mammalian tissue culture, cloning and gene delivery, lentiviral vector-mediated transduction of short-hairpin RNAs, live-cell imaging (confocal fluorescence & multiphoton excitation microscopy), flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, quantitative real-time PCR, proteomics analyses, and microinjection techniques.

Program 2:
chemical and chemoenzymatic synthesis, protein expression/purification, enzyme inhibition kinetics, oligomeric state analyses, fluorescence assays (using both synthetic dyes & fluorescent proteins): fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence anisotropy, stopped-flow kinetics, mammalian tissue culture, cloning and gene delivery, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis, live-cell imaging (confocal fluorescence microscopy), cell-based DNA damage assays, single DNA fiber staining method, RNA-seq analysis, and high-throughput drug discovery.

Program 3:
anaerobic techniques in metalloenzymology, in vitro and whole-cell electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, mammalian tissue culture, cloning, generation and maintenance of stable cell lines, microscopy.

Program 4:
analogous to Program 1.


Additional Training Opportunities through Research Collaborations

  • Single particle electron microscopy
  • Macromolecular X-ray crystallography
  • Animal model studies in mice