Graduate Studies Faculty

Xin Jie Chen, PhD

Xin Jie Chen, PhD
Appointed 06/29/07
4262 Weiskotten Hall
766 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210

315 464-8723

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences Program
  • Research Pillars

Education & Fellowships

  • PhD: University of Paris-Sud, 1987, Molecular and Cellular Genetics

Research Interests

  • Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.


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Research Abstract

Mitochondria are the powerhouses that generate energy by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to support cellular activities, and are the integrators of cellular signals that promote different forms of cell death. Mitochondria are also known as the “powerhouses of diseases and aging”, as mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with a rapidly growing number of aging-related neuromuscular degenerative diseases and metabolic disorders. How the mitochondrial function deteriorates during aging and how this in turn induces cellular degeneration are poorly understood. We use yeast, cultured cell lines and mouse as model systems to address these fundamental questions.

The ongoing research in our laboratory is focused on the following three projects:

(1) We are interested to understand how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to aging and aging-related diseases.

(2) We are interested to identify evolutionarily conserved pathways that can potentially delay and possibly, reverse mitochondria-induced cellular degeneration.

(3) We investigate the mechanisms of mitochondrial DNA recombination, replication and repair. Elucidating these fundamental processes could help better understanding how the mitochondrial system degenerates during aging.


Recent publications:

Chen, X.J. (2013) Mechanism of homologous recombination and implications for aging-related deletions in mitochondrial DNA. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 77:476-96

La T, Clark-Walker GD, Wang X, Wilkens S, Chen XJ. (2013) Mutations on the N-terminal edge of the DELSEED loop in either α or β subunit of the mitochondrial F1-ATPase enhance ATP hydrolysis in the absence of the central γ rotor. Eukaryote Cell Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Mbantenkhu, M., Wierzbicki, S., Wang, X., Guo, S., Wilkens, S., Chen, X.J. (2013) A short carboxyl-terminal tail is required for single-stranded DNA binding, higher-order structural organization, and stability of the mitochondrial single-stranded annealing protein Mgm101. Mol Biol Cell 24:1507-18.

Liu Y, Chen XJ. (2013) Adenine nucleotide translocase, mitochondrial stress, and degenerative cell death. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013:146860. Epub 2013 Jul 18.


Wang X, Mbantenkhu M, Wierzbicki S, Chen XJ. (2013) Preparation of the Mgm101 recombination protein by MBP-based tagging strategy. J Vis Exp. Jun 25;(76). doi: 10.3791/50448.

Nardozzi, J.D. *, Wang, X.* (* equal contribution), Mbantenkhu, M., Wilkens, S. and Chen, X.J. (2012) A properly configured ring structure is critical for the function of the mitochondrial DNA recombination protein, Mgm101. J Biol Chem 287:37259-68.

Chen, X.J. (2011) The search for nonconventional mitochondrial determinants of aging. Mol Cell 42:271-273. (Preview)


Mbantenkhu, M.*, Wang, X.* (* equal contribution), Nardozzi, J.D., Wilkens, S., Hoffman, E., Patel, A., Costrove, M.S. and Chen, X.J. (2011) Mgm101 is a Rad52-related protein required for mitochondrial DNA recombination. J Biol Chem 286:42360-70.



Kucejova B, Li L, Wang X, Giannattasio S, Chen XJ. (2008) Pleiotropic effects of the yeast Sal1 and Aac2 carriers on mitochondrial function via an activity distinct from adenine nucleotide transport. Mol Genet Genomics. 280:25-39.



Wang X, Salinas K, Zuo X, Kucejova B, Chen XJ. (2008) Dominant membrane uncoupling by mutant adenine nucleotide translocase in mitochondrial diseases. Hum Mol Genet. 17:4036-44.


Wang X, Zuo X, Kucejova B, Chen XJ. Reduced cytosolic protein synthesis suppresses mitochondrial degeneration (2008) Nat Cell Biol. 10:1090-7.


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