Xiangming ZhaXiangming Zha

Associate Professor
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology
College of Medicine
University of South Alabama


Contact Information

Medical Sciences Building 3074
5851 USA Dr N
Mobile, AL 36688
Tel: (251) 460 6769
Fax: (251) 460 6771
Email: zha@southalabama.edu



B.Sc.: Shanghai JiaoTong University (1991)
M.Sc.: Shanghai Brain Research Institute (1994)
Ph.D.: University of Iowa (2000)
Postdoc: University of Iowa, with Drs. Steven Green & Michale Dailey
               University of Iowa and HHMI, with Dr. Michael J. Welsh


Research Interest

Acid signaling and Neuronal Function

While brain pH is tightly regulated, it can fluctuate under physiological and pathological conditions.  In particular, various disease conditions, including seizure, stroke, mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases, all lead to a decrease in extracellular pH, or acidosis.  Understanding how a reduced pH regulates neuron function thus has important clinical implications.

There are currently three main focuses in the laboratory. First, we are asking how protons, through activating acid-sensing ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors, signal in neurons. Second, we are asking how acid signaling regulate neuron function and behavioral output in rodents. Third, we are asking how a change in acid signaling alters acidosis- and ischemia-induced neuronal injury. In these studies, we use cell lines, primary neuron cultures, organotypic brain slices and whole animals, and apply a combination of cellular, molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological and imaging approaches.


Selected Recent Publications

  1. Jiang N*, Wu J*, Leng T*, Yang T, Zhou Y, Jiang Q, Wang B, Hu Y, Ji YH, Simon RP, Chu XP, Xiong ZG#, and Zha XM#. Region specific contribution of ASIC2 to acidosis- and ischemia-induced neuronal injury. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2016. published online Feb 9, 2016. (# co-corresponding author). Online Access
  2. Wu J*, Leng T*, Jing L, Jiang N, Chen D, Hu Y, Xiong ZG, and Zha XM. Two di-leucine motifs regulate surface expression and dendritic targeting of mouse ASIC2a. Mol. Brain 9(1): 9, 2016. Free Access
  3. Wu J, Xu Y, Jiang YQ, Xu J, Hu Y, and Zha XM. ASIC subunit ratio and differential surface trafficking in the brain. Mol. Brain 9(1): 4, 2016. Free Access
  4. Huang Y, Jiang N, Li J, Ji YH, Xiong ZG#, Zha XM#. (2015) Two aspects of ASIC function: synaptic plasticity and neuronal injury (review). Neuropharmacology 94:42-8. (# co-corresponding author) Online Access
  5. Du J, Reznikov LR, Price MP, Zha XM, Lu Y, Moninger TO, Wemmie JA, and Welsh MJ. (2014) Protons and ASICs are a neurotransmitter/receptor pair that regulates synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 111:8961-6. Free Access
  6. Jing L, Chu XP#, and Zha XM#. Three distinct motifs within the C-terminus of ASIC1a regulate its surface trafficking. Neuroscience 247:321-7, 2013. (#co-corresponding author). Free Access
  7. Zha XM. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function. (review). Mol. Brain 6:1, 2013. Free Access
  8. Jing L*, Chu XP*, Jiang YQ*, Collier DM, Wang B, Jiang Q, Snyder PM and Zha XM. (2012) N-Glycosylation of Acid-sensing Ion Channel 1a Regulates its Trafficking and Acidosis-induced Spine Remodeling. J Neurosci. 32: 4080-91. Free Access
  9. Jing L, Jiang YQ, Jiang Q, Wang B, Chu XP, and Zha XM. Interaction between the first transmembrane domain and the thumb of ASIC1a is critical for its N-glycosylation and trafficking. PLoS One 6:e26909, 2011. Free Access
  10. Zha XM, Costa V, Harding A, Reznikov L, Price MP, Benson CJ, and Welsh MJ. ASIC2 subunits target acid-sensing ion channels to the synapse via an association with PSD-95. J Neurosci. 29: 8839-46, 2009. Free Access
  11. Zha XM, Wang R, Collier DM, Wemmie JA, Snyder P, and Welsh MJ. (2009) Oxidant Regulated Intersubunit Disulfide Bond Formation between ASIC1a Subunits. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106: 3573-3578. Free Access


Current Lab Members

Mindi He (postdoctoral fellow)

Yuanyuan Xu (visiting scholar)


Past Lab Members

Visiting scholars: Junjun Wu, Nan Jiang, Yuqing Jiang, Lan Jing

Postdoctoral fellow: Yufan Zhou

Undergraduate students: Tian Tan, Thomas George


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