University of South Alabama

Xiangming Zha

Xiangming Zha

Assistant Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
College of Medicine
University of South Alabama

Contact Information:
Medical Sciences Building 1201
307 University Blvd
Mobile, AL 36688
Tel: (251) 460 6769
Fax: (251) 460 6771

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:
pH and Neuron 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.

We are currently studying how acidosis regulates neuronal survival and synaptic remodeling. Specifically, we are asking how acidosis and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), the primary postsynaptic proton receptor in brain neurons, contribute to ischemia-induced neuronal injury.  One specific question we are asking is how a change in biogenesis and trafficking of ASICs regulate the outcome of neuronal injury in response to ischemia and a decrease in extracellular pH.  In these studies, we primarily use organotypic hippocampal slices and cultured neurons, and apply a combination of cellular, molecular, biochemical and imaging approaches.

Funding: American Heart Association.

Zha Lab

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Jing L, Chu XP#, Zha XM#. (2013) Three Distinct Motifs within the C-terminus of ASIC1a Regulate its Surface Trafficking. Neuroscience in press. (# corresponding author). URL
  2. Zha XM. (2013) Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function. Mol Brain 6:1. Free Access
  3. 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
  4. Jing L, Jiang YQ, Jiang Q, Wang B, Chu XP, and Zha XM. (2011) Interaction between the first transmembrane domain and the thumb of acid-sensing ion channel 1a is critical for its N-glycosylation and trafficking. PLoS One  6: e26909. Free Access
  5. Lu Y, Zha XM, Kim EY, Schachtele S, Dailey ME, Hall DD, Strack S, Green SH, Hoffman DA, and Hell JW. (2011) A Kinase Anchor Protein150-Associated Protein Kinase A Limits Dendritic Spine Density. J Biol Chem. 286:26496-506. PMCID: PMC3143614.
  6. Zha XM, Costa V, Harding A, Reznikov L, Price MP, Benson CJ, and Welsh MJ. (2009) ASIC2 Subunits Target Acid-Sensing Ion Channels to the Synapse via an Association with PSD-95. J Neurosci. 29: 8839-46. Free Access
  7. Zha XM, Dailey ME, and Green SH. (2009) Role of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in dendritic spine remodeling during epileptiform activity in vitro. J Neurosci.Res. 87:1969-1979 Free Access
  8. 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
  9. Zha XM, Wemmie JA, Green SH, and Welsh MJ. (2006) ASIC1a Is a Postsynaptic Proton Receptor that Affects the Density of Dendritic Spines. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 103: 16556-16561. Free Access
  10. Zha XM, Green SH, and Dailey ME. (2005) Regulation of hippocampal synapse remodeling by epileptiform activity. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 29(4): 494-506. (*Journal cover)



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