Our laboratory has advanced a new paradigm of transition metal signaling, where essential elements like copper and iron can serve as dynamic regulators of biological function. This concept broadens the traditional view of metals in biology that narrowly defines redox-active elements as static metabolic cofactors that must tightly-bound within buried protein active sites to protect against oxidative stress, and with only redox-innocent metals (e.g., sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc) having the capacity to serve as mobile signals. We are developing activity-based sensing (ABS) probes and related chemical tools for imaging dynamic transition metal pools by fluorescence, bioluminescence and MRI, as well as for proteomic identification and characterization of new metalloprotein targets. These technologies are being applied in cell, tissue, zebrafish, and mouse models to study the contributions of transition metal signaling to fat metabolism in obesity, diabetes, and cancer, along with neural circuitry.


Chang, C. J. "Bioinorganic Life and Neural Activity: Toward a Chemistry of Consciousness?", Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 535-538. [html] [pdf]

Ackerman, C. M.; Lee, S.; Chang, C. J. "Analytical Methods for Imaging Metals in Biology: From Transition Metal Metabolism to Transition Metal Signaling", Anal. Chem. 2017, 89, 22-41. [html] [pdf]

Chang, C. J. "Searching for Harmony in Transition-Metal Signaling", Nature Chem. Biol. 2015, 111, 744-747. [html] [pdf]

Aron, A. T.; Ramos-Torres, K. M.; Cotruvo, Jr., J. A.; Chang, C. J. "Recognition- and Reactivity-Based Fluorescent Probes for Studying Transition Metal Signaling in Living Systems", Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2434-2442. [pdf]


Heffern, M. C.; Park, H. M.; Au-Yeung, H. Y.; Van de Bittner, G. C.; Ackerman, C. M.; Stahl, A. Chang, C. J. "In vivo bioluminescence imaging reveals copper deficiency in a murine model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2016, 113, 14219-14224. [html] [pdf]

Lee, S.; Barin, G.; Ackerman, C. M.; Muchenditsi, A.; Xu, J.; Reimer, J. A.; Lutsenko, S.; Long, J. R.; Chang, C. J. "Copper Capture in a Thioether-Functionalized Porous Polymer Applied to the Detection of Wilson's Disease", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 7603-7609. [html] [pdf]

Krishnamoorthy, L.; Cotruvo, Jr., J. A.; Chan, J.; Kaluarachchi, H.; Muchenditsi, A.; Pendyala, V. S.; Jia, S.; Aron, A. T.; Ackerman, C. M.; Vander Wal, M. N.; Guan, T.; Smaga, L. P.; Farhi, S. L.; New, E. J.; Lutsenko, S.; Chang, C. J. "Copper regulates cyclic-AMP-dependent lipolysis", Nature Chem. Biol. 2016, 12, 586-592. [html] [pdf] [UC Science Today Segment] [PictureFit YouTube video] [LBNL News Story] [UC Berkeley News Story] [Daily Mail News Story] [Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Story] [Dr Oz Reviews Story] [Men's Fitness Story] [Deccan Herald News Story] [Fitness First Mag Story] [Indo Asian News Service Story] [Health Canal News Story] [First Post News Story] [Business Standard News Story] [The Health Site News Story] [Hindustan Times News Story] [Can-India News Story] [Natural Science News Story] [Times of India News Story] [Money Control News Story] [American Council on Science and Health News Story] [China Topix News Story] [MSN News Story] [Press Liberal News Story] [Headlines News Story] [The Sentinel News Story] [Brief Report News Story] [Engine News Story] [3 Novices News Story] [HT Syndication News Story] [New York Indian News Story]

Dodani, S. C.; Firl, A.; Chan, J.; Nam, C. I.; Aron, A. T.; Onak, C. S.; Ramos-Torres, K. M.; Paek, J.; Webster, C. W.; Feller, M. B.; Chang, C. J. "Copper is an endogenous modulator of neural circuit spontaneous activity", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, 111, 16280-16285. [html] [pdf]

Hirayama, T.; Van de Bittner, G. C.; Gray, L. W.; Lutsenko, S.; Chang, C. J. "Near-infrared fluorescent sensor for in vivo copper imaging in a murine Wilson disease model", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2012, 109, 2228-2233. [pdf] [html]

Dodani, S. C.; Domaille, D. W.; Nam, C. I.; Miller, E. W.; Finney, L. A.; Vogt, S.; Chang, C. J. "Calcium-dependent copper redistributions in neuronal cells revealed by a fluorescent copper sensor and X-ray fluorescence microscopy", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011, 108, 5980-5985. [pdf] [html]


Aron, A. T.*; Heffern, M. C.*; Lonergan, Z. R.*; Vander Wal, M. N.; Blank, B. R.; Spangler, B.; Zhang, Y.; Park, H. M.; Stahl, A.; Renslo, A. R.; Skaar, E. P.; Chang, C. J.; "In vivo bioluminescence imaging of labile iron accumulation in a murine model of Acinetobacter baumannii infection", Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2017, 114, 12669–12674. [html] [pdf]

Aron, A. T.; Loehr, M. O.; Bogena, J.; Chang, C. J. "An Endoperoxide Reactivity-Based FRET Probe for Ratiometric Fluorescence Imaging of Labile Iron Pools in Living Cells", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 14338-14346. [html] [pdf]

Au-Yeung, H. Y.; Chan, J.; Chantarojsiri, T.; Chang, C. J. "Molecular Imaging of Labile Iron(II) Pools in Living Cells with a Turn-On Fluorescent Probe", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 15165-15173. [html] [pdf]


Updated July 17 2017