... understanding life in molecular detail

Dr Chi Trinh

Biological function, Marcomolecules, Structural biology, Mechanism


My research focuses on understanding the biological function of different macromolecules by using biophysical techniques to determine their three dimensional structures. The molecular and structural Information obtained could ultimately provide a better understanding of the mechanism of these macromolecules.

Current major projects include:
  • Metalloenzyme Superoxide Dismutase.
  • HIV-1 restriction factor SAMHD1.
  • Adhesion G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) CD97.
  • Interleukin-36 cytokines.

Superoxide Dismutase is a class of metalloenzyme that is responsible in protecting cells against oxidative damage. It has been implicated in many health related issues including motor neuron disease, hypertension and pulmonary disease to name a few. SOD can also function as a tumour suppressor or a tumour promoter in different cell types and is also involved in metal homeostasis in the mitochondrion.

SAMHD1 has recently been identified as a HIV-1 restriction factor. The majority of dNTPs found within the cell are shown to be hydrolysed by SAMHD1 thus restricting HIV-1 replication. SAMHD1 is also implicated in diseases such as Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS), a genetically determined encephalopathy and Systemic Lupus Erythematosis.

CD97 is a member of the EGF TM7 family of adhesion G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). It has been found to be upregulated in Cancers, including prostate, breast, and thyroid. CD97 interacts with several cellular ligands via its N terminal epidermal growth factor (EGF) like domains.

The interleukin-36 cytokines are involved in inflammatory disease and in host defence against fungal pathogens.  Our present research is investigating the molecular and structural basis involve in the cleavage of the proteins that is essential for their activity.  A full structural understanding of these should facilitate targeting of tumour development and inflammatory disease including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Detailed research programme                  Close ▲
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X-ray Facility Manager (Leeds) 2005-present



NIH Postdoc Research Fellow (Stanford) 1998-1999
BBSRC Postdoc Research Fellow (Leeds) 2001-2004
Wellcome Trust VIP Award Postdoc Research Fellow (Leeds) 1999-2000

Astbury 9.108g
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Selected Publications

  1. Tanner SJ, Ariza A, Richard CA, Kyle H, Dods RL, Blondot ML, Wu W, Trincão J, Trinh CH, Hiscox JA, Carroll MW, Silman NJ, Eleouet JF, Edwards TA & Barr JN. Crystal structure of the essential M2-1 antiterminator of HRSV and consequences of dynamic phosphorylation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2014.  In Press.

  2. Yuzugullu Y, Trinh CH, Smith MA, Pearson AR, Phillips SEV, Kocabas DS, Ufuk Bakir U, Ogel ZB & McPherson MJ. Structure, recombinant expression and mutagenesis studies of the catalase with  oxidase activity from Scytalidium thermophilum. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2013. 69, 398-408.

  3. Kleinschroth T, Castellani M, Trinh CH, Morgner N, Brutschy B, Ludwig B & Hunte C. X-ray structure of the dimeric cytochrome BC1 complex from the soil bacterium Paracoccus denitrificans at 2.7 Å resolution. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2011. 12, 1606-1615.

  4. Lane SW, Dennis CA, Lane CL, Trinh CH, Rizkallah PJ, Stockley PG & Phillips SEV. Construction and Crystal Structure of Recombinant STNV Capsids. J. Mol. Biol. 2011. 413, 41-50.