Janet Yang

Janet Yang

Associate Professor

Department Chair
Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 371


Janet Yang received her BS from Yale University and then promptly headed for the West Coast. She attended the University of California San Francisco for her PhD in Biochemistry, and then did her postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology. Prof. Yang has always been fascinated by molecular motor proteins that harness the energy from ATP binding and hydrolysis to perform work in the cell. Her research uses quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic measurements to understand how these motor proteins function and how they are regulated.

At USF, the Yang Group studies the mechanism of ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters, specialized integral membrane proteins that regulate the movement of substrates across cellular membranes. These transporters must sequester and import essential nutrients with low availability, as well as identify and exclude toxic compounds. Using a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques, studies focus on the coupling of ATP binding and hydrolysis to transport, the regulation of individual ABC transporters, and the interconnection between transporter systems within one cell.


  • PhD, University of California San Francisco
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology

Selected Publications

  • Yang, J.G. and Rees, D.C. “The allosteric regulatory mechanism of the E. coli MetNI methionine ABC transporter.” The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290.14 (2015): 9135-9140.

  • Nguyen, P.T., Li, Q., Kadaba, N.S., Lai, J.Y., Yang, J.G., and Rees, D.C. “The contribution of methionine to the stability of the Escherichia coli MetNIQ ABC transporter-substrate binding protein complex.” Biological Chemistry. 396.9-10 (2015): 1127-1134.

  • Lee, J.Y., Yang, J.G., Zhitnitsky, D., Lewinson, O., and Rees, D.C. “Structural basis for heavy metal detoxification by an Atm1-type exporter.” Science. 343.6165 (2014): 1133-1136.

  • Racki, L.R., Yang, J.G., Naber, N., Partensky, P.D., Acevedo, A., Purcell, T.J., Cooke, R., Cheng, Y., and Narlikar, G.J. “The chromatin remodeller ACF acts as a dimeric motor to space nucleosomes.” Nature. 462 (2009): 1016-1021.

  • Blosser, T.R., Yang, J.G., Stone, M.D., Narlikar, G.J., and Zhuang, X. “Dynamics of nucleosome remodeling by individual ACF complexes.” Nature. 462 (2009): 1022-1027.

  • Yang, J.G. and Narlikar, G.J. “FRET-based methods to study ATP-dependent changes in chromatin structure.” Methods. 41.3 (2007): 291-295.

  • Yang, J.G., Madrid, T.S. “Sevastopoulos, E., Narlikar, G.J. “The chromatin- remodeling enzyme ACF is an ATP-dependent DNA length sensor that regulates nucleosome spacing.” Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 13.12 (2006): 1078-1083.

  • Kwok, B.H., Yang, J.G., and Kapoor, T.M. “The rate of bipolar spindle assembly depends on the microtubule-gliding velocity of the mitotic kinesin Eg5.” Current Biology. 14.19 (2004): 1783-1788.

  • Hotha, S., Yarrow, J.C., Yang, J.G., Garrett, S., Renduchintala, K.V., Mayer, T.U., and Kapoor, T.M. “HR22C16: a potent small-molecule probe for the dynamics of cell division.” Angewandte Chemie. 42.21 (2003): 2379-2382.