Department of Biological Sciences

Dodge Hall Rm 375
118 Library Dr
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3550
fax: (248) 370-4225


Zijuan Liu
Associate Professor, Ph.D.
303 MSC
(248) 370-3554
Lab location: 316 MSC
Lab phone: (248) 370-4904

Liu lab website 


  • BIO 319  General Microbiology
  • BIO 325  Biochemistry I

Research: Biometal homeostasis

Biometal homeostasis is critical, and imbalances in their concentrations or metabolism have important consequences in human pathologies. Her lab explores the biological roles and the mechanisms of action of two important biometals: arsenic and selenium. The aim is to elucidate the molecular bases for these important biometals’ function in two animal models: zebrafish and mouse models. Since membrane transport is the rate-limiting step for cellular availability, the overall cellular function of these biometals is determined by membrane transporters. Currently, the lab is identifying these biometal transporters and studying their transport mechanism. The future goal is to better understand beneficial or adverse effects of arsenic and selenium and to improve strategies for future clinical applications.

 Selected Publications:

Jiang, X., McDermott, J.R., Ajees, A.A., Rosen, B.P., Liu, Z. (2012) Trivalents arsenicals and glucose use different translocation pathways in mammalian GLUT1.  Metallomics 2: 211-219.

Hamdi, M., Yoshinaga, M., Packianathan, C., Qin, J. Hallauer, J., McDermott, J.R., Yang, H.C., Tsai, K.J., Liu, Z. (2012) Identification of an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) dependent arsenic methyltransferase in Danio rerioToxicology and Applied Pharmacology 262: 185-193.

Beene, L.C., Hallauer, J., Yoshinaga, M., Hamdi, M., Liu, Z. (2011) Pentavalent arsenate transport by zebrafish phosphate rransporter NaPi-IIb1. Zebrafish 8: 125-31.

McDermott, J.R., Rosen, B.P., Liu, Z. (2010)  Jen1p: A high affinity selenite transporter in yeast. Mol Biol Cell.  22:  3934-41.

Jiang, X., McDermott, J.R., Ajees, A.A., Rosen, B.P. and Liu, Z. (2010) Trivalent arsenicals and glucose use different translocation pathways in mammalian GLUT1. Metallomics. 2: 211-9. (Cover story)

McDermott, J.R., Jiang, X., Beene, L.C., Rosen, B.P., Liu, Z. (2010) Pentavalent methylated arsenicals are substrates of human AQP9. Biometals 1: 119-27.

Hamdi, M., Sanchez, M.A., Beene, L.C., Liu, Q., Landfear, S.M., Rosen, B.P., Liu, Z. (2009)  Arsenic transport by zebrafish aquaglyceroporins. BMC Mol Biol. 10: 104.