Lü Laboratory


The laboratory of Dr. Wei Lü utilizes single-particle electron cryo-microscopy and other biophysical/biochemical methods to study the structure and function of membrane proteins.

Visit the Du and Lü labs’ joint website here.

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  • 121 peer-reviewed papers published in 2023
  • 62 peer-reviewed papers published in high-impact journals in 2023
  • 55 clinical trials launched to date

Wei Lü, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Structural Biology

Areas of Expertise



Dr. Wei Lü received his diploma in biology from the University of Göttingen, and his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg, in the laboratory of Dr. Oliver Einsle. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. Eric Gouaux (HHMI/Vollum Institute) as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2017, he became an assistant professor in Van Andel Institute’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology. He is now an associate professor in VAI’s Department of Structural Biology.


* co-first author
# co-corresponding author

Hu J, Park SJ, Walter T, Orozco IJ, O’Dea G, Ye X, Du J#, Lü W#. 2024. Physiological temperature drives TRPM4 ligand recognition and gatingNature.

Mihaljević L*, Ruan Z*, Osei-Owusu J, Lü W#, Qiu Z#. 2023. Inhibition of the proton-activated chloride channel PAC by PIP2. eLife 12:e83935.

Osei-Owusu J*, Ruan Z*, Mihaljević L, Matasic D, Chen KH, Lü W#, Qiu Z# 2022. Molecular mechanism underlying desensitization of the proton-activated chloride channel PAC (2022) eLife:11:e82955.

Osei-Owusu J, Kots E, Ruan Z, Mihaljević L, Chen KH, Tamhaney A, Ye X, Lü W, Weinstein H, Qiu Z. 2022. Molecular determinants of pH sensing in the proton-activated chloride channel. Proc Natl Acad U S A 119(31):e2200727119.

Müller C*, Zhang L*, Zipfel S, Topitsch A, Lutz M, Eckert J, Prasser B, Chami M, Lü W, Du J#, Einsle O#. 2022. Molecular interplay of an assembly machinery for nitrous oxide reductaseNature.

Ruan Z*, Haley E*, Orozco I*, Sabat M, Myers R, Roth R, Du J#, Lü W#. 2021. Structures of the TRPM5 channel elucidate mechanisms of activation and inhibitionNat Struct Mol Biol.

Yu J*, Zhu HT*, Lape R, Greiner T, Du J, Lü W, Sivilotti L#, Gouaux E#. 2021. Mechanism of gating and partial agonist action in the glycine receptorCell.

Ruan Z*, Osei-Owusu J*, Du J, Qiu Z#, Lü W#. 2020. Structures and pH-sensing mechanism of the proton-activated chloride channelNature.

Ruan Z, Orozco IJ, Du J#, Lü W#. 2020. Structures of human Pannexin 1 reveal ion pathways and mechanism of gating. Nature.

Huang Y, Fliegert R, Guse AH, Lü W#, Du J#. 2019. A structural overview of the ion channels of the TRPM familyCell Calcium.

Choi W*, Clemente N*, Sun W, Du J#, Lü W#. 2019. The structures and gating mechanism of human calcium homeostasis modulator 2Nature.

Haung Y, Roth B, Lü W#, Du J#. 2019. Ligand recognition and gating mechanism through three ligand-binding sites of human TRPM2 channeleLife.

Haley E, Choi W, Fan C, Sun W, Du J, Lü W. 2019. Expression and purification of the human lipid-sensitive cation channel TRPC3 for structural determination by single-particle cryo-electron microscopyJ Vis Exp (143):e58754, doi:10.3791/58754.

Huang Y, Winkler PA, Sun W, Lü W#, Du J#. 2018. Architecture of the TRPM2 channel and its activation mechanism by ADP-ribose and calciumNature.

Fan C*, Choi W*, Sun W, Du J#, Lü W#. 2018. Structure of the human lipid-gated cation channel TRPC3eLife:e36852.

Winkler PA*, Huang Y*, Sun W*, Du J, Lü W. 2017. Electron cryo-microscopy structure of a human TRPM4 channelNature.

Lü W*, Du J*, Goehring A, Gouaux E. 2017. Cryo-EM structure of the triherteromeric NMDA receptor and its allosteric modulationScience 355(6331):eaal3729.

Mansoor SE, Lü W, Oosterheert W, Shekhar M, Tajkhorshid E, Gouaux E. 2016. X-ray structures define human P2X(3) receptor gating cycle and antagonist actionNature 538(7623):66–71.

Du J*, Lü W*, Wu S, Cheng Y, Gouaux E. 2015. Glycine receptor mechanism elucidated by electron cryo-microscopyNature 526 (7572):224–229.       

Rycovska-Blume A, Lü W, Andrade S, Fendler K, Einsle O. 2015. Structural and functional studies of NirC from Salmonella typhimuriumMethods Enzymol556:475–497.

Lee CH*, Lü W*, Michel JC, Goehring A, Du J, Song X, Gouaux E. 2014. NMDA receptor structures reveal subunit arrangement and pore architecture. Nature 511(7508):191–197.      

Lü W, Du J, Schwarzer NJ, Wacker T, Andrade SL, Einsle O. 2013. The formate/nitrite transporter family of anion channelsBiol Chem 394(6):715–727.

Lü W, Schwarzer NJ, Du J, Gerbig-Smentek E, Andrade SL, Einsle O. 2012. Structural and functional characterization of the nitrite channel NirC from Salmonella typhimuriumProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(45):18395–18400.

Lü W, Du J, Schwarzer NJ, Gerbig-Smentek E, Einsle O, Andrade SL. 2012. The formate channel FocA exports the products of mixed-acid fermentationProc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(33):13245–13259.

Guttenberg G, Hornei S, Jank T, Schwan C, Lü W, Einsle O, Papatheodorou P, Aktories K. 2012. Molecular characteristics of Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin and consequences of mono-O-GlcNAcylation of Ras in living cells. J Biol Chem 287(30):24929–24940.

Du J*, Say RF*, Lü W, Fuchs G, Einsle O. 2011. Active-site remodeling in the bifunctional fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase/phosophotaseNature 478(7370):534–537.     

Guttenberg G, Papatheodorou P, Genisyuerek S, Lü W, Jank T, Einsle O, Aktories K. 2011. Inositol hexakisphosphate-dependent processing of Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin and Clostridium novyi alpha-toxinJ Biol Chem 286(17):14779–14789.

Lü W, Du J, Wacker T, Gerbig-Smentek E, Andrade SL, Einsle O. 2011. pH-dependent gating in a FocA formate channelScience 332(6027):352–354.

Maier S, Schleberger P, Lü W, Wacker T, Pflüger T, Litz C, Andrade SL. 2011. Mechanism of disruption of the Amt-GInK complex by P(II)-mediated sensing of 2-oxoglutaratePLoS One 6(10):e26327.

Helfmann S, Lü W, Litz C, Andrade SL. 2010. Cooperative binding of MgATP and MgADP in the trimeric P(II) protein GInK2 from Archaeoglobus fulgidusJ Mol Biol 402(1):165–177.

Lü W, Du J, Stahl M, Tzivelekidis T, Belyi Y, Gerhardt S, Aktories K, Einsle O. 2010. Structural basis of the action of glucosyltransferase Lgt1 from Legionella pneumonphilaJ Mol Biol 396(2):321–331.

Nancy Duchaine

Senior Administrative Assistant I, Department of Structural Biology

Sarah Keuning

Assistant Research Technician, Department of Structural Biology

Yangyang Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Lu Laboratory

Mentor: Wei Lü, Ph.D.

SungJin Park, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, Department of Structural Biology