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Bing-Yu Mao
Highest Education 
Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences No. 32 Jiaochang Donglu, Kunming, Yunnan, 650223, P.R.China
Zip Code  
Research Interest:
The molecular mechanisms of neural patterning and how these mechanisms evolved during vertebrate origin are the focuses of our lab. We use the amphibian  Xenopus and the cephalochordate amphioxus as our model animals.

Public Services:

Supported Projects:
1.Dorsal-ventral patterning of the neural tube
Vertebrate neural tube is patterned along the dorsal-ventral axis through the interplay of a group of signaling molecules and transcription factors. We have characterized several factors involved in dorsal-ventral neural patterning in Xenopus, including Nkx6, Islet1, Dbx2 etc. We have also isolated one ubiquitin ligase that is specifically expressed in the ventral neural tube both in Xenopus and mouse. We are currently studying its role in neural development and screening for its target molecules.
2. Mechanisms of neural crest development
Neural crest is a multipotent cell population originates at the border between the neural plate and epidermis in vertebrates. Later these cells migrate to various places throughout the body and give rise to various tissues. The induction, specification, migration and differentiation of the NC cells are tightly regulated by a multistep gene regulatory network. Using Xenopus as a model, we are studying the roles of Nkx6.3 and reduced folate carrier in neural crest development. Our current data suggest that Nkx6.3 regulates neural crest induction through regulating Wnt signaling pathway while Xenopus reduce folate carrier is involved in the epigenetic regulation of neural crest gene expression.

Selected Publication:

1.Zhang Y, Mao B, (2010), Embryonic expression and evolutionary analysis of the amphioxus Dickkopf and Kremen family genes. J. Genet. Genomics, 37:637-645
2.Zeng W, Kong Q, Li C, Mao B. (2010), Xenopus RCOR2 (REST corepressor 2) interacts with ZMYND8, which is involved in neural differentiation. Biochem. Biophy. Res. Comm., 394:1024-1029.
3.Kong Q, Zeng W, Wu J, Hu W, Li C, Mao B,(2010), RNF220, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets Sin3B for ubiquitination,Biochem. Biophy. Res. Comm., 393:708-713.
4.Wu J, Li C, Zhao S, Mao B. (2010), Differential expression of the Brunol/CELF family genes during Xenopus laevis early development. Int. J. Dev. Biol., 54:209-214。
5.Shi Y, Zhao S, Li J, Mao B (2009), Islet-1 is required for ventral neuron survival in Xenopus. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 388:506-510。
6.Ma L, Pan XF, Wei YH, Li ZY, Li CC, Yang JX, Mao BY. (2008) Embryonic stages and eye specific gene expression of the local cyprinoid fish Anabarilius grahami in Fuxian Lake, China. J Fish Biol. 73:1946-1959.
7.Zhao S, Jiang H, Wang W, Mao B. (2007), Cloning and developmental expression of the Xenopus Nkx6 genes. Dev Genes Evol., 217:477-483,2007。
8.Wei Y, Zhang Y, Chen Y, Mao B (2009), Expansion of the actin gene family in amphioxus, Zool Res., 30:473-479。
9.Shi Y, Zhao S, Mao B (2009), Physical blocking neural tube closure affects radial intercalation and neural crest midline-directed migration in Xenopus dorsal explants, Zool Res., 30: 639-644。
10.Zhang Y, Mao B (2009), Developmental expression of an amphioxus (Branchiostoma Belcheri) gene encoding a GATA transcription factor, Zool Res. 30:137-143。
11.Ma L, Zhao S, Kong Q, Mao B. (2007),Temporal and spatial expression patterns of Sox1 gene in Xenopus laevis embryos. Zoo. Res., 28:403-408。
12.Mao B and Niehrs C (2003) Kremen2 modulates Dickkopf2 activity during Wnt/LRP6 signaling. Gene, 302:179-183.

13.Mao B, Wu W, Davidson G, Marhold J, Li M, Mechler BM, Delius H, Hoppe D, Stannek P, Walter C, Glinka A, Niehrs C (2002), Kremen proteins are Dickkopf receptors that regulate Wnt/beta- catenin signalling. Nature, 417:664-667.
14.Davidson G, Mao B, Del Barco Barrantes I, Niehrs C (2002) Kremen proteins interact with Dickkopf1 to regulate anteroposterior CNS patterning. Development, 129:5587-96.
15.Mao B, Wu W, Li Y, Hoppe D, Stannek P, Glinka A, Niehrs C (2001), LDL- receptor-related protein 6 is a receptor for Dickkopf proteins. Nature, 411:321-325.

16.Yang Q, Lv XiaoY, Kong Q, Li C, Zhou Qin, Mao B. (2011), Dynamic expression of the LAP family of genes during early development of Xenopus tropicalis, Science in China Series C: Life Sciences, doi: 10.1007/s11427-011-4224-4.

17.Ma P, Zhao S, Zeng W, Yang Q, Li C, Lv X, Zhou Q, Mao B. (2011), Xenopus Dbx2 is involved in primary neurogenesis and early neural plate patterning. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 412:170-174


Lab staff


Adress:No.32 Jiaochang Donglu Kunming 650223 Yunnan, China Tel:86-871-5199125