Emad Tajkhorshid


3009 Beckman Institute
Office: (217) 244-6914

Mail to: Beckman Institute
405 N Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page

Emad Tajkhorshid

Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Biophysics and Computational Biology
Beckman Institute

Research Topics

Computational Biology, Ion Channels, Membrane Biology, Protein Dynamics, Protein Structure


B.S. 1989 Tehran University
Ph.D. 2001 University of Heidelberg
Postdoc. 2000-2003 Univ. of Illinois, U-C

Computational Studies of Membrane Proteins and Membrane Associated Phenomena

Membrane proteins are of critical importance for all living cells. They are responsible for exchange of materials and information across cellular membranes, and participate in a wide range of metabolic, regulatory, and sensory mechanisms. My research focuses on structure function relationship of membrane proteins, in particular membrane channels and transporters, and understanding the mechanism of their function using simulation and computational methodologies. Recent advances in structural determination of membrane proteins have resulted in high resolution structures of several membrane proteins that we can use in simulation studies to understand how the architecture of the protein, and specific interactions and dynamics of its building blocks provide the basis of its mechanism of function.

Representative Publications

S. A. Shaikh, J. Li, G. Enkavi, P.-C. Wen, Z. Huang, and E. Tajkhorshid (2013) Visualizing Functional Motions of Membrane Transporters with Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Biochemistry (Current Topic), 52: 569-587.

J. Li, G. Enkavi, P.-C. Wen, S. A. Shaikh, and E. Tajkhorshid (2013) Transient Formation of Water-conducting States in Membrane Transporters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 110: 7696-7701.

M. Moradi and E. Tajkhorshid (2013) Driven Metadynamics: Reconstructing Equilibrium Free Energies From Driven Adaptive-Bias Simulations. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 4: 1882–1887.

J. L. Baylon, I. Lenov, S. G. Sligar, and E. Tajkhorshid (2013) Characterizing the Membrane-Bound State of Cytochrome P450 3A4: Structure, Depth of Insertion and Orientation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, in press.

U. K. Eriksson, G. Fischer, R. Friemann, G. Enkavi, E. Tajkhorshid*, and R. Neutze* (2013) Sub-Angstrom resolution x-ray structure details aquaporin-water interactions. Science, in press.

P.-C. Wen, B. Verhalen, S. Wilkens, H. Mchaourab, and E. Tajkhorshid (2013) On the Origin of Large Flexibility of P-glycoprotein in the Inward-Facing State. Journal of Biological Chemistry, in press.

Y. Z. Ohkubo, T. V. Pogorelov, M. J. Arcario, G. Christensen, and E. Tajkhorshid (2012) Accelerating membrane insertion of peripheral proteins with a novel membrane mimetic model. Biophysical Journal, 102: 2130-2139.(Cover Article)

E. J. Levin, Y. Cao, G. Enkavi, M. Quick, Y Pan, E. Tajkhorshid*, and M. Zhou* (2012) Structure and permeation mechanism of a mammalian urea transporter. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109: 11194-11199.

N. Noinaj, N. C. Easley, M. Oke, N. Mizuno, J. C. Gumbart, E. Boura, A. N. Steere, O. Zak, P. Aisen, E. Tajkhorshid, R. W. Evans, A. R. Gorringe, A. B. Mason, A. C. Steven, and S. K. Buchanan (2012) Structural basis for iron piracy by pathogenic Neisseria. Nature, 483, 53–58

N. Tavoosi, R. L. Davis-Harrison, T. V. Pogorelov, Y. Z. Ohkubo, M. J. Arcario, M. C. Clay, C. M. Rienstra, E. Tajkhorshid, and J. H. Morrissey (2011) Molecular Determinants of Phospholipid Synergy in Blood Clotting. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286: 23247-23253. (Cover Article)

Y. Wang and E. Tajkhorshid (2008) Electrostatic funneling of substrate in mitochondrial membrane carriers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105: 9598-9603. [Abstract]

Y. Zenmei Ohkubo and E. Tajkhorshid (2008) Distinct Structural and Adhesive Roles of Ca2+ in Membrane Binding of Blood Coagulation Factors. Structure, 16: 72-81.

Tornroth-Horsefield, S., Wang, Y., Hedfalk, K., Johanson, U., Karlsson, M., Tajkhorshid, E., Neutze, R., and Kjellbom, P. 2006. Structural mechanism of plant aquaporin gating. Nature, 439:688–94. [Abstract]

Tajkhorshid, E., Nollert, P., Jensen, M.O., Miercke, L.J.W., O'Connell, J., Stroud, R.M., and Schulten, K. 2002. Control of the selectivity of the aquaporin water channel family by global orientational tuning. Science, 296:525–30. [Abstract]

Complete Publications List