Liping Nie, Ph.D.


  • Assistant Adjunct Professor
  • Center for Neuroscience


Research Summary

Our laboratory is interested in biological processes that underlie sound transduction in the cochlea. Our goal is to reveal the molecular and cellular mechanisms of hearing generation and impairment. We use a combination of electrophysiological, molecular genetic and histological approaches to identify and characterize genes important for auditory functions in mouse models with normal and altered hearing. Currently, we focus our research on determining: 1) expression profiles of voltage-gated potassium and calcium channels along the tonotopic axis of the cochlea in the inner ear; 2) the functional roles of specific potassium and calcium channel isoforms using gene targeting, gene silencing and transgenic techniques, 3) structural and functional association of cochlear ion channels with accessory subunits and regulatory proteins in heterologous expression systems and intact mouse models. 4) the etiology of nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss (PHL) in DFNA2, which is ascribed to mutations in KCNQ4 channels. The long-term aim is to transfer our knowledge to applications, such as development of treatments for hearing impairment in humans.

Select Publications

Haitao Song, Liping Nie, Adrian Rodriguez-Contrerus, Zu-hang Sheng, Ebeneze N. Yamoah. 2003. Functional interaction of auxiliary subunits and synaptic proteins with the Ca2+ channel (Cav3.1) may impart hair cell-specific Ca2+ current properties. J Neurophysiology 89: 1143-1149.

Catherine T Tamse, Yanfang Xu, Haitao Song, Liping Nie, Ebenezer N. Yamoah. 2003. Protein kinase mediates voltage-dependent facilitation of Ca2+ current in presynaptic hair cell in Hermissenda crassicornis. J Neurophysiology 89: 1718-1726.

Goujun Wang, Liping Nie, Huarong Tan.  2003. Cloning and characterization of sanO, a gene involved in nikkomycin biosynthesis in Streptomyces ansochromogenes. Letters in Applied Microbiology 37: 452-457.

Yanfang Xu, Dipika Tuteja, Zhao Zhang, Jennifer Rodriguez, Liping Nie, Ana E. Vazquez, Kathryn A. Glatter, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat. 2003. Differential expression of a small conductance, calcium-activated K+ channel in cardiac atrial and vertricular myocytes. J Biological Chemistry 278: 49085-49094.

Liping Nie, Haitao Song, Meifang Chen, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Kirk W. Beisel, Ebenezer N. Yamoah, and Ana E. Vázquez. 2004. Cloning and expression of a small conductance Ca2+ -activated K+ channel from the mouse cochlea: coexpression with α9/α10 acetylcholine receptors. J Neurophysiology 91: 1536-44.

Hongwei Dou, Ana E. Vazquez, Yoon Namkung, Hanqi Chu, Emma Lou Cardell, Liping Nie, Susan Parson, Hee-Sup Shin, Ebenzer N. Yamoah. 2004. Null mutation of α1D Ca2+ channel gene result in deafness but no vestibular defect in mice. JARO 5: 215-226

Mathew C. Casimiro, Bjoern C. Knollmann, Ebenezer N. Yamoah, Liping Nie, Jay C. Vary Jr., Syevda G. Sirenko, Anne E. Greene, Alexander Grinberg, Sing Ping Huang, Steven N. Ebert, Karl Pfeifer. 2004. Targeted point mutagenesis of mouse Kcnq1: phenotypic analysis of mice with point mutations that cause Romano-Ward Syndrome in humans. Genomics. 84: 555-64.

Liping Nie, Weihong Feng, Rodney Diaz, Michael A Gratton, Karen J Doyle, Ebenezer N Yamoah. 2005. Functional consequences of polyamines synthesis inhibition by DFMO: Cellular mechanisms for DFMO-mediated ototoxicity. J Biological Chemistry 280: 15097-15102.

Liping Nie, Michael Anne Gratton, Karen Mu, Judilee J Dinglasan, Weihong, Feng, and Ebenezer N Yamoah. 2005. Expression and functional phenotype of mouse ERG K+ channels in the inner ear: potential role in K+ regulation in the inner ear. J Neuroscience 25: 8671-9.

Wen Liu, Koichi Nonaka, Liping Nie, Jian Zhang, Steven D. Christenson, Juyun Bae, Steven G. Van Lanen, Emmanuel Zazopoulos, Chris M. Farnet, Catherine F. Yang, and Ben Shen. 2005. The Neocarzinostatin biosynthetic gene cluster from streptomyces carzinostaticus ATCC 15944 involving two iterative type I polyketide synthases. Chemistry and Biology 12: 1–10.

Kirk W Beisel, Sonia M Rocha-Sanchez, Kevin A Morris, Liping Nie, Feng Feng, Bechara Kacha, Ebenezer N Yamoah, Bernd Fritzsch. 2005. Differential expression of KCNQ4 in inner hair cells and sensory neurons is the basis of progressive high-frequency hearing loss. J Neuroscience 25: 9285-93.

Dipika Tutija, Danyang Xu, Valera Timofevev, Ling Lu, Dipika Sharma, Zhao Zhang, Yanfan Xu, Liping Nie, Ana E Vazquez, J Nilas Young, Glatter. A Kathryn A, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat. 2005. Differential isoform expression of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, SK1, SK2 and SK3 channels in mouse atrial and ventricular myocytes. American J Physiology Heart Circulation Physiology. 289:H2714-23.

Tonghui Xu, Liping Nie, Yi Zhang, Jiling Mo, Weihong Feng, Dongguang Wei, Evgueni Petrov, Lillian E Calisto, Kirk Beisel, Ana E Vazquez, Ebenezer N Yamoah. 2007. Roles of alternative splicing in the functional properties of inner ear-specific KCNQ4 channels. J Biological Chemistry, 282: 23899-23909.

Snezana Levic, Liping Nie, Dipika Tutija, Ebenezer Yamoah. 2007 Development and regeneration of hair cells share common functional features. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, 104: 19108-13.

Liping Nie, Jun Zhu, Micheal Anna Gratton, Amy Liao, Karen J Mu, Wolfgang Nonner, Guy p Richardson, Ebenezer N Yamoah. 2008. Molecular identity and functional properties of a developmentally regulated calcium channel in the sensory epithelia of the inner ear. J Neurophysiology, 100: 2287-2299

Liping Nie. 2008. KCNQ4 mutations associated with nonsyndromic progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, 15: 441-444

Liping Nie, Ana E Vazquez, Ebenezer N Yamoah. 2009. Identification of transcriptional factor-DNA interactions using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Methods in Molecular Biology, 493: 311-322.