Hening Lin
Associate Professor

Hening Lin




Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
287 Physical Sciences Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


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Department Profile

Lab Website


Hening Lin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Tsinghua University in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from Columbia University in 2003. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School from 2003-2006. In 2006, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University.

Research Description

The Lin Group studies the chemistry, biology, and application of enzymes that have important physiological functions with a combination of synthetic and biochemical methods. Enzymes of particular interest are sirtuins, HDACs, PARPs, radical SAM enzymes, and CD38. Most of these enzymes are involved in protein post-translational modifications and have important biological functions.

We combine organic synthesis, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, and cell biology to study the enzymology, identify the modified proteins, and study how the modification affects protein structure/function and thus the biological significance of the modification. We also develop small molecule inhibitors to target these enzymes and investigate their potentials in treating human diseases, such as cancer.


X. Zhu, B. Dzikovski, X. Su, A.T. Torelli, Y. Zhang, S.E. Ealick, J.H. Freed, and H. Lin. "Mechanistic understanding of Pyrococcus horikoshii Dph2, a [4Fe-4S] enzyme required for diphthamide biosynthesis", Mol. BioSystems. 2011, 7, 74-81. Link

X. Zhu, J. Kim, X. Su, and H. Lin. "Reconstitution of diphthine synthase activity in vitro", Biochemistry. 2010, 49, 9649-9657. Link

Hong Jiang, Jun Hyun Kim, Kristine M. Frizzell, W. Lee Kraus and Hening Lin; "Clickable NAD Analogues for Labeling Substrate Proteins of Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases", JACS. 2010. Link

Yang Zhang, Xuling Zhu, Andrew T. Torelli, Michael Lee, Boris Dzikovski, Rachel M. Koralewski, Eileen Wang, Jack Freed, Carsten Krebs, Steven E. Ealick & Hening Lin; "Diphthamide biosynthesis requires an organic radical generated by an iron–sulphur enzyme", Nature. 2010, 465,891-896. Link

H. Jiang, J. Congleton, Q. Liu, P. Merchant, F. Malavasi, H.C. Lee, Q. Hao, A. Yen, H. Lin, "Mechanism-Based Small Molecule Probes for Labeling CD38 on Live Cells", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 1658-1659 Link. Highlighted in Nat. Chem. Biol., 2009. 5, 149. Link

J. Du, H. Jiang, H. Lin, "Investigating the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of sirtuins with NAD analogs and 32P-NAD", Biochemistry, 2009, 48, 2878–2890. Link

Q. Liu, I.A. Kriksunov, H. Jiang, R. Graeff, H. Lin, H.C. Lee, Q. Hao, "Covalent and non-covalent intermediates of an NAD utilizing enzyme - human CD38", Chem. Biol., 2008, 15,1068-78. Link

H. Lin, J. Du, H. Jiang, "Posttranslational modifications to regulate protein function", Wiley Encyclopedia of Chemical Biology, 2008. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. DOI: 10.1002/9780470048672. wecb467. Link

H. Lin, "Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide: beyond a redox coenzyme", Org. Biomol. Chem., 2007, 5, 2541-2554. Link