Photo of Kun-Liang Guan

Kun-Liang Guan

Professor of Pharmacology
Ph.D., Purdue University

Research Interests:

The research in our laboratory mainly focuses on signal transduction in regulating cell growth and organ size.  We study the TSC-mTOR and hippo-YAP pathways.  Dysregulation of these pathways has been frequently observed in human diseases, particularly cancer.  The TSC-mTOR pathway plays a major role in cell size control by promoting biosynthesis and inhibiting autophagy. The Hippo tumor suppressor pathway regulates organ size and tissue homeostasis.  Current research includes: 1) mechanisms of mTOR in nutrient signaling and autophagy regulation; 2) regulation of the Hippo pathway by cell-cell contact and G-protein coupled receptor signaling.


Molecular Pharmacology


BMS Focus Areas:

Cancer Biology

Stem Cells

Selected Publications:

  1. Zhao, S., Xu, W., et al, Xiong, Y., Guan, K-L., (2010) Regulation of cellular metabolism by protein lysine acetylation.  Science 327, 1000-1004.

    Kim, J., Kundu, M., Viollet, B., and Guan K-L.,  (2011) AMPK and mTOR regulate autophagy via direct phosphorylation of ULK1. Nature Cell Biol. 13, 132-141.

    Zhao, B., Li, L., Wang, L., Wang, C.Y., Yu, J., and Guan, K-L.  (2012) Cell detachment activates the Hippo pathway via cytoskeleton reorganization to induce anoikis and inhibit tumor metastasis.  Genes & Dev. 26, 54-68.

    Tumaneng, K., Schlegelmilch, K., Russell, R.C., et al., Camargo, F., and Guan, K-L. (2012) YAP mediates crosstalk between the Hippo and PI3K-TOR pathways by suppressing PTEN via miR-29.  Nature Cell Biol. 14, 1322-1329.

    Yu, F-X., Zhao, B., Panupinthu, N., Jewell, J. L., et al., Mills, G. B., and Guan, K-L. (2012) Regulation of the Hippo-YAP pathway by G-protein coupled receptor signaling. Cell 150, 780-91.

    Zhao, D., Zou, S-W., et al., Lei, Q-Y., and Guan, K-L. (2013) Lysine-5 acetylation negatively regulates lactate dehydrogenase A and is decreased in pancreatic cancer.  Cancer Cell, 23, 464-476.

    Kim, J., Kim, Y.C.,  Fang, C., Russell, R.C., Kim, J.H., Fan, W., Liu, R., Zhong, Q., and Guan, K-L. (2013) Differential regulation of distinct Vps34 complexes by AMPK in nutrient stress and autophagy.  Cell 152, 290-303.

    Russell, R.C., Tian, Y., Yuan, H., Park, H.W., Chang, Y.Y., Kim, J., Jim, H., Neufeld, T., Dillin, A., Guan, K-L. (2013) ULK1 induces autophagy by phosphorylating Beclin-1 and activating Vps34 lipid kinase.  Nature Cell Biol. (in press).

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