The main focus of the Li lab is to elucidate the molecular and epigenetic basis of cancer with the ultimate goal of developing protein- and peptide-based diagnostic or therapeutic agents for cancer.
We use an integral approach that combines molecular, cellular, structural, and proteomic information to obtain a comprehensive picture of how proteins interact to transduce cellular signals and how aberrant changes in cellular signal transduction lead to cancer. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of post-translational modifications, including Tyr/Ser/Thr phosphorylation and Lys/Arg methylation on histone and non-histone proteins, in regulating such cellular processes as proliferation, differentiation, migration, apoptosis and DNA damage response. Because protein phosphorylation and methylation are intimately involved in tumorigenesis and metastasis, we hope our research to generate novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents that target these modifications.
Differential regulation of the activity of DLC1 by tensins controls cell migration and transformation
NIP/DuoxA is essential for Drosophila embryonic development and regulates oxidative stress response.