1983 B.S. in Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin, China
1992 Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA
1993-1995 Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Biochemistry, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1996-2000 Research Associate and Instructor, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2000-2005 Assistant Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island
2005-2008 Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island
2008-Present Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island
2013-2019 Chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island
The research in the lab investigates the regulation and mechanisms of function of protein kinases in normal cells and in cancer cells. Protein kinases are important enzymes in regulating normal and cancer cell growth and development, and many are important targets for cancer drug development. The research has two focus areas.
1) Structure-function relationships of Protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), a subfamily of protein kinases. We are interested in understanding how PTKs receive and respond to regulatory signals, and how they recognize their protein substrates and catalyze the phosphorylation reaction. We are also interested in turning the mechanistic understanding into strategies of inhibitor design.
2) Molecular mechanisms of cancer cell response to targeted therapies. Many anti-cancer drugs have been developed targeting various oncogenic protein kinases. When a cancer is dependent on a single kinase as a cancer driver, such targeted therapies are highly effective. However, most cancers use multiple kinases to promote its growth, and would require drug combinations for effective treatment. We are developing strategies for identifying the multiple cancer drivers and effective combination targeted therapies.
Li L, Cui Y, Shen J, Dobson H, Sun G. Evidence for activated Lck protein tyrosine kinase as the driver of proliferation in acute myeloid leukemia cell, CTV-1. Leuk Res. 78, 12-20, 2019.
Shen J, Li L, Yang T, Cheng N, Sun G. Drug Sensitivity Screening and Targeted Pathway Analysis Reveal a Multi-Driver Proliferative Mechanism and Suggest a Strategy of Combination Targeted Therapy for Colorectal Cancer Cells. Molecules. 24(3), 2019.
Zhang L, Lu P, Yan L, Yang L, Wang Y, Chen J, Dai J, Li Y, Kang Z, Bai T, Xi Y, Xu J, Sun G, Yang T. MRPL35 Is Up-Regulated in Colorectal Cancer and Regulates Colorectal Cancer Cell Growth and Apoptosis. Am J Pathol. 189, 1105-1120, 2019.
Shen J, Li L, Yang T, Cohen PS, Sun G. Biphasic Mathematical Model of Cell-Drug Interaction That Separates Target-Specific and Off-Target Inhibition and Suggests Potent Targeted Drug Combinations for Multi-Driver Colorectal Cancer Cells. Cancers (Basel). 12(2), 2020.
Shen, J.; Li, L.; Howlett, N.G.; Cohen, P.S.; Sun, G. Application of a Biphasic Mathematical Model of Cancer Cell Drug Response for Formulating Potent and Synergistic Targeted Drug Combinations to Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells. Cancers2020, 12, 1087.
Other representative publications
Chen L, Marsiglia WM, Chen H, Katigbak J, Erdjument-Bromage H, Kemble DJ, Fu L, Ma J, Sun G, Zhang Y, Liang G, Neubert TA, Li X, Traaseth NJ, Mohammadi M. Molecular basis for receptor tyrosine kinase A-loop tyrosine transphosphorylation. Nat Chem Biol. 16, 267-277, 2020.
Cui Y, Sun G. Structural versatility that serves the function of the HRD motif in the catalytic loop of protein tyrosine kinase, Src. Protein Sci.28, 533-542, 2019.
Tiwari RK, Brown A, Nasrolahi Shirazi A, Bolton J, Tse A, Verkhivker, G, K Parang K, and Sun G. Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Dasatinib-Amino Acid and Dasatinib-Fatty Acid Conjugates as Protein Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors. ChemMedChem.5, 86-99, 2017.
Huang K, Wang YH, Brown A, Sun G. Identification of N-terminal lobe motifs that determine the kinase activity of the catalytic domains and regulatory strategies of Src and Csk protein tyrosine kinases. J Mol Biol. 386, 1066-1077, 2009.
Kemble, DJ, and Sun G. Direct and specific inactivation of protein tyrosine kinases in the Src and FGFR families by reversible cysteine oxidation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106, 5070-5075, 2009.
Gu X, Wang Y, Kumar A, Ye G, Parang K, and Sun G. Design and evaluation of phenylalanine and tyrosine hydroxamate derivatives as metal-mediated inhibitors of a protein tyrosine kinase. J. Med. Chem, 49, 7532-7539, 2006.
Lee S, Lin X, Nam NH, Parang K, and Sun G. Determination of the Substrate-Docking Site of Protein Tyrosine Kinase Csk. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 100, 14707-14712, 2003.