Guangpu Li, PhD

Presidential Professor

Contact Information:

Office:  BMSB 840A

Phone: (405) 271-2227  ext. 61232
Fax:(405) 271-3092

Mailing Address:
940 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BMSB 840
Oklahoma City, OK  73104


PhD, Washington University, St. Louis, 1991

Research Interests:

Endocytosis/endosome fusion: molecular mechanism and function in signal transduction and regulation of cell growth and differentiation

Cells are basic building blocks of living organisms. Endocytosis is a fundamental cellular process for uptake of nutrients, regulation of cell surface receptors, and maintenance of cell homeostasis. While it is an important cellular function, endocytosis is often employed by microorganisms like viruses for entry and infection of cells.

Our research is directed towards understanding the molecular basis of endocytosis and its role in regulation of cell growth and differentiation, which may provide valuable knowledge on how this cellular process is involved in human diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases and whether endocytosis can be targeted to develop therapeutics. 

Current projects include (1) mechanism of Rab5-regulated endosome fusion, which is a critical step during  endocytosis and (2) Role of endocytosis in nerve growth factor (NGF)-mediated signal transduction and neuron differentiation. We hope to describe endocytosis/endosome fusion in molecular terms and identify regulatory mechanisms that control the activity of these cellular processes during cell growth and differentiation.

Selected Publications:

  1. Xie, Q., Chen, A. J., Zhang, Y., Yuan, M., Xie, W., Zhang, C., Zheng, W., Wang, Z., Li, G.*, Zhou, J.* (2019). Component Interaction of ESCRT Complexes Is Essential for Endocytosis-Dependent Growth, Reproduction, DON Production and Full Virulence in Fusarium graminearum. Front Microbiol, 10, 180. PMID: 30809208.
  2. Banworth, M., Li, G.* (2018). Consequences of Rab GTPase dysfunction in genetic or acquired human diseases. Small GTPases, 9,158-81. PMID: 29239692
  3. Yan, Q, Lin, M, Huang, W, Teymournejad, O, Johnson, JM, Hays, FA, Liang, Z, Li, G, and Rikihisa, Y (2018). Ehrlichia type IV secretion system effector Etf-2 binds to active RAB5 and delays endosome maturation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 115 (38), E8977-86. PMID: 30181274
  4. Yang, C. D., Dang, X., Zheng, H. W., Chen, X. F., Lin, X. L., Zhang, D. M., Abubakar, Y. S., Chen, X., Lu, G., Wang, Z., Li, G.*, Zhou, J.* (2017). Two Rab5 Homologs Are Essential for the Development and Pathogenicity of the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Front Plant Sci, 8, 620. PMID: 28529514
  5. Zhang, D., Marlin, M. C., Liang, Z., Ahmad, M., Ashpole, N. M., Sonntag, W. E., Zhao, Z. J., Li, G.* (2016). The Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase MEG2 Regulates the Transport and Signal Transduction of Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase A. J Biol Chem, 291(46), 23895-23905. PMID: 27655914.
  6. Xie, Q., Chen, A., Zheng, W., Xu, H., Shang, W., Zheng, H., Zhang, D., Zhou, J., Lu, G., Li, G.*, Wang, Z.* (2016). Endosomal sorting complexes required for transport-0 is essential for fungal development and pathogenicity in Fusarium graminearum. Environ Microbiol, 18(11), 3742-3757. PMID: 26971885
  7. Maskey, D., Marlin, M. C., Kim, S., Kim, S., Ong, E. C., Li, G., Tsiokas, L. (2015). Cell cycle-dependent ubiquitylation and destruction of NDE1 by CDK5-FBW7 regulates ciliary length. EMBO J, 34(19), 2424-40. PMID: 26206584.
  8. Marlin, M. C., Li, G.* (2015). Differential effects of overexpression of Rab5 and Rab22 on autophagy in PC12 cells with or without NGF. Methods Mol Biol, 1298, 295-304. PMID: 25800852.
  9. Marlin, M. C., Li, G.* (2015). Biogenesis and function of the NGF/TrkA signaling endosome. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol, 314, 239-57. PMID: 25619719
  10. Zhu, G., Zhai, P., Liu, J., Terzyan, S., Li, G., Zhang, X. C. (2004). Structural basis of Rab5-Rabaptin5 interaction in endocytosis. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 11(10), 975-83. PMID: 15378032.

Link to full publication list >