Meet the Scholars

Updated: August 20, 2013

Christina Chow

Christina Chow

CBC Scholar: Class of 2011
PhD Candidate, Department of Pharmacology, UIC; Advisor: Tohru Kozasa



On February 7, 2013, Christina successfully defended her thesis: "Novel regulatory mechanisms of p115RhoGEF." Congratulations!



In 2011, I have spent 6 months working at the University of Tokyo in the Laboratory for Systems Biology and Medicine. The main purpose of my visit there was to learn the techniques necessary for doing shotgun proteomics to identify potential binding partners and determine the phosphorylation status of my protein of interest, p115RhoGEF. The University of Tokyo is one of a handful of institutions in the world to have an Orbitrap LC-MS/MS spectrometer, and I have been fortunate to have access to it during my time there. I have recently obtained the results of my first few attempts at proteomics, and am eager to analyze the results and identify some interesting potential interactions, as well as continue my studies on the phosphorylation of p115RhoGEF. Our lab has identified several serine residues on p115RhoGEF that are differentially phosphorylated during the differentiation of HL-60 cells to a macrophage- or neutrophil-like lineage. My work in Japan has focused on another cancer cell line, Caco-2, and preliminary results suggest that some of the same serine residues are phosphorylated in Caco-2 cells as HL-60 cells. I hope to further characterize these phosphorylation sites biochemically as well as in cells, and I am currently working to understand if phosphorylation at these sites is dependent on stimulation with a ligand, such as a GPCR agonist.

In addition to proteomics, while I have been in Japan I have been exposed to other techniques for analyzing protein-protein interactions, such as surface plasmon resonance on the Biacore, which I hope to employ in my thesis work in the near future.



Chow CR, Suzuki N, Kawamura T, Hamakubo T, Kozasa T. Modification of p115RhoGEF Ser330 regulates its RhoGEF activity. Cell Signal. 2013 Jun 29;25(11):2085-2092. (PubMed)

Chow CR, Yau DM, Kozasa T. p115RhoGEF. UCSD-Nature Molecule Pages. 2011. (doi: 10.1038/mp.a000008.01)

Kozasa T, Hajicek N, Chow CR, Suzuki N. Signalling mechanisms of RhoGTPase regulation by the heterotrimeric G proteins G12 and G13. J Biochem. 2011 Oct;150(4):357-69. (Invited Review) (PubMed)

Hajicek N, Kukimoto-Niino M, Mishima-Tsumagari C, Chow CR, Shirouzu M, Terada T, Patel M, Yokoyama S, Kozasa T. Identification of critical residues in G(alpha)13 for stimulation of p115RhoGEF activity and the structure of the G(alpha)13-p115RhoGEF regulator of G protein signaling homology (RH) domain complex. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 10;286(23):20625-36. (PubMed)

Gong H, Shen B, Flevaris P, Chow C, Lam SC, Voyno-Yasenetskaya TA, Kozasa T, Du X. G protein subunit Galpha13 binds to integrin alphaIIbbeta3 and mediates integrin "outside-in" signaling. Science. 2010 Jan 15;327(5963):340-3. (PubMed)



CBC Scholar 2011-2012

Member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society