Return to Directory

Yuan Liu

Associate Professor    

M.D., Beijing University School of Medicine, Beijing, China, 1991
Ph.D., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of South Alabama, 1998


Dynamic Regulation of Inflammation, Cell Surface Interactions and Signaling and Leukocyte Biology.

Inflammation is a vital host response that serves as a major immunological mechanism to protect the host from pathogens, irritators and transformed / altered self-cells. Acute inflammation generally involves sequential events of local cell response and production of inflammatory mediators, activation of endothelial vasculature, transmigration of large numbers of neutrophils into tissues, and the final stage of monocyte/macrophage-mediated clearance. When the inflammatory reaction lingers and becomes chronic, local macrophage response and neutrophil infiltration are also regulated by cytokines derived from activated dendritic cells and polarized T cells. Our recent studies focus on elucidating the dynamic mechanisms that regulate leukocyte response and neutrophil transmigration at different stages of inflammation.

Specific projects currently in the lab include:
1) Critical factors that control macrophage response and neutrophil infiltration at the acute and the chronic stages of inflammation;
2) Mechanisms by which cell surface adhesive proteins, such as integrins, CD47 and SIRPa, regulate phagocyte recognition and neutrophil transmigration;
3) Control of leukocyte infiltration during cancer initiation and metastasis.


1.     Bian Z, Guo Y, Ha B, Liu Y (2012) Regulation of the Inflammatory Response: Enhancing Neutrophil Infiltration under Chronic Inflammatory Conditions. J Immunol. 188(2):844-53. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

2.     Zen K, Guo YL, Li LM, Bian Z, Zhang CY and Liu Y (2011) Cleavage of the CD11b extracellular domain by the leukocyte serprocidins is critical for neutrophil detachment during chemotaxis.  Blood  5;117(18):4885-94.

3.     Chen C, Soto I, Guo YL and Liu Y (2011) Control of secondary granule release in neutrophils by Ral GTPase.  J. Biol. Chem. 286(13):11724-33

4.     Zen K, Liu DQ, Li LM, Chen CX, Guo YL, Ha B, Chen X, Zhang ZY, Liu Y (2009) The heparan sulfate proteoglycan form of epithelial CD44V3 serves as a CD11b/CD18 counter-receptor during PMN transepithelial migration.  J. Biol. Chem. 284(6):3768-76.

5.     Zen K, Liu DQ, Guo YL, Wang C, Shan J, Fang M, Zhang CY and Liu Y (2008) CD44v4 is a major E-selectin ligand that mediates breast cancer cell transendothelial migration. PLoS ONE. 19;3(3):e1826.

6.     Zen K. and Liu Y (2008)  Role of different protein tyrosine kinases in fMLP-induced neutrophil transmigration.   Immunobiology  213(1):13-23.

7.     Zen K, Chen CX, Chen YT, Wilton R and Liu Y (2007)  Receptor for advanced glycation endproducts mediates neutrophil migration across intestinal epithelium.  J. Immunol. 178 (4): 2483-2490.

8.     Zen, K, Cui, L-B, Zhang, CY and Liu, Y (2007) Critical role of mac-1 sialyl lewis x moieties in regulating neutrophil degranulation and transmigration. J. Mol. Biol. 16;374(1):54-63

9.     Zen, K, Reaves, TA, Soto, I and Liu, Y (2006) Response to genistein: assaying the activation status and chemotaxis efficacy of isolated neutrophils. J. Immunol. Methods  20;309(1-2):86-98.

10.  Liu, Y*, Tong, Q, Zhou, Y, Lee, H-W, Yang, JJ, Bühring, H-J, Chen,Y-T, Ha, B, Chen, X-J. C and Yang Y (2007) Functional elements on SIRPα IgV domain mediate cell surface binding to CD47. J. Mol. Biol. 365(3):680-93.  (*correspondent author)

11.  Liu, Y*, Soto, I, Tong, Q, Chin, A, Bühing, H-J, Parkos C.A. (2005) SIRPb1 is expressed as a disulfide linked homodimer in leukocytes and positively regulates neutrophil transepithelial migration.  J.  Biol. Chem. 280(43):36132-40.  (*correspondent author)

12.  Liu, Y., O’Connor, M.B., Mandell, K.L., Burst, S.F., Ullrich, A., Bühing, Hans-Jörg and Parkos, C.A. (2004)  Peptide-mediated inhibition of neutrophil transmigration by blocking CD47 interactions with SIRPα.  J. Immunol. 172(4): 2578-2585

13.  Liu Y, Shaw S.K, Ma S, Yang L, Luscinskas F.W, Parkos C.A. (2004) Regulation of leukocyte transmigration: cell surface interactions and signaling events.  J. Immunol. 1;172(1):7-13.

14.  Liu, Y*, Bühring, Hans-Jörg, Zen K., Schnell F.J., Williams I.R., and Parkos, C.A. (2002) Signal regulatory protein (SIRPα), a cellular ligand for CD47, regulates neutrophil transmigration.  J.Biol.Chem.  277(12):10028-36  (*correspondent author)

15.  Liu, Y*, Merlin, D., Schnell, F.J., Pochet, M. Madara J.L. and Parkos, C.A. (2001) The role of CD47 inneutrophil transmigration: Increased rate of migration correlates with increased cell surface expression of CD47.  J. Biol. Chem.  276(43), 40156-66.  (*correspondent author)