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Dr. Song-Tao Liu's Research



Song-Tao Liu

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Shanghai Institute of Biochemictry, 1997

Office:        WO4254
Phone No:  419.530.7853

     We study how cells divide. Research on cell division (meiosis or mitosis) is highly relevant to human health issues. Cell division is normally tightly regulated, occurring only when necessary and faithfully passing one or two sets of the chromosomes to daughter cells.

  • Uncontrolled cell division leads to cancer.
  • Environmental chemicals affecting the fidelity of cell division may cause sterility, birth defects and cancer.
  • Certain cancer drugs such as taxol or vincristine trigger cancer cell death after inducing prolonged mitotic arrest.
  • Several enzymes (kinases or kinesins) involved in mitosis regulation have become novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

     Current efforts in the lab are mainly directed to studying the signal transduction pathways involved in activation and silencing of the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC), with particular focus on the regulation of assembly and disassembly of the Mitotic Checkpoint Complex (MCC). Knowledge about the SAC pathway will improve our understandings about many aneuploid tumors as well as cellular responses to mitosis-targeted cancer drugs.

     In addition, we have maintained long-term interest in dissecting the composition, assembly, structure and function of the centromere/kinetochore complex, one of the major subcellular structures that contribute to high-fidelity chromosome segregation during cell division.

     Inquiries to join the lab as graduate students or postdoctoral researchers are always welcome.   Please visit Lab Website for more information. The lab is or has been financially supported by the University of Toledo startup fund, deArce Memorial Fund, Ohio Cancer Research Associates, University of Toledo Interdisciplinary Research Initiation Award and National Science Foundation (NSF).

   The courses I have taught include BIOL3030-Cell Biology, BIOL4040-Microbiology Lab, BIOL4110-Human Genetics, BIOL6930/8930-Seminars in Biology, BIOL6990/8990- Signal Transduction and Cell Cycle Regulation.


With UT as Affiliation (*graduate student; **undergraduate student)

    1. Liu, S.T. (2014) Kinetochore Strucuture, Function and Evolution (version 2.0), In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester. invited review.
    2. Ma, J. , Zhang, L., *Tipton, A.R, Wu, J., Messmer-Blust, A., Philbrick, M., Qi, Y., Liu, S.T., Liu, H., Li, J. and Guo, S. (2013) Structural and Functional Analysis of the Related Transcriptional Enhancer Factor-1 (RTEF-1) and Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-κB) Interaction. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2013 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 2421360
    3. *Tipton, A.R., *Ji, W., Sturt-Gillespie, B., Bekier, M. E. 2nd, *Wang, K., Taylor, W. R. and Liu, S.T. (2013) Monopolar Spindle 1 (MPS1) Kinase Promotes Production of Closed MAD2 (C-MAD2) Conformer and Assembly of the Mitotic Checkpoint Complex.   Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(49):35149-58. PMID: 24151075
    4. *Tipton, A.R., *Wang, K., **Oladimeji, P., **Sufi, S., Gu, Z. and Liu, S. T. (2012) Identification of novel mitosis regulators through data-mining with human centromere/kinetochore proteins as group queries. BMC Cell Biology. 2012, 13:15. [link
    5. *Tipton, A.R., **Tipton, M., Yen, T. J., Liu, S.T. (2011)Closed MAD2 (C-MAD2) is selectively incorporated into the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC). Cell Cycle. 10(21): 3740-50. PMID: 22037211. [Abstract].
    6. *Tipton, A.R., *Wang, K., **Link, L., Bellizzi, J.J., Huang, H. Yen, T. J. and Liu, S.T. (2011) BUBR1 and closed MAD2 (C-MAD2) interact directly to assemble a functional Mitotic Checkpoint Complex (MCC). Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(24):21173-9. PMID: 21525009; PMCID: PMC3122179. [Abstract].
    7. Bazeley, P.S., Nestor-Kalinoski, A.L., Ways, J., Liu, S.T., Ramdath, R.S., Matsui, S. and Allison, D.C. (2011) A Model for Random Genetic Damage Directing the Selection of Diploid or Aneuploid Tumors. Cell Proliferation, 44(3):212-23. [Abstract].
    8. Liu, S.T., Allison, D.C., and Nestor-Kalinoski, A. L. (2010) Chromosomes during Cell Division, In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005770.pub2. Review.
    9. Liu, S.T. and Yen, T. J. (2008) The kinetochore as target for cancer drug development. In “The Kinetochore: from Molecular Discoveries to Cancer Therapy" (Eds. De Wulf P., and Earnshaw W.C.). Springer Publ. New York. Review.

Selected Earlier Publications

  1. Liu, S.T., Rattner, J.B., Jablonski, S.A. and Yen, T. J. (2006) Mapping the assembly pathways that specify formation of the trilaminar kinetochore plates in human cells. Journal of Cell Biology. 175: 41-53.
  2. Chan, G.K., Liu, S.T., and Yen, T. J. (2005) Kinetochore structure and function. Trends in Cell Biology. 15(11):589-98. Review.
  3. Liu, S.T., van Deursen, J. M. and Yen T.J. (2003) The role of mitotic checkpoint in maintaining genomic stability. Current Topics in Developmental Biology (ed. Schatten G. P.). 58: 27-51. Review.
  4. Jablonski, S. A., Liu, S.T., and Yen, T.J. (2003) Targeting the kinetochore for mitosis-specific inhibitors. Cancer Biology and Therapy. 2(3): e21-26. Review.
  5. Liu, S.T., Hittle, J. C., Jablonski, S.A., Campbell, M.S., Yoda, K. and Yen, T.J. (2003) Human CENP-I specifies localization of CENP-F, MAD1 and MAD2 to kinetochores and is essential for mitosis. Nature Cell Biology. 5(4): 341-5. 
  6. Liu, S.T., Chan, G.K.T., Hittle, J.C., Fujii G., Lees M. and Yen T.J. (2003) Human MPS1 kinase is required for mitotic arrest induced by the loss of CENP-E from kinetochores.Molecular Biology of the Cell.14(4): 1638-51.

Current Students

Graduate Students:

Kexi Wang

Wenbin Ji

Hang Zhang

 S Liu Lab 2012



Last Updated: 6/26/15