Jun Liu
Professor of Molecular Biology & Genetics

Jun Liu




Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
439 Biotechnology Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


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Jun "Kelly" Liu is Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics. She received a B.S. degree in Biology at Wuhan University in China and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University. She did her postdoctoral research at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Embryology, where she was awarded a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship. She joined the faculty at Cornell in 2001. She is in the graduate fields of Genetics & Development, and Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology.

Research Description

Our research interests focus on two areas of developmental biology: 1) mechanisms that determine cell fate, and 2) functions of the nuclear envelope. We have chosen the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to explore these areas of research since C. elegans offers a number of advantages for these studies: 1) the entire cell lineage has been mapped, making possible the study of gene function at single cell resolution; 2) sophisticated genetic and molecular tools are available, including efficient transgenic techniques and a complete genome sequence. more

Selected Publications

Krause, M. and Liu, J. (accepted) Somatic muscle specification during embryonic and post-embryonic development in the nematode C. elegans. WIREs Developmental Biology. Review

Tian, C., Shi, H., Colledge, C., Stern, M., Waterston, R. and Liu, J. (2011) The C. elegans SoxC protein SEM-2 opposes differentiation factors to promote a proliferative blast cell fate in the postembryonic mesoderm. Development. 138: 1033-1043. Epub 2011 February 9. (Pubmed)

Tian, C., Sen, D., Shi, H., Foehr, M. L., Plavskin, Y. Vatamaniuk, O. K. and Liu, J. (2010) The RGM protein DRAG-1 positively regulates a BMP-like signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. Development. 137: 2375-2384. Epub 2010 June 9. (Pubmed)

Amin, N. M., Shi, H. and Liu, J. (2010) The FoxF/FoxC factor LET-381 direclty regulates both cell fate specification and cell differentiation in C. elegans mesoderm development. Development. 137: 1451-1460. Epub 2010 Mar 24. (Pubmed)

Jiang, Y., Shi, H. and Liu, J. (2009) Two Hox cofactors, the Meis/Hth homolog UNC-62 and the Pbx/Exd homolog CEH-20, function together during C. elegans postembryonic mesodermal development. Developmental Biology. 334: 535-546. (Pubmed)

Amin, N. M., Lim, S.-E., Shi, H., Chan, T. L. and Liu, J. (2009) A conserved Six-Eya cassette acts downstream of Wnt signaling to direct non-myogenic versus myogenic fates in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. Developmental Biology. 331: 350-360. (Pubmed)

Golden, A., Liu, J. and Cohen-Fix, O. (2009) Inactivation of the C. elegans lipin homolog leads to ER disorganization and to defects in the breakdown and reassembly of the nuclear envelope. J. Cell Sci. 122: 1970-1978. (Pubmed)

Lei, H., Liu, J., Fukushige, T., Fire, A., and Krause, M. (2009) Caudal-like PAL-1 directly activates the bodywall muscle module regulator HLH-1 in C. elegans to initiate embryonic muscle gene regulatory network. Development 136: 1241-1249. Epub 2009 Mar 4. (PubMed)

Liu, J. (March 2009) Nuclear Envelope and Lamins: Organization and Dynamics. In: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE SCIENCES. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester http://www.els.net/ [DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001342.pub2].

Jiang, Y., Shi, H., Amin, N. M., Sultan, I. and Liu, J. (2008) Mesodermal expression of the C. elegans HMX homolog mls-2 requires the PBC homolog CEH-20. Mech. Dev. 125: 451-461. Epub 2008 Feb 2. (Pubmed)

Foehr, M. L. and Liu, J. (2008) Dorsoventral patterning of the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm requires both LIN-12/Notch and TGF-beta signaling. Dev. Biol. 313: 256-266. Epub 2007 Oct 25. (Pubmed)

Amin, N. M., Hu, K., Pruyne, D., Terzic, D., Bretscher, A. and Liu, J. (2007) A Zn finger/FH2 domain containing protein FOZI-1 acts redundantly with CeMyoD to specify striated body wall muscle fates in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. Development 134: 19-29. Epub 2006 Nov 30. (Pubmed)

Johnston R. J. Jr., Copeland, J. W., Fasnacht, M., Etchberger, J. F., Liu, J., Honig, B. and Hobert, O. (2006) An unusual Zn-finger/FH2 domain protein controls a left/right asymmetric neuronal fate decision in C. elegans. Development 133: 3317-3328. (Pubmed)

Foehr, M. F., Lindy, A. S., Fairbank, R. C., Amin, N. M., Xu, M., Yanowitz, J., Fire, A. Z. and Liu, J. (2006) An antagonistic role for the C. elegans Schnurri homolog SMA-9 in modulating TGF-ß signaling during mesodermal patterning. Development 133: 2887-2896. (Pubmed)

Haithcock, E., Dayani, Y., Neufeld, E., Zahand, A. J., Feinstein, N., Mattout, A., Gruenbaum, Y. and Liu, J. (2005) Age-related changes of nuclear architecture in C. elegans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 102: 16690-16695. (PubMed)

This article was highlighted in the same issue of PNAS 102: 16531, and featured in a commentary by Wilson, K.L. (2005) PNAS 102: 18767-18768 ( Pubmed) and a News and Views article by Lans and Hoejimakers (2006) Nature 440: 32-34 (Pubmed).

Jiang, Y., Horner, V. and Liu, J. (2005) The HMX homeodomain protein MLS-2 regulates cleavage orientation, cell proliferation and cell fate specification in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. Development 132: 4119-4130.(PubMed)

Margalit, A., Liu, J., Fridkin, A., Wilson, K. L. and Gruenbaum, Y. (2005) A lamin-dependent pathway that regulates nuclear organization, cell cycle progression and germ cell development. Novartis Found Symp. 264: 231-240; discussion 240-245.(PubMed)

Liang, J., Lints, R., Foehr, M. L., Tokarz, R., Yu, L., Emmons, S. W., Liu, J. and Savage-Dunn, C. (2003) The Caenorhabditis elegans schnurri homolog, sma-9, mediates stage- and cell type- specific responses to dbl-1 BMP-related signaling. Development 130: 6453-6464. (PubMed)

Liu, J., Lee, K. K., Segura-Totten, M., Neufeld E., Wilson, K. L. and Gruenbaum, Y. (2003) MAN1 and emerin have overlapping function(s) essential for chromosome segregation and cell division in Caenorhabditis elegans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 100:4598-4603. (PubMed)

Lee, K. K., Starr, D., Cohen, M., Liu, J., Han, M., Wilson, K. L. and Gruenbaum Y. (2002) Lamin-dependent localization of UNC-84, a protein required for nuclear migration in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mol. Biol. Cell 13: 892-901. (PubMed)

Gruenbaum, Y., Lee, K. K., Liu, J., Cohen, M. and Wilson, K. L. (2002) The expression, lamin-dependent localization and RNAi depletion phenotype for emerin in C. elegans. J. Cell Sci. 115: 923-929. (PubMed)

Lee, K. K., Gruenbaum, Y., Spann, P., Liu, J. and Wilson, K. L. (2000) C. elegans nuclear envelope proteins Emerin, MAN1, lamin, and nucleoporins reveal unique timing of nuclear envelope breakdown during mitosis. Mol. Biol. Cell 11: 3089-3099. (PubMed)

Liu, J., Ben-Shahar, T. R., Riemer, D., Treinin, M., Spann, P., Weber, K., Fire, A. and Gruenbaum, Y. (2000). Essential roles for Caenorhabditis elegans lamin gene in nuclear organization, cell cycle progression and spatial organization of nuclear pore complexes. Mol. Biol. Cell 11: 3937-3947. (PubMed)

Liu, J., and Fire, A. (2000). Overlapping roles of two Hox genes and the exd ortholog ceh-20 in diversification of the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. Development 127: 5179-5190. (PubMed)

Harfe, B. D., Gomes, A. Z., Kenyon, C., Liu, J., Krause, M. and Fire, A. (1998) Analysis of a Caenorhabditis elegans twist homolog identifies conserved and divergent aspects of mesodermal patterning. Genes & Dev. 12: 263-2635. (PubMed)

Click here for Dr. Liu's PubMed listings.