Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Dr. Guolei Zhou

Professor of Cell Biology


  • Ph.D.  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Tottori University; Tottori, Japan
  • M.S.  Life Science and Biotechnology, Shimane University; Matsue, Japan
  • M.S.  Genetics and Plant Breeding, China Agricultural University; Beijing, China
  • B.S.  Genetics and Plant Breeding, China Agricultural University; Beijing, China

Teaching Specialties

  • Biology of the Cell (Lecture & Lab for undergraduates)
  • Cell Biology (Lecture for undergraduates and graduate students)
  • Advanced Cell Biology (Lecture for graduate students)
  • Biological Sciences Seminar
  • Cancer Biology (Lecture for undergraduates)
  • Environmental Microbiology (Lecture for undergraduate and graduate students)
  • Biological Science (Lecture & Lab for undergraduates)

Research Interests

  • Signal transduction
  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell migration
  • Cancerous transformation and invasion

Research in the Zhou lab is at the interface of cell biology and cancer-focused biomedical science.  Our long-standing research goal is to understand how the cell signaling system controls the actin cytoskeleton and related cell functions, such as migration, adhesion and invasion.  Such mechanistic insights will not only improve our knowledge on how the living systems function, but also impact multiple disciplines in life and biomedical sciences.  Our focus has been on CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein 1), the ubiquitous mammalian homologue of the originally identified yeast CAP, a protein that is conserved in eukaryotes and best established as a key regulator of actin dynamics.  We have made major contributions to the current knowledge on CAP1, including: 1) discovery of the new CAP1 function in matrix adhesion; 2) further establishing the CAP1 function in cell proliferation and revealing the role of ERK in facilitating the function; 3) identification of the only known regulation mechanism for CAP, through phosphorylation at the Ser307/Ser309 tandem site that is critical for CAP1 functions as well as roles in both the proliferation and invasiveness of cancer cells.  Moreover, we identified cell signals including cAMP that function in concert to phosphor-regulate CAP1 in controlling relevant cell functions.  Most recently, we unraveled a novel signaling pathway where CAP1 mediates signals from the major second messenger cAMP to activate Rap1 in stimulating matrix adhesion in colon cancer cells.  Interestingly, our data suggest conservation of the cAMP/CAP1/Rap1 signaling pathway in breast cancer cells, where the Rap1/ERK axis may also facilitate the roles of cAMP and CAP1 in cell proliferation.

Selected publications from our lab (Senior/Corresponding author in bold)

Ramsey A., Akana, L., Miyajima E., Douglas S., Gray J., Rowland A., Sharma K.D., Xu J., Xie J.Y., Zhou G.L.  CAP1 (cyclase-associated protein 1) Mediates the Cyclic AMP Signals that Activate Rap1 in Stimulating Matrix Adhesion of Colon Cancer Cells. Cellular Signalling 2023; 104: 110589.

Zhang H., Ramsey A., Xiao Y., Karki U., Xie J.Y., Xu J., Kelly T., Ono S., Zhou G.L.  Dynamic Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation of Cyclase-Associated Protein 1 by Antagonistic Signaling through Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 and cAMP Are Critical for the Protein Functions in Actin Filament Disassembly and Cell Adhesion. Molecular and Cellular Biology 2020: 40(4): e00282-19. Doi: 10.1128/MCB.00282-19.  Highlighted as the Cover Image for the journal issue.

Wu H., Hasan R., Zhang H., Gray J., Williams D., Miller M., Allen F., Lee V., Kelly T., Zhou G.L. Phosphorylation Regulates CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein 1) Functions in the Motility and Invasion of Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Scientific Reports 2019: 9, 4925. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41346-3.

Zhang H, Zhou G.L.  CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein 1) Exerts Distinct Functions in the Proliferation and Metastatic Potential of Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by ERK. Scientific Reports 2016: 13;6:25933.

Zhou G.L., Zhang H., Wu H., Ghai P., Field J.  Phosphorylation of the Cytoskeletal Protein CAP1 Controls Its Association with Cofilin and Actin. Journal of Cell Science 2014 Dec 1; 127:5052-65.  Highlighted in the “In This Issue” section of the journal.

Zhang H., Ghai P, Wu H., Wang C., Field J., Zhou G.L.  Mammalian Adenylyl Cyclase-Associated Protein 1 (CAP1) Regulates Cofilin Function, the Actin Cytoskeleton, and Cell Adhesion. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2013 Jul 19;288(29):20966-77.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:

Guolei Zhou

Contact Information

P: 870-680-8588
F: 870-972-2638


Building: ABI
Room: 209