Welcome to Arkansas State University!

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
  • Biology of the Cell laboratory
  • Cell Biology lecture
  • Advanced Cell Biology lecture (team-taught)
  • Biological Science lecture

Research Interests

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

The long-term goal of the Zhou lab is to understand how the cell signaling system controls the actin cytoskeleton and related cell functions, such as adhesion and migration. Such mechanistic insights will improve our knowledge on how the living systems function, which influences multiple disciplines in the life and biomedical sciences. Our research has focused on mammalian CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein), which is best established as a cytoskeletal protein in eukaryotes while also implicated in human cancers.

Our findings have made major contributions to the current knowledge on the protein. Among them include the identification of the novel function in cell adhesion, molecular mechanisms underlying its cell type-specific functions in adhesion and proliferation, the paradigm-shifting discovery of its regulation through phosphorylation, as well as roles in cancer cells. We identified multiple cell signals, including the major second messenger cAMP, that converge on CAP1 to control the actin cytoskeleton, cell adhesion, migration and proliferation. Elucidation of the role of CAP1 in linking cell signals, including cAMP that is activated by a variety of extracellular stimuli, to the fundamental cell functions whose dys-regulation also underlies pathological conditions such as cancer carries considerable translational implications. 


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

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.  Article selected as the Cover Story for the journal.

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.  Article 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.

Guolei Zhou

Contact Information

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


Building: ABI
Room: 209