Dr Shouqing Luo

Dr Shouqing Luo

Associate Professor (Reader) in Clinical Neurobiology

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)


Associate Professor in Neurobiology
Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry



Senior Research Fellow
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
University of Cambridge, UK

Research Fellow
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
University of Cambridge, UK

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Northwestern University Medical School, USA

Research Fellow
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

PhD, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China 

Professional membership

British Society of Biochemistry

British Society of Cell Biology
American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Teaching interests

HEA Fellow

Clinical Neurobiology

Current Issues in Neurobiology

Placement and Employability

Academic tutor of Special Study Unit

Director of Postgraduate Studies

Staff serving as external examiners

University of Cambridge

University of Liverpool

University College London

Research interests

Macroautophagy or autophagy is an intracellular bulk degradation system mediated by lysosomes. Autophagy substrates include long-lived cytosolic proteins, intracellular pathogens and damaged organelles. Autophagosomes are then fused to lysosomes and the contents of autophagosomes are degraded by lysosomal hydrolases, and the resulting degraded components are reused for anabolic and catabolic processes. Autophagy is involved in many biological processes of normal physiology, such as mitigating metabolic stress, degradation of aggregate-prone proteins (e.g, mutant huntingtin), tissue homeostasis, and defects in autophagy process are associated with numerous pathophysiologies, including neurodegenerative diseases and tumorigenesis. The research in our lab currently focuses on autophagy regulation and its roles in Huntington's Disease.

Grants & contracts

Recent funding:

•      2020-2022, Principal applicant, the Royal Society, IEC\NSFC\191180 - International Exchanges 2019 Cost Share (NSFC), the autophagy role of lncRNAs, £11,700.00

•          2019-2022. Newton Advanced Fellowship UK Principal Applicant. The Academy of Medical Sciences/the Royal Society (Newton Fund). Selective autophagy regulation in Huntington's Disease and neurodegeneration (NAF\R1\191045), £111,000

•          2016-2019. Principal applicant, Medical Research Council. Tackling autophagy and apoptosis for the potential therapy of Huntington’s Disease (MR/M023605/1), £528,993

•          2018-2021. Principal applicant. BRACE Charity. Mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration (BR18/01), £85,863

•          2017-2019. Principal applicant. BRACE Charity. New strategies in alleviation of aggregation-prone protein toxicity in dementia diseases (BR17/04), £58,545

•          2016-2019. Principal applicant. DTS PhD studentship programme. Identification of a Novel Autophagy Pathway, £72,000

•          2015-2017. Principal applicant. National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Selective degradation of autophagy (31428014), RMB200,000

•          2013-2015. Principal applicant. Northcott Medical Foundation. The mechanism of artemisinin derivatives’ modulation in autophagy and cell death (5002), £7250

•          2013-2016. Principal applicant. PhD studentship in Translational and Stratified Institute. The interaction between autophagy and cell death, £62,000

Key publications are highlighted

Valionyte E, Yang Y, Roberts SL, Kelly J, Lu B & Luo S 2020 'Lowering Mutant Huntingtin Levels and Toxicity: Autophagy-Endolysosome Pathways in Huntington's Disease' Journal of Molecular Biology 432, (8) 2673-2691 , DOI
Kelly J, Moyeed R, Carroll C, Luo S & Li X 2020 'Genetic networks in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease' Aging , DOI PEARL
Roberts SL, Evans T, Yang Y, Fu Y, Button RW, Sipthorpe RJ, Cowan K, Valionyte E, Anichtchik O & Li H 2019 'Bim contributes to the progression of Huntington’s disease-associated phenotypes' Human Molecular Genetics , DOI PEARL
Fan RZ, Guo M, Luo S, Cui M & Tieu K 2019 'Exosome release and neuropathology induced by α-synuclein: new insights into protective mechanisms of Drp1 inhibition' Acta Neuropathologica Communications 7, (1) , DOI
Li Z, Wang C, Wang Z, Zhu C, Li J, Sha T, Ma L, Gao C, Yang Y & Sun Y 2019 'Allele-selective lowering of mutant HTT protein by HTT–LC3 linker compounds' Nature 575, (7781) 203-209 , DOI PEARL
Yang Y, Valionyte E, Kelly J & Luo S 2019 'Histone H3F3/H3.3 chaperone DAXX converts to modulate SQSTM1 phase condensation for NFE2L2 activation' Autophagy 16, (1) 171-172 , DOI
Yang Y, Willis TL, Button RW, Strang CJ, Fu Y, Wen X, Grayson PRC, Evans T, Sipthorpe RJ & Roberts SL 2019 'Cytoplasmic DAXX drives SQSTM1/p62 phase condensation to activate Nrf2-mediated stress response' Nature Communications 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
Lin F & Luo S-Q 2019 'Mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases' CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 25, (7) 813-815 , DOI
Cowan K, Anichtchik O & Luo S 2019 'Mitochondrial integrity in neurodegeneration' CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 25, (7) 825-836 , DOI
Singer D, Thamm K, Zhuang H, Karbanová J, Gao Y, Walker JV, Jin H, Wu X, Coveney CR & Marangoni P 2018 'Prominin-1 controls stem cell activation by orchestrating ciliary dynamics' EMBO Journal Author Site , DOI PEARL
Feng X, Luo S & Lu B 2018 'Conformation Polymorphism of Polyglutamine Proteins' Trends in Biochemical Sciences 43, (6) 424-435 , DOI
Song H, Li H, Guo S, Pan Y, Fu Y, Zhou Z, Li Z, Wen X, Sun X & He B 2018 'Targeting Gpr52 lowers mutant HTT levels and rescues Huntington's disease-associated phenotypes' Brain 141, (6) 1782-1798 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Yu M, Fu Y, Liang Y, Song H, Yao Y, Wu P, Yao Y, Pan Y, Wen X & Ma L 2017 'Suppression of MAPK11 or HIPK3 reduces mutant Huntingtin levels in Huntington's disease models' Cell Research 27, (12) 1441-1465 , DOI PEARL
Button RW & Luo S 2017 'The formation of autophagosomes during lysosomal defect: A new source of cytotoxicity' Autophagy 1-2 , DOI PEARL
Button RW, Roberts SL, Willis TL, Hanemann CO & Luo S 2017 'Accumulation of autophagosomes confers cytotoxicity' Journal of Biological Chemistry jbc.M117.782276-jbc.M117.782276 , DOI PEARL
Liu X, Li Y, Wang X, Xing R, Liu K, Gan Q, Tang C, Gao Z, Jian Y & Luo S 2017 'The BEACH-containing protein WDR81 coordinates p62 and LC3C to promote aggrephagy' The Journal of Cell Biology 216, (5) 1301-1320 , DOI PEARL
Button RW, Vincent JH, Strang CJ & Luo SHOUQING 2016 'Dual PI-3 kinase/mTOR inhibition impairs autophagy flux and induces cell death independent of apoptosis and necroptosis' Oncotarget 7, (5) 5157-5175 , DOI PEARL
Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, Adachi H, Adams CM, Adams PD & Adeli K 2016 'Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)' Autophagy 12, (1) 1-222 , DOI
Zhuang H, Hu D, Singer D, Walker JV, Nisr RB, Tieu K, Ali K, Tredwin C, Luo S & Ardu S 2015 'Local anesthetics induce autophagy in young permanent tooth pulp cells' Cell Death Discovery 1, Author Site PEARL
Button RW, Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2015 'Autophagic activity in neuronal cell death' Neuroscience Bulletin 31, (4) 382-394 , DOI
Lin F, Ghislat G, Luo S, Renna M, Siddiqi F & Rubinsztein DC 2015 'XIAP and cIAP1 amplifications induce Beclin 1-dependent autophagy through NFκB activation' Hum Mol Genet 24, (10) 2899-2913 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Button RW, Lin F, Ercolano E, Vincent JH, Hu B, Hanemann CO & Luo S 2014 'Artesunate induces necrotic cell death in schwannoma cells'
Button RW, Lin F, Ercolano E, Vincent JH, Hu B, Hanemann CO & Luo S 2014 'Artesunate induces necrotic cell death in schwannoma cells' Cell Death & Disease 5, (10) e1466-e1466 , DOI PEARL
Toh PPC, Luo S, Menzies FM, Raskó T, Wanker EE & Rubinsztein DC 2013 'Myc inhibition impairs autophagosome formation' Hum Mol Genet 22, (25) 5237-5248 Author Site , DOI
Wu J, Jiang H, Luo S, Zhang M, Zhang Y, Sun F, Huang S & Li H 2013 'Caspase mediated cleavage of C53/LZAP protein causes abnormal microtubule bundling and rupture of the nuclear envelope' Cell Research 23, (5) 691-704 , DOI
Luo S, Garcia-Arencibia M, Zhao R, Puri C, Toh PPC, Sadiq O & Rubinsztein DC 2012 'Bim inhibits autophagy by recruiting Beclin 1 to microtubules' Molecular Cell 47, (3) 359-370 , DOI
Sarkar S, Korolchuk VI, Renna M, Imarisio S, Fleming A, Williams A, Garcia-Arencibia M, Rose C, Luo S & Underwood BR 2011 'Complex inhibitory effects of nitric oxide on autophagy' Mol Cell 43, (1) 19-32 , DOI
Ravikumar B, Sarkar S, Davies JE, Futter M, Garcia-Arencibia M, Green-Thompson ZW, Jimenez-Sanchez M, Korolchuk VI, Lichtenberg M & Luo S 2010 'Regulation of mammalian autophagy in physiology and pathophysiology' Physiol Rev 90, (4) 1383-1435 Author Site , DOI
Yang H, Liu C, Zhong Y, Luo S, Monteiro MJ & Fang S 2010 'Huntingtin interacts with the cue domain of gp78 and inhibits gp78 binding to ubiquitin and p97/VCP' Plos One 26;5, (1)
Luo S, Eriguchi M, Mizuta H, Luo S, Kuroda Y, Hara H & Rubinsztein DC 2009 'alpha Pix enhances mutant huntingtin aggregation' Journal of the Neurological Sciences 290, 80-85
Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2009 'Apoptosis blocks Beclin 1-dependent autophagosome synthesis - an effect rescued by Bcl-xL' Cell Death and Differentiation 17, 268-277 , DOI
Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2009 'Huntingtin promotes cell survival by preventing Pak2 cleavage' Journal of Cell Science 122, 875-885 , DOI
Luo S, Mizuta H & Rubinsztein DC 2008 'p21-activated kinase 1 promotes soluble mutant huntingtin self-interaction and enhances toxicity' Human Molecular Genetics 15, 895-905
Yang H, Zhong X, Ballar P, Luo S, Shen Y, Rubinsztein DC, Monteiro MJ & Fang S 2006 'Ubiquitin ligase Hrd1 enhances the degradation and suppresses the toxicity of polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin' Experimental Cell Research 313, 538-550
Berger Z, Davies JE, Luo S, Pasco MY, Majoul I, O'Kane CJ & Rubinsztein DC 2005 'Deleterious and protective properties of an aggregate-prone protein with a polyalanine expansion' Human Molecular Genetics 15, 453-465
Luo S, Vacher C, Davies JE & Rubinsztein DC 2005 'Cdk5 phosphorylation of huntingtin reduces its cleavage by caspases: implications for mutant huntingtin toxicity' Journal of Cell Biology 169, 647-656
Jiang H, Luo S & Li H 2005 'Cdk5 activator-binding protein C53 regulates apoptosis induced by genotoxic stress via modulating the G2/M DNA damage checkpoint' Journal of Biological Chemistry 280, 20651-20659
Wu J, Luo S, Jiang H & Li H 2005 'Mammalian CHORD-containing protein 1 is a novel heat shock protein 90-interacting protein' FEBS Letters. 579, 421-426
Ravikumar B, Vacher C, Berger Z, Davies JE, Luo S, Oroz LG, Scaravilli F, Easton DF, Duden R & O'Kane CJ 2004 'Inhibition of mTOR induces autophagy and reduces toxicity of polyglutamine expansions in fly and mouse models of Huntington disease' Nature Genetics 585-595
Luo S, Zheng D, Rao Q & Wu K 2000 'Analysis of the Ligand-binding domain of Macrophage colony-stimulating receptor' Chinese Science Bulletin 45, 1191-1196
Luo S, Zheng D & Liu Y 2000 'Expression of rhM-CSFR in E.coli and analysis of its ligand-binding affinity' Chin J Biochem Mol Biol 16, 443-447
Luo S, Liu Y & Zheng D 1999 'Expression of rhM-CSFR in insect cells and analysis of its ligand-binding affinity' Chin J Biochem Mol Biol 15, 709-714
Luo S & Zheng D 1998 'Signal transduction pathways medicated by colony stimulating factor-1 receptor' Chinese Science Bulletin, 43, 969-973
Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2012 'BCL2L11/BIM: a novel molecular link between autophagy and apoptosis' Autophagy 9, (1) 104-105
Moreau K, Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2010 'Cytoprotective roles for autophagy' Curr Opin Cell Biol 22, 206-211
Ravikumar B, Futter M, Jahreiss L, Korolchuk VI, Lichtenberg M, Luo S, Massey DCO, Menzies FM, Narayanan U & Renna M 2009 'Mammalian macroautophagy at a glance' Journal of Cell Science 122, 1707-1711 , DOI
Luo S & Rubinsztein DC 2007 'Atg5 and Bcl-2 provide novel insights into the interplay between apoptosis and autophagy' Cell Death Differ 14, 1247-1250
Evans T, Button R, Anichtchik O & Luo S 2018 'Visualization and Measurement of Multiple Components of the Autophagy Flux' Autophagy in Differentiation and Tissue Maintenance Springer New York 1-12 , DOI