Dr Shouqing Luo

Dr Shouqing Luo

Associate Professor (Reader) in Clinical Neurobiology

Biomedical Research - Translational and Stratified Medicine (Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)


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

Teaching interests

·         HEA Fellow

·         Academic tutor of Special Study Unit

·         Director of Postgraduate Studies

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

·         Medical Research Council, Tackling autophagy and apoptosis for the potential therapy of Huntington's Disease (MR/M023605/1), £516,766, PI

·        National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), mechanistic insight into selective autophagy (31428014), 200,000 RMB, PI

·         Northcott Medical Foundation, the mechanism of artemisinin derivatives’ modulation in autophagy and cell death (£7,5000), PI

·         PhD studentship in Translational and Stratified Institute, the interaction between autophagy and cell death (£62,000), PI

·        PhD studentship programme (Plymouth University), Identification of a Novel Autophagy Pathway, £72,000, PI

·       BRACE Charity. New strategies in alleviation of aggregation-prone protein toxicity in dementia diseases, £58,545, PI

Research groups

Key publications are highlighted

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
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 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
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'
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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