Lou Lu, MD, PhD

Lou Lu, MD, PhD

Investigator, The Lundquist Institute
Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA


Epigenetic Regulation of Limbal Stem and Epithelial Cells In Wound Healing

Research Description

Corneal epithelial layer forms the first defense barrier to prevent environmental and biological assaults to damage the eye structures behind. However, the protective function of the corneal epithelial layer can be damaged by pathological conditions. Dr. Lu’s lab has focused on studying the effects of growth factors and environmental stresses, including UV irradiation, hyperosmotic pressure, hypoxic condition and multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, on corneal epithelial wound healing. The main studies involve activations of multi-signal cascades and important transcription factors resulting in corneal epithelial proliferation/differentiation and apoptosis.

1) To discover epigenetic regulation of eye-specific Pax6 by the epigenetic factor CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), which determines limbal stem cell differentiation and corneal epithelial wound healing.
2) To investigate hypoxic stress-regulated Plk3 activity in HLS/P and HCE cells determined by alteration of CTCF SUMO/DeSUMO status, resulting in differential changes in limbal stem and corneal epithelial cells.

Theme Groups


  • MD, 1983, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai
  • PhD, 1988, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis

Recent and/or Significant Publications

Wang J, Lu L. De-SUMOylation of CCCTC Binding Factor (CTCF) in Hypoxic Stress-induced Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 6; 287(15): 12469–12479.
Yang F, Yao Y, Jiang Y, Lu L, Ma M, Dai W. Sumoylation Is Important For Subcellular Localization And Transcriptional Activity Of Sall4, An Essential Stem Cell Transcription Factor. J Biol Chem. 2012 Nov 9; 287(46): 38600–38608.
Wang L, Wu X, Ting S, Lu L. Effects of NF-κB Subtype-regulated CTCF on Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing, A Transgenic Mouse Study. J Biol Chem. 2013 Aug 23; 288(34): 24363–24371.
Wang, L, Dai W, Lu L. Osmotic Stress-induced H2AX Phosphorylation by Polo-Like-Kinase 3 (Plk3) in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. J Biol Chem. 2014 Oct 24; 289(43): 29827–29835.
Choi B, Che J, Chen Y, Lu L, Dai W. WWP2 is required for normal cell cycle progression. Genes Cancer. 2015 Sep; 6(9-10): 371–377.