Kang-Yell Choi

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Kang-Yell Choi, Ph.D. is an academic.

He completed his doctorate in Biochemistry at the Purdue University in 1993. Then, Kang-Yell Choi performed research related to cell signaling at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow. His research at Harvard investigated the function of Saccharomyces Ste5 involving pheromone response via MAP kinase pathway and was published as the 1st paper introducing the concept of "Scaffold protein" in the community.

In 1995, he returned to Korea as a professor of Yonsei University.[1] Since then, he has been working on mammalian cell signaling. Dr. Choi identified a novel mechanism of Ras stability regulation via the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. The degradation of Ras, especially K-Ras, is controlled by GSK3-mediated phosphorylation followed by ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal machinery via recruiting beta-TrCP E3 ligase. The stabilization of oncogenic K-Ras by APC loss and subsequent re-activation the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway via positive loop through ERK activated cancer stem cells and induced liver metastasis of colorectal cancer. This indicates the importance of inhibition of both Wnt/beta-catenin and Ras-ERK pathways in the treatment of colorectal cancer.[2] He subsequently identified and characterized small molecules degrading both beta-catanin and Ras via targeting the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, and those small molecules efficiently inhibit growth of colorectal and other cancers with activated Wnt/beta-catenin and EGFR-Ras pathways. He served as the Chief of the National Research Laboratory of the Molecular Complex Control in Yonsei University for recent 5 years. He is currently positioned as the Director of the Translational Research Center for Protein Function Control (TRCP) supported by Korean National Research Foundation and Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Panning of Korea.

Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University Translational Research Center for Protein Function Control, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University.


  • 1978-1985: BS, Department of Biotechnology, Yonsei University
  • 1988-1993: Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Purdue University, USA
  • 1993-1995: Post-doctor Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Biological Chemistry & Mol. Pharmacology, USA

Work summary

Professional experience:

  • 1995-1999 : Assistant Professor Dept of Biochem. & Mol. Biol. Col. of Medicine, Yonsei University
  • 2000-2001 : Associate Professor Dept of Biochem. & Mol. Biol., Dept. Biotech, Yonsei University
  • 2001-2003 : Associate Professor Dept of Biotechnology, College of Life Sci. Biotech., Yonsei University
  • 2004-Current : Professor Dept of Biotechnology, College of Life Sci. Biotech., Yonsei University

Professional service:

  • 1993-1995 Post-doctor Harvard Medical School, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
  • 2006-2007 Chairman Graduate Studies of the Functional Genomics Program, Yonsei Univ.
  • 2000-2009 Scientific Director Genepia Co.
  • 2006 Member Selection committee for Korea top 10 development, Ministry of Industrial Affair
  • 2008-2011 Review Board IRB for animal and human research, Yonsei University
  • 2008 Visiting Scholar University of California San Diego
  • 2009 Planning Review Board, Life Science (Korean Science Foundation)
  • 2004-2007 Acting Director Research Institute of Global Leadership
  • 2004 Member Board of Disease Control of Korean Government
  • 2004 Member National Patent Attorney Test and Selection Committee of Korea
  • 2005-2009 Chief National Research Laboratory (NRL)
  • 2004-current Advisory Board Cellular Dynamics Center, Research Center for Signaling Defect Bio-medical Research Center etc.
  • 2011-current Chief Do-Yak (2nd NRL)
  • 2008 Visiting Professor Department of Molecular Pharmacology, UCSD
  • 2008-2010 Chair, Department of Biotechnology, Yonsei University
  • 2009-current Director Translational Research Center for Protein Function Control, ERC
  • 2012 Board Recommending member of Ho-Am (Sam Sung’s establisher) Prize
  • 2013 Planning and Advisory Member, Enforcement pursue team of for evaluation of basic research, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea
  • 2015 Board, Evaluation Committee for Company Establishment, Yonsei University
  • 2015 President, Korean Society for Cell Biology
  • 2016-current Chief, ERC center
  • 2016-current Underwood Distinguished Professor, Yonsei University


Publications (cited by pubmed)[3]

  • Cha PH, Cho YH, Lee SK, Lee JH, Jeong W-J, Moon B-S, Yun JH, Yang JS, Choi SH, Yoon JY, Kim HY, Kim, MY, Kaduwal S, Lee W, Min DS, Kim Hg, Han GH, and Choi KY. Small molecule binding of the Axin-RGS domain promotes β-catenin and Ras degradation. Nature Chemical Biology. 12, 593-600 (2016).
  • Kim, HY, Choi, S, Yoon JH, Lim HJ, Lee H, Choi J, Neo JN, Lee W, No, KT, and Choi, KY. Small molecule inhibitors of Dishevelled-CXXC5 interaction are new drug candidates for bone anabolic osteoporosis therapy. EMBO Molecular Medicine 8, 375-387 (2016).
  • Kim, MY., Kim HY, Hong J., Kim D, Lee H, Cheong, E., Lee, Yangsin, Roth J., Kim, DG, Min DS., and Choi, KY. CXXC5 plays a role as a transcription activator for myelin genes on oligodendrocyte differentiation. Glia. 64(3), 350-362. (2016).
  • Lee SH, Kim MY, Kim HY, Lee YM, Kim HS, Nam KA, Roh MR, Min DS, Chung KY, and Choi KY. The Dishevelled-binding protein CXXC5 negatively regulates cutaneous wound healing. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 212(7):1061-80. (2015)
  • Kim HY, Yoon JY, Yoon JH, Cho KW, Lee, SH, Rhee, YM, Jung, HS, Lim HJ, Choi, JW, Heo JN, Lee WT, No KT, Min DS, and Choi KY. CXXC5 is a negative-feedback regulator of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway involved in osteoblast differentiation. Cell Death and Differentiation. 22(6):912-20. (2015)
  • Moon, BS, Jeong, WJ, Park, J, Kim, TI, Min DS, and Choi, KY. Oncogenic K-Ras Accelerates Cancer Stem Cell Activation via Aberrant Wnt/beta-catenin Signaling. JNCI-Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 106(2):djt 373. (2014)
  • Moon, BS, Cho, Y.H. Jeong, WJ, and Choi, KY. Response. JNCI-Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 106 (8): dju 197. (2014)
  • Kim HY, Yang DH, Shin SW, Kim MY, Yoon JH, Kim S, Park HC, Kang DW, Min DS, Hur MW, and Choi KY. CXXC5 is a transcriptional activator of Flk-1 and mediates bone morphogenic protein-induced endothelial cell differentiation and vessel formation. FASEB Journal. 28(2), 615-26. (2014)
  • Zahoor M, Cha PH, and Choi KY. Indirubin-3'-Oxime, an activator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, enhances osteogenic commitment of ST2 cells and restore bone loss in high-fat diet-induced obese male mice. Bone. 65:60-68. (2014)
  • Zahoor M, Cha PH, Min DS, and Choi KY. Indirubin-3’-oxime Reverses Bone Loss in Ovariectomized and Hindlimb-Unloaded Mice via Activation of the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 29:1196-1205. (2014)
  • Choi OM, Cho YH, Choi S, Lee SH, Seo SH, Kim HY, Han GH, Park TS, Min DS, and Choi KY. The small molecule indirubin-3´-oxime activates Wnt/β-catenin signaling and inhibits adipocyte differentiation and obesity. International Journal of Obesity. 38:1044-52. (2014)
  • Kim MY, Moon BS, and Choi KY. Isolation and maintenance of cortical neural progenitor cells in vitro. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1018:3-10. (2013) (IF=1.29) (“BookChapter”-Springer)
  • Jeong WJ, Yoon JY, Park JC, Lee SH, Lee SH, Kaduwal S, Kim HG, Yoon JB, and Choi KY. Ras Stabilization via Aberrant Activation of Wnt/b-catenin Signaling Promotes Intestinal Tumorigenesis. Science Signaling. 5(219):ra30. (2012)
  • Yoon JY, Koo KH, and Choi KY. MEK1/2 Inhibitors, AS703026 and AZD6244, may be potential therapies for K-ras Mutated Colorectal Cancer that Is resistant to EGFR Monoclonal Antibody Therapy. Cancer Research. 71(2):445-53. (2011)
  • Moon BS, Kim HY, Kim MY, Yang DH, Lee JM, Cho KW, Jung HS, and Choi KY. Sur8/Shoc2 Involves Both Inhibition of Differentiation and Maintenance of Self-renewal of Neural Progenitor Cells via Modulation of ERK Signaling. Stem Cells. 29:320-31 (2011)
  • Yang DH, Yoon JY, Lee SH, Bryja V, Andersson ER, Arenas E, Kwon YG, and Choi KY. Wnt5a Is Required for Endothelial Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells and Vascularization via Pathways Involving Both Wnt/β-Catenin and Protein Kinase Ca. Circulation Research. 104(3):372-9. (2009)
  • Schumacher MA, Choi KY, Lu F, Zalkin H, and Brennan RG. Mechanism of corepressor-mediated specific DNA binding by the purine repressor. Cell. 83(1):147-55. (1995)
  • Choi KY, Satterberg B, Lyons DM, and Elion EA. Ste5 thether multiple protein kinase in the MAP kinase cascade required for mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cell. 78(3):499-512. (1994)
  • Schumacher MA, Choi KY, Zalkin H, and Brennan RG. Crystal structure of LacI member RurR, bound to DNA: Minor groove binding by α helices. Science. 266(5186):763-70. (1994)


  • Molecular Complex 기능제어 연구실
  • Yonsei university, Biotechnology
  • 단백질기능제어이행연구센터
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