Justin Chung's Headshot


  • Biology
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Epithelial Cell Biology and Cancer Research
  • Teaching Interests

    Introductory Biology
    Cell Structure and Function

    Research Interests

    The major focus of my laboratory is to elucidate novel functions of keratins in cancer cells. Intermediate filament proteins are the most diverse cytoskeleton proteins, and keratin family of intermediate filament proteins are abundantly expressed in all epithelial cells. Keratins, like all intermediate filament proteins, form ~10 nm wide filaments and provide crucial structural support upon mechanical and non-mechanical stresses. Interestingly, recent studies have revealed several non-mechanical support functions for keratins including cell migration and proliferation.

    A cell surrounded by the words Sustaining Proliferative Signaling, Evading Growth Suppressors, Resisting Cell Death, Enabling Replicative Immortality, Inducing Angiogenesis, Activating Invasion and Metastisis,Tumor-Promoting Inflation, Avoiding Immune Destruction

    In cancer, an aberrant expression of keratins is frequently observed, and keratin expression has diagnostic and even prognostic value. We previously demonstrated that keratins contribute towards cancer cell proliferation and invasion by regulating gene expression through their interacting proteins. My laboratory investigates the cellular roles, regulation and mechanisms of actions of keratins in the context of cancer. 


    Sharma P, Alsharif S, Bursch K, Parvathaneni S, Anastasakis D, Chahine J, Fallatah A, Nicolas K, Sharma S, Hafner M, Kallakury B, Chung BM. Keratin 19 regulates cell cycle pathway and sensitivity of breast cancer cells to CDK inhibitors. Scientific Reports. 2019. In press.

    Sharma P, Alsharif S, Fallatah A, Chung BM. Intermediate Filaments as Effectors of Cancer Development and Metastasis: A Focus on Keratins, Vimentin, and Nestin. Cells. 2019 May 23;8(5). doi: 10.3390/cells8050497. Review. PubMed PMID: 31126068; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6562751.

    Lam VK, Nguyen T, Phan T, Chung BM, Nehmetallah G, Raub CB. Machine Learning with Optical Phase Signatures for Phenotypic Profiling of Cell Lines. Cytometry A. 2019 Apr 22;. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23774. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31008570.

    Lam VK, Nguyen TC, Chung BM, Nehmetallah G, Raub CB. Quantitative assessment of cancer cell morphology and motility using telecentric digital holographic microscopy and machine learning. Cytometry A. 2018 Mar;93(3):334-345. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23316. Epub 2017 Dec 28. PubMed PMID: 29283496.

    Hobbs RP, DePianto DJ, Jacob JT, Han MC, Chung BM, Batazzi AS, Poll BG, Guo Y, Han J, Ong S, Zheng W, Taube JM, Čiháková D, Wan F, Coulombe PA. Keratin-dependent regulation of Aire and gene expression in skin tumor keratinocytes. Nat Genet. 2015 Aug;47(8):933-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.3355. Epub 2015 Jul 13. PubMed PMID: 26168014; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4520766.

    Chung BM, Arutyunov A, Ilagan E, Yao N, Wills-Karp M, Coulombe PA. Regulation of C-X-C chemokine gene expression by keratin 17 and hnRNP K in skin tumor keratinocytes. J Cell Biol. 2015 Mar 2;208(5):613-27. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201408026. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 25713416; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4347647.

    Chung BM, Tom E, Zutshi N, Bielecki TA, Band V, Band H. Nexus of signaling and endocytosis in oncogenesis driven by non-small cell lung cancer-associated epidermal growth factor receptor mutants. World J Clin Oncol. 2014 Dec 10;5(5):806-23. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v5.i5.806. Review. PubMed PMID: 25493220; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4259944.

    Chung BM, Rotty JD, Coulombe PA. Networking galore: intermediate filaments and cell migration. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;25(5):600-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jul 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 23886476; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3780586.

    Lee CH, Kim MS, Chung BM, Leahy DJ, Coulombe PA. Structural basis for heteromeric assembly and perinuclear organization of keratin filaments. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2012 Jun 17;19(7):707-15. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2330. PubMed PMID: 22705788; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3864793.

    Chung BM, Murray CI, Van Eyk JE, Coulombe PA. Identification of novel interaction between annexin A2 and keratin 17: evidence for reciprocal regulation. J Biol Chem. 2012 Mar 2;287(10):7573-81. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.301549. Epub 2012 Jan 10. PubMed PMID: 22235123; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3293598.

    Tu C, Ahmad G, Mohapatra B, Bhattacharyya S, Ortega-Cava CF, Chung BM, Wagner KU, Raja SM, Naramura M, Band V, Band H. ESCRT proteins: Double-edged regulators of cellular signaling. Bioarchitecture. 2011 Jan;1(1):45-48. doi: 10.4161/bioa.1.1.15173. PubMed PMID: 21866262; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3158637.

    Duan L, Chen G, Virmani S, Ying G, Raja SM, Chung BM, Rainey MA, Dimri M, Ortega-Cava CF, Zhao X, Clubb RJ, Tu C, Reddi AL, Naramura M, Band V, Band H. Distinct roles for Rho versus Rac/Cdc42 GTPases downstream of Vav2 in regulating mammary epithelial acinar architecture. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 8;285(2):1555-68. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.057976. Epub 2009 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 19826000; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2801280.

    Chung BM, Raja SM, Clubb RJ, Tu C, George M, Band V, Band H. Aberrant trafficking of NSCLC-associated EGFR mutants through the endocytic recycling pathway promotes interaction with Src. BMC Cell Biol. 2009 Nov 30;10:84. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-10-84. PubMed PMID: 19948031; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2790444.

    Chung BM, Dimri M, George M, Reddi AL, Chen G, Band V, Band H. The role of cooperativity with Src in oncogenic transformation mediated by non-small cell lung cancer-associated EGF receptor mutants. Oncogene. 2009 Apr 23;28(16):1821-32. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.31. Epub 2009 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 19305428; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2752420.