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About NUSA leading global university centred in Asia, NUS is Singapore's flagship university, offering a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

About the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

About MBIOne of four Research Centres of Excellence at NUS, MBI is working to identify, measure and describe how the forces for motility and morphogenesis are expressed at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.
Low Boon Chuan 2017-05-03T10:35:42+00:00
Low Boon Chuan

LOW Boon Chuan

Associate Professor, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

+65 6516 7834 ext 67834
Level 10 T-Lab
National University of Singapore
5A Engineering Drive 1
Singapore 117411

Research Program
The Cell-Matrix and Cell-Cell Mechanotransduction Group

Associate Professor and Principal Investigator, Cell Signaling and Developmental Biology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore

Recent Research

Low Boon Chuan

Principal Investigator

Research Areas

To identify novel signaling proteins and protein domains that control cell morphogenesis, motility, differentiation and cell growth and tissue/organ development during normal and disease states. Areas of interest include cell signaling, domain-discovery, protein-protein interaction, structural biology, developmental biology, computational biology and mechanobiology.

Research Interests

Molecular recognition forms the basis for all cellular events- from a simple bimolecular enzymatic reaction to the cascades of multimeric protein complex in cell signaling. Fundamental to the structure and function of a protein is its ‘domain’- a discrete, minimal modular entity that constitutes one of the basic physical and functional unit of the polypeptide. This protein domain can either serve as a protein docking/interaction site or an active enzymatic unit. With the emphasis on functional genomics, it is important to address what role does each of these domains play and how their potential functions can be regulated across molecular, cellular and tissue levels.

One of the several protein domains that our group first identified and characterised is a novel protein domain termed BCH domain which play important roles in regulating cell growth/death, differentiation, migration, and tissue/organ development. Based on the prototypical BNIP-2 and BPGAP1 proteins, we show that distinct BCH domains could act as key modulators for Rho and Ras small GTPases as well as their immediate regulators such as guanine nucleotide exchange factors and GTPase-activating proteins. Current effort is geared towards understanding how cells and tissues respond to the dynamic forces and geometry in the environment both under the influence of the BCH domain. This will be addressed under the newly established MBI.


Assoc Prof Low left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Dunedin, New Zealand in early 90’s to pursue his dream as a scientist. Having spent wonderful undergraduate and postgraduate years at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, he joined IMCB, Singapore and then NUS, trying to figure out what exactly make cells work. Amazing as it is, we are still far from understanding the intricacy underlying these processes. Trained as a biochemist, practising mainly as a cell biologist now, and with exciting arrays of multi-disciplinary tools, his team and collaborators aim to systematically unravel some of the uncharted paths, and are ready to expect the unexpected.



Recent Publications

  1. Qiao Y, Chen J, Lim YB, Finch-Edmondson ML, Seshachalam VP, Qin L, Jiang T, Low BC, Singh H, Lim CT, and Sudol M. YAP Regulates Actin Dynamics through ARHGAP29 and Promotes Metastasis. Cell Rep 2017; 19(8):1495-1502. [PMID: 28538170]
  2. Gupta K, Li Q, Fan JJ, Fong ELS, Song Z, Mo S, Tang H, Ng IC, Ng CW, Pawijit P, Zhuo S, Dong C, Low BC, Wee A, Dan YY, Kanchanawong P, So P, Viasnoff V, and Yu H. Actomyosin Contractility Drives Bile Regurgitation as an Early Response During Obstructive Cholestasis. J. Hepatol. 2017;. [PMID: 28189756]
  3. Jiang T, Pan CQ, and Low BC. BPGAP1 spatially integrates JNK/ERK signaling crosstalk in oncogenesis. Oncogene 2017;. [PMID: 28092672]
  4. Ramachandran S, Pan CQ, Zimmermann SC, Duvall B, Tsukamoto T, Low BC, and Sivaraman J. Structural basis for exploring the allosteric inhibition of human kidney type glutaminase. Oncotarget 2016;. [PMID: 27462863]
  5. Li C, Xue C, Yang Q, Low BC, and Liou Y. NuSAP governs chromosome oscillation by facilitating the Kid-generated polar ejection force. Nat Commun 2016; 7:10597. [PMID: 26839278]
  6. Chaudhuri PK, Pan CQ, Low BC, and Lim CT. Topography induces differential sensitivity on cancer cell proliferation via Rho-ROCK-Myosin contractility. Sci Rep 2016; 6:19672. [PMID: 26795068]
  7. Mohanty S, Jobichen C, Chichili VPR, Velázquez-Campoy A, Low BC, Hogue CWV, and Sivaraman J. Structural Basis for a Unique ATP Synthase Core Complex from Nanoarcheaum equitans. J. Biol. Chem. 2015; 290(45):27280-96. [PMID: 26370083]
  8. Sun J, Pan CQ, Chew TW, Liang F, Burmeister M, and Low BC. BNIP-H Recruits the Cholinergic Machinery to Neurite Terminals to Promote Acetylcholine Signaling and Neuritogenesis. Dev. Cell 2015; 34(5):555-68. [PMID: 26343454]
  9. Ravi A, Kaushik S, Ravichandran A, Pan CQ, and Low BC. Epidermal growth factor activates the Rho GTPase-activating protein (GAP) Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 via focal adhesion kinase and protein phosphatase 2A. J. Biol. Chem. 2014; 290(7):4149-62. [PMID: 25525271]
  10. Kaushik S, Ravi A, Hameed FM, and Low BC. Concerted modulation of paxillin dynamics at focal adhesions by Deleted in Liver Cancer-1 and focal adhesion kinase during early cell spreading. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 2015; 71(12):677-94. [PMID: 25448629]

Lab Members

Dong Xiaoduo

Apr 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Dong Xiaoduo

PhD Student, Low Boon Chuan Group, Cynthia He Group

Wong Chen Pei Darren

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PhD Student, Low Boon Chuan Group

Lin Bocheng Lester

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PhD Student, Low Boon Chuan Group

Er Shi Yin

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Research Assistant, Low Boon Chuan Group

Chew Ti Weng

Apr 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Chew Ti Weng

Research Fellow, Low Boon Chuan Group