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Zhiyong Ding, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology 1, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1300 Moursund Street
Unit Number: 1058
Houston, TX 77030
Room Number: Z5.3018
Phone: (713) 834-6156

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2000 Peking University, Beijing, Beiing, China, PHD, Cell Biology
1992 Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China, BS, Microbiology

Postgraduate Training

9/2003-9/2006 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Molecular Therapeutics and Systems Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Gordon Mills
9/2000-9/2003 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, Dr. Peter Christie


Academic Appointments

Instructor, Department of Systems Biology 1, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2006-2014
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Systems Biology 1, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2003-2006
Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, 2000-2003
Research Assistant, Peking University, P.R., China, 1994-2000
Research Assistant, Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong, China, 1992-1994

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Zhao X, Chen XQ, Han E, Hu Y, Paik P, Ding Z, Overman J, Lau AL, Shahmoradian SH, Chiu W, Thompson LM, Wu C, Mobley WC. TRiC subunits enhance BDNF axonal transport and rescue striatal atrophy in Huntington's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. e-Pub 9/2016. PMID: 27601642.
2. Lucenay KS, Doostan I, Karakas C, Bui T, Ding Z, Mills GB, Hunt KK, Keyomarsi K. Cyclin E Associates with the Lipogenic Enzyme ATP-Citrate Lyase to Enable Malignant Growth of Breast Cancer Cells. Cancer Res 76(8):2406-18, 4/2016. e-Pub 2/2016. PMCID: PMC4873469.
3. German P, Bai S, Liu XD, Sun M, Zhou L, Kalra S, Zhang X, Minelli R, Scott KL, Mills GB, Jonasch E, Ding Z. Phosphorylation-dependent cleavage regulates von Hippel Lindau proteostasis and function. Oncogene. e-Pub 3/2016. PMID: 26973240.
4. Wang Y, Guo X, Bray MJ, Ding Z, Zhao Z. An integrative genomics approach for identifying novel functional consequences of PBRM1 truncated mutations in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). BMC Genomics 17 Suppl 7:515, 2016. e-Pub 8/2016. PMCID: PMC5001239.
5. Zhou L, Liu XD, Sun M, Zhang X, German P, Bai S, Ding Z, Tannir N, Wood CG, Matin SF, Karam JA, Tamboli P, Sircar K, Rao P, Rankin EB, Laird DA, Hoang AG, Walker CL, Giaccia AJ, Jonasch E. Targeting MET and AXL overcomes resistance to sunitinib therapy in renal cell carcinoma. Oncogene. e-Pub 9/14/2015. PMID: 26364599.
6. Liu XD, Hoang A, Zhou L, Kalra S, Yetil A, Sun M, Ding Z, Zhang X, Bai S, German P, Tamboli P, Rao P, Karam JA, Wood C, Matin S, Zurita A, Bex A, Griffioen AW, Gao J, Sharma P, Tannir N, Sircar K, Jonasch E. Resistance to Antiangiogenic Therapy Is Associated with an Immunosuppressive Tumor Microenvironment in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma. Cancer Immunol Res 3(9):1017-29, 9/2015. PMCID: PMC4561186.
7. Shull AY, Noonepalle SK, Awan FT, Liu J, Pei L, Bollag RJ, Salman H, Ding Z, Shi H. RPPA-based protein profiling reveals eIF4G overexpression and 4E-BP1 serine 65 phosphorylation as molecular events that correspond with a pro-survival phenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Oncotarget 6(16):14632-45, 6/2015. PMCID: PMC4546493.
8. Liang J, Xu ZX, Ding Z, Lu Y, Yu Q, Werle KD, Zhou G, Park YY, Peng G, Gambello MJ, Mills GB. Myristoylation confers noncanonical AMPK functions in autophagy selectivity and mitochondrial surveillance. Nat Commun 6:7926, 2015. e-Pub 8/2015. PMID: 26272043.
9. Kotlyar M, Pastrello C, Pivetta F, Lo Sardo A, Cumbaa C, Li H, Naranian T, Niu Y, Ding Z, Vafaee F, Broackes-Carter F, Petschnigg J, Mills GB, Jurisicova A, Stagljar I, Mills GB, Maestro R, Jurisica I. In silico prediction of physical protein interactions and characterization of interactome orphans. Nat Methods. e-Pub 11/2014. PMID: 25402006.
10. Liu XD, Yao J, Tripathi DN, Ding Z, Xu Y, Sun M, Zhang J, Bai S, German P, Hoang A, Zhou L, Jonasch D, Zhang X, Conti CJ, Efstathiou E, Tannir NM, Eissa NT, Mills GB, Walker CL, Jonasch E. Autophagy mediates HIF2α degradation and suppresses renal tumorigenesis. Oncogene, 7/2014. PMCID: PMC4286517.
11. Ding Z, German P, Bai S, Reddy AS, Liu XD, Sun M, Zhou L, Chen X, Zhao X, Wu C, Zhang S, Mills GB, Jonasch E. Genetic and pharmacological strategies to refunctionalize the von Hippel Lindau R167Q mutant protein. Cancer Res 74(11):3127-36, 6/2014. PMCID: PMC4047720.
12. Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Comprehensive molecular characterization of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Nature 499(7456):43-9, 7/2013. PMCID: PMC3771322.
13. Guo H, Gao M, Lu Y, Liang J, Lorenzi PL, Bai S, Hawke DH, Li J, Dogruluk T, Scott KL, Jonasch E, Mills GB, Ding Z. Coordinate phosphorylation of multiple residues on single AKT1 and AKT2 molecules. Oncogene, 2013. PMCID: PMC3915040.
14. Gao M, Liang J, Lu Y, Guo H, German P, Bai S, Jonasch E, Yang X, Mills GB, Ding Z. Site-specific activation of AKT protects cells from death induced by glucose deprivation. Oncogene, 2013. PMCID: PMC3874430.
15. Ding Z, German P, Bai S, Feng Z, Gao M, Si W, Sobieski MM, Stephan CC, Mills GB, Jonasch E. Agents That Stabilize Mutated von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Protein: Results of a High-Throughput Screen to Identify Compounds That Modulate VHL Proteostasis. J Biomol Screen 17(5):572-80, 6/2012. PMCID: PMC3895461.
16. Ji H, Ding Z, Hawke D, Xing D, Jiang BH, Mills GB, Lu Z. AKT-dependent phosphorylation of Niban regulates nucleophosmin- and MDM2-mediated p53 stability and cell apoptosis. EMBO Rep 13(6):554-60, 6/2012. PMCID: PMC3367238.
17. Li J, Ding Z, Wang Z, Lu JF, Maity SN, Navone NM, Logothetis CJ, Mills GB, Kim J. Androgen regulation of 5α-reductase isoenzymes in prostate cancer: implications for prostate cancer prevention. PLoS One 6(12):e28840, 2011. PMCID: PMC3237548.
18. Ding Z, Liang J, Li J, Lu Y, Ariyaratna V, Lu Z, Davies MA, Westwick JK, Mills GB. Physical association of PDK1 with AKT1 is sufficient for pathway activation independent of membrane localization and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase. PLoS One 5(3):e9910, 2010. PMCID: PMC2845649.
19. Zhu QS, Rosenblatt K, Huang KL, Lahat G, Brobey R, Bolshakov S, Nguyen T, Ding Z, Belousov R, Bill K, Luo X, Lazar A, Dicker A, Mills GB, Hung MC, Lev D. Vimentin is a novel AKT1 target mediating motility and invasion. Oncogene:1-14, 2010. PMCID: PMC3010301.
20. Liang J, Shao SH, Xu ZX, Hennessy B, Ding Z, Larrea M, Kondo S, Dumont DJ, Gutterman JU, Walker CL, Slingerland JM, Mills GB. The energy sensing LKB1-AMPK pathway regulates p27(kip1) phosphorylation mediating the decision to enter autophagy or apoptosis. Nat Cell Biol 9(2):218-24, 2/2007. PMID: 17237771.
21. Ding Z, Liang J, Lu Y, Yu Q, Songyang Z, Lin SY, Mills GB. A retrovirus-based protein complementation assay screen reveals functional AKT1-binding partners. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103(41):15014-9, 10/2006. PMCID: PMC1636760.
22. Atmakuri K, Ding Z, Christie PJ. VirE2, a type IV secretion substrate, interacts with the VirD4 transfer protein at cell poles of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Mol Microbiol 49(6):1699-713, 9/2003. PMID: 12950931.
23. Ding Z, Christie PJ. Agrobacterium tumefaciens twin-arginine-dependent translocation is important for virulence, flagellation, and chemotaxis but not type IV secretion. J Bacteriol 185(3):760-71, 2/2003. PMCID: PMC142831.
24. Ding Z, Zhao Z, Jakubowski SJ, Krishnamohan A, Margolin W, Christie PJ. A novel cytology-based, two-hybrid screen for bacteria applied to protein-protein interaction studies of a type IV secretion system. J Bacteriol 184(20):5572-82, 10/2002. PMCID: PMC139600.
25. Zhao Z, Sagulenko E, Ding Z, Christie PJ. Activities of virE1 and the VirE1 secretion chaperone in export of the multifunctional VirE2 effector via an Agrobacterium type IV secretion pathway. J Bacteriol 183(13):3855-65, 7/2001. PMID: 11395448.
26. Ding Z, Xu C, Wang R. Comparison of Several Isoenzymes between Bt Cotton and Regular Cotton. Acta Ecologica Sinica 21:332-336, 2000.
27. Ding Z, Xu C. Detection of Genetically Engineered Microorganisms in Soil by PCR and Molecular Hybridization. Acta Microbiologica Sinica 39:381-384, 1999.

Invited Articles

1. Guo H, German P, Bai S, Barnes S, Guo W, Qi X, Lou H, Liang J, Jonasch E, Mills GB, Ding Z. The PI3K/AKT Pathway and Renal Cell Carcinoma. J Genet Genomics 42(7):343-53, 7/2015. PMCID: PMC4624215.
2. Ding Z, Atmakuri K, Christie PJ. The outs and ins of bacterial type IV secretion substrates. Trends Microbiol 11(11):527-35, 11/2003. PMID: 14607070.


1. Moez Dawood, Gordon B. Mills, Zhiyong Ding. Shrewd AKT regulation to survive. Oncoscience Vol.1, No.2, 2014.


1. Ding Z. Effective Mammalian Two Hybrid Screening reveals novel protein-protein interactions in the PI3K pathway. BIT Life Sciences’ 3rd World Cancer Congress 2010, 4/2010.
2. Ding Z, Mills GB. Effective Mammalian Two Hybrid Screening Approach. Tenth Principal Investigators (PI) Meeting for the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program, 10/2009.
3. Ding Z, Liang Z, Li J, Lu Y, Lu Z, Davies M, Mills GB. Membrane localization and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)-independent AKT phosphorylation by PDK1, 4/2009.
4. Ding Z, Mills GB. Effective Mammalian Two Hybrid Screening Approach, 10/2008.
5. Ding Z, Mills GB. Identification of novel interaction partners of p85 in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells, 9/2008.
6. Ding Z, Liang j, Lu Y, Yu Q, Songyang Z, Lin S, Mills GB. Effective Mammalian Two Hybrid Screening Approach, 2007.
7. Ding Z, Liang J, Lu Y, Lin S, Mills G. A Novel Retrovirus-Based Protein-fragment Complementation Assay Screen in Mammalian Cells Reveals Known and Novel Interaction Partners for AKT1: ACTN4 regulates AKT activation and translocation, 2006.

Book Chapters

1. Ding Z. Experiments in Microbiology. In: General Microbiology. Ed(s) B Du. Beijing Agricultural University Press: Beijing, China, 1994.

Grant & Contract Support

Funding Source: MD Anderson
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2015 - 8/14/2016
Title: Identification of VHL binding partners as novel therapeutic targets in renal cell
Funding Source: MD Anderson Kidney Cancer Research Group
Role: Principal Investigator-MDACC
Principal Investigator: Ding
Duration: 10/1/2010 - 12/31/2013
Title: PDK1 and SGK3 binding partners as novel therapeutic targets
Funding Source: AstraZeneca
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 8/1/2009 - 7/31/2011
Title: Effective Mammalian Two Hybrid Screening Approach
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/1/2007 - 4/30/2009
Title: Identification of novel interaction partners of p110 and p85 in ovarian cancer cells
Funding Source: Marsha Rivkin Center
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 4/1/2007 - 3/31/2008
Title: Identification of novel interaction partners of the catalytic subunit p110 and its downstream regulator, PTEN, of phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) in breast cancer
Funding Source: MD Anderson SPORE in Breast Cancer
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2007 - 2008

Last updated: 9/9/2016