The International CCN Society

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Lester F Lau

Lester F. Lau, Ph.D.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
University of Illinois at Chicago
900 S. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60607 USA
Tel: (312) 996-6978
Fax: (312) 996-7034

Present Position

  • Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Member, University of Illinois at Chicago


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Society for Matrix Biology
  • International CCN Society

Editorial Boards

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology , 1990- present
  • Experimental Cell Research, 1994-present
  • Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling, 2007-present
  • Cell Communication Signal, 2003-2007


  • American Heart Association Established Investigator, 1992-1997
  • University Scholar, University of Illinois, 1992-1995
  • Pew Scholars Award in the Biomedical Sciences, 1988-1992
  • American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, 1988-1991
  • Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1983-1986

Research Themes

  • The roles of CCN proteins in inflammation and wound healing
  • CCN1 in angiogenesis, cardiovascular development, and cancer
  • Integrin-mediated matrix signaling

Selected Recent Publications

  • Jun, J.I. and Lau, L.F.
    The matricellular protein CCN1 induces fibroblast senescence and restricts fibrosis in cutaneous wound healing.
    Nat. Cell Biol. 2010; 12:676-685.
  • Jun, J.I. and Lau, L.F.
    Cellular senescence controls fibrosis in wound healing.
    Aging (Albany, NY) 2010; 2:627-631.
  • Bai, T., Chen, C.-C., and Lau, L.F.
    The Matricellular protein CCN1 activates a pro-inflammatory genetic program in macrophages.
    J. Immunol. 2010; 184:3223-3232.
  • Chen, C.-C., Juric, V., and Lau, L.F.
    The extracellular matrix protein CCN1 dictates TNFα and FasL cytotoxicity in vivo.
    Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 2011; 691:595-603.
  • Chen, C.-C. and Lau, L.F.
    Deadly Liaisons: Fatal Attraction between CCN Matricellular Proteins and the Tumor Necrosis Factor Family of Cytokines.
    J. Cell Commun.Signal. 2010; 4: 63-69.
  • Juric, V., Chen, C.-C., and Lau, L.F.
    Fas-Mediated Apoptosis is Regulated by the Extracellular Matrix Protein CCN1 (CYR61) in vitro and in vivo.
    Mol. Cell. Biol. 2009; 29:3266-3279.
  • Franzen, C.A., Chen, C.-C., Todorovic, V., Juric, V., Monzon, R.I., and Lau, L.F.
    The Matrix Protein CCN1 is Critical for Prostate Carcinoma Cell Proliferation and TRAIL-Induced Apoptosis.
    Mol. Cancer Res. 2009; 7: 1045-1055.
  • Chen, C.-C. and Lau, L.F.
    Functions and mechanisms of action of CCN matricellular proteins.
    Int.J Cell. Biochem. Cell. Biol. 2009; 41:771-783. Review.
  • Chen C.-C, Young, J.L., Monzon, R.I., Chen, N., Todorovic, V., and Lau, L.F.
    Cytotoxicity of TNFα is regulated by integrin-mediated matrix signaling.
    EMBO J. 2007; 26:1257-1267.
  • Mo, F.-E and Lau, L.F.
    The matricellular protein CCN1 is essential for cardiac development. Circ. Res. 2006; 99: 961-969.
  • Todorovic, V., Chen, C.-C., Hay, N., and Lau, L.F.
    The matrix protein CCN1 (CYR61) induces apoptosis in fibroblasts.
    J. Cell Biol. 2005; 171: 559-568.
  • Lau, L.F. and Lam, S.C.-T.
    Integrin-mediated CCN functions.
    In "CCN proteins: a new family of cell growth regulators," B. Perbal and M. Takigawa,
    Eds. Imperial College Press, UK. 2005; pp.61-79.
  • Lin, C.G., Chen, C.C., Leu, S.J., Grzeszkiewicz, T.M., and Lau, L.F.
    Integrin-dependent functions of the angiogenic inducer NOV (CCN3): implication in wound healing.
    J Biol Chem. 2005; 280: 8229-37.
  • Leu, S.J., Chen, N., Chen, C.C., Todorovic, V., Bai, T., Juric, V., Liu, Y., Yan, G., Lam, S.C., and Lau, L.F.
    Targeted mutagenesis of the angiogenic protein CCN1 (CYR61): selective inactivation of integrin α6β1-heparan sulfate proteoglycan coreceptor-mediated cellular functions.
    J. Biol. Chem. 2004; 279: 44177-44187.
  • Chen, N., Leu, S.J., Todorovic, V., Lam, S.C., and Lau, L.F.
    Identification of a novel integrin αvβ3 binding site in CCN1 (CYR61) critical for pro-angiogenic activities in vascular endothelial cells.
    J. Biol. Chem. 2004; 279: 44166-44176.
  • Leu, S.-J., Liu, Y., Lam., S.C.-T., and Lau, L.F.
    Identification of a novel integrin α6β1 binding site in the angiogenic inducer CCN1 (CYR61).
    J. Biol. Chem. 2003; 278: 33801-33808.
  • Schober, J. M., Ugarova, T.P., Lau, L.F., and Lam, S.C.-T.
    Identification of a novel αMβ2 binding site in CCN1 (CYR61), a matricellular protein expressed in healing wounds and atherosclerotic lesions.
    J. Biol. Chem. 2003; 278: 25808-25815.
  • Lin, C., Leu, S.-J., Chen, N., Tebeau, C.M., Lin, S.-X., Yeung, C.-Y., and Lau, L.F.
    CCN3 (NOV) is a novel angiogenic regulator of the CCN protein family.
    J. Biol. Chem. 2003; 278: 24200-24208.
  • Mo, F.-E, Muntean, A.G., Chen, C.-C., Stolz, D.B, Watkins, S.B., and Lau, L.F.
    CYR61 (CCN1) is essential for placental development and vascular integrity.
    Mol. Cell. Biol. 2002; 22: 8709-8720.
  • Leu, S.J., Lam, S.C.-T., and Lau, L.F.
    Proangiogenic activities of CYR61 (CCN1) mediated through integrins αvβ3 and α6β1  in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
    J. Biol. Chem. 2002; 277: 46248-55.
  • Grzeszkiewicz, T.M., Lindner, V., Chen, N., Lam, S.C.-T., and Lau, L.F.
    CYR61 is upregulated during vascular injury and stimulates vascular smooth muscle cell adhesion and chemotaxis through integrin α6β1 and cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans.
    Endocrinology. 2002; 143: 1441-1450.
  • Lau, L.F. and Lam, S.C.-T.
    The CCN family of angiogenic regulators: the integrin connection.
    Exp. Cell Res. 1999; 248:30-43. Review.