College of Basic Medical Sciences


CAO Muqing


Tel: 021-63846590-776935

Research Field

  • The cytoskeleton-related organelles (e.g. centrosomes, cilia, etc.) play a variety of roles in numerous biological processes such as morphological maintenance, cell division, and organ development. Disorders of the cytoskeleton are tightly associated with the development of multiple diseases including cancer, congenital developmental defects, and neurodegenerative diseases. The focus of our research is to understand mechanisms of cellular signaling organized by the cytoskeleton-related organelles, and its relevance to health and disease. Our main interests include genetic diseases related to centrosomes and cilia and the role of cytoskeleton in stemness maintenance, aging, and cancer.

Personal Introduction

  • Muqing Cao received his bachelor degree from Sichuan University in 2008 and his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University in 2013. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center from 2013 to 2018. He joined the faculty of Department of Pathophysiology at the College of Basic Medical Sciences in 2018. He mainly focuses on the mechanisms of cellular signaling organized by the cytoskeleton-related organelles, and its relevance to health and disease.


  • Qiu YL*, Wang L*, Huang M*, Lian M, Wang F, Gong Y, Ma X, Hao CZ, Zhang J, Li ZD, Xing QH#, Cao M#, Wang JS#. (2022) Association of novel TMEM67 variants with mild phenotypes of high gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase cholestasis and congenital hepatic fibrosis. J Cell Physiol.

  • Huang M*, Kong X*, Tang Z*, Lin Z, He R, Cao M#, Zhang X#. (2022) Cell cycle arrest induced by trichoplein depletion is independent of cilia assembly. J Cell Physiol.

  • Luo M*, Lin Z*, Zhu T*, Jin M*, Meng D, He R, Cao Z, Shen Y, Lu C, Cai R, Zhao Y, Wang X, Li H, Wu S, Zou X, Luo G, Cao L, Huang M, Jiao H, Gao H, Sui R#, Zhao C#, Ma X#, Cao M#. (2021) Disrupted intraflagellar transport due to IFT74 variants causes Joubert syndrome. Genet Med.

  • Luo M*, He R*, Lin Z*, Shen Y, Zhang G, Cao Z, Lu C, Meng D, Zhang J#, Ma X#, Cao M#. (2020) Novel Compound Heterozygous Variants in MKS1 Leading to Joubert Syndrome. Front Genet. 11: 576235

  • Luo M*, Cao L*, Cao Z, Ma S, Shen Y, Yang D, Lu C, Lin Z, Liu Z, Yu Y, Cai R, Chen C, Gao H, Wang X, Cao M#, Ma X#. (2019) Whole exome sequencing reveals novel CEP104 mutations in a Chinese patient with Joubert syndrome. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 7: e1004

  • Cao M*, Ning J*, Hernandez-Lara CI*, Belzile O, Wang Q, Dutcher SK, Liu Y, Snell WJ. (2015) Uni-directional ciliary membrane protein trafficking by a cytoplasmic retrograde IFT motor and ciliary ectosome shedding. eLife.

  • Meng D*, Cao M*, Oda T, Pan J. (2014) The conserved ciliary protein Bug22 controls planar beating of Chlamydomonas flagella. J Cell Sci. 127: 281-7

  • Cao M, Meng D, Wang L, Bei S, Snell WJ#, Pan J#. (2013) Activation loop phosphorylation of a protein kinase is a molecular marker of organelle size that dynamically reports flagellar length. PNAS. 110: 12337-42

  • Wang L*, Piao T*, Cao M, Qin T, Huang L, Deng H, Mao T, Pan J (2013) Flagellar regeneration requires cytoplasmic microtubule depolymerization and kinesin-13. J Cell Sci. 126: 1531-40

  • Luo M*, Cao M*, Kan Y, Li G, Snell W#, Pan J#. (2011) The phosphorylation state of an aurora-like kinase marks the length of growing flagella in Chlamydomonas. Curr Biol. 21: 586-91

  • Cao M*, Fu Y*, Guo Y, Pan J. (2009) Chlamydomonas (Chlorophyceae) colony PCR. Protoplasma. 235: 107-10

  • Cao M, Li G, Pan J. (2009) Regulation of cilia assembly, disassembly, and length by protein phosphorylation. Methods in cell biology. 94: 333-46