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Lei Xu, Ph.D.


University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 633
Rochester, NY 14642
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(585) 273-1302



(585) 273-1450


The Xu laboratory investigates the mechanism of metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from their original loci to other parts of the body. It is the major cause of death in cancer patients, but exactly how it occurs is not clear. Metastasis involves multiple levels of interactions between migrating tumor cells and their microenvironment. Understanding these interactions will greatly enhance our knowledge on metastasis and lead to a better treatment of cancer. A major focus of the laboratory is to dissect these interactions by studying the functions of a new family of cell surface receptors, called adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), during tumor spread. One of the adhesion GPCRs, GPR56, was found to play inhibitory roles in metastatic growth of melanoma cells. We explore its regulatory mechanisms using xenograft models, knockout mice, transgenic tumor models, as well as various biochemical and bioinformatics tools.


Chandrasekaran S, Giang UB, Xu L, DeLouise LA. "In vitro assays for determining the metastatic potential of melanoma cell lines with characterized in vivo invasiveness." Biomedical microdevices.. 2016 Oct 0; 18(5):89.

Tiwary S, Xu L. "FRIZZLED7 Is Required for Tumor Inititation and Metastatic Growth of Melanoma Cells." PloS one. 2016 11(1):e0147638. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Stoveken HM, Hajduczok AG, Xu L, Tall GG. "Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors are activated by exposure of a cryptic tethered agonist." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2015 May 12; 112(19):6194-9. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

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