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Pinghui Feng, PhD
Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
NTT 6428A 1441 Eastlake Avenue Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 865 0905


Dr. Pinghui Feng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at USC. At USC, he organizes the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Student/Fellow Seminar Series, serves as a PIBBS mentor and is a member of the USC Institute for Emerging Pathogens and Immune Diseases. Previous teaching positions include instructor at Harvard Medical School and assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Feng’s group investigates the roles of innate immune signaling pathways in infection and pathogenesis of human oncogenic gamma herpesvirus, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Recently, his group has uncovered that the MAVS-dependent innate immune pathway is exploited to promote viral lytic replication and to abrogate antiviral cytokine production. Given the inflammatory nature of KSHV-associated malignancies, Dr. Feng’s laboratory is also developing animal model(s) to interrogate key functions of innate immune signaling components in inflammation-driven oncogenesis. Currently, research in Dr. Feng’s laboratory is supported by grants from NCI, NIDCR and an ACS. Moreover, Dr. Feng is a faculty that actively participates teaching of graduate students and medical students, and supervises five postdoctoral fellows and one graduate student of his team. With extensive experience in research and teaching/mentoring trainees, Dr. Feng is highly qualified to serve as a mentor for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


Xie N, Yuan K, Zhou L, Wang K, Chen HN, Lei Y, Lan J, Pu Q, Gao W, Zhang L, Shen G, Li Q, Xiao H, Tang H, Xiang R, He M, Feng P, Nice EC, Wei Y, Zhang H, Yang J, Huang C. PRKAA/AMPK restricts HBV replication through promotion of autophagic degradation. Autophagy. 2016 Sep; 12(9):1507-20. View in: PubMed

Zhang J, Feng H, Xu S, Feng P. Hijacking GPCRs by viral pathogens and tumor. Biochem Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 15; 114:69-81. View in: PubMed

Zhang J, Feng H, Zhao J, Feldman ER, Chen SY, Yuan W, Huang C, Akbari O, Tibbetts SA, Feng P. I?B Kinase e Is an NFATc1 Kinase that Inhibits T Cell Immune Response. Cell Rep. 2016 Jul 12; 16(2):405-18. View in: PubMed

Wan CJ, Liu YH, Feng P, Wang W, Zhu LQ, Liu ZP, Shi Y, Wan Q. Flexible Metal Oxide/Graphene Oxide Hybrid Neuromorphic Transistors on Flexible Conducting Graphene Substrates. Adv Mater. 2016 Jul; 28(28):5878-85. View in: PubMed

Wan CJ, Zhu LQ, Liu YH, Feng P, Liu ZP, Cao HL, Xiao P, Shi Y, Wan Q. Proton-Conducting Graphene Oxide-Coupled Neuron Transistors for Brain-Inspired Cognitive Systems. Adv Mater. 2016 May; 28(18):3557-63. View in: PubMed

Zhu Y, Ramos da Silva S, He M, Liang Q, Lu C, Feng P, Jung JU, Gao SJ. An Oncogenic Virus Promotes Cell Survival and Cellular Transformation by Suppressing Glycolysis. PLoS Pathog. 2016 May; 12(5):e1005648. View in: PubMed

Zhao J, Li J, Xu S, Feng P. Emerging Roles of Protein Deamidation in Innate Immune Signaling. J Virol. 2016 May 1; 90(9):4262-8. View in: PubMed

Wan CJ, Liu YH, Zhu LQ, Feng P, Shi Y, Wan Q. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulation in Solution-Gated Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistors. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Apr 20; 8(15):9762-8. View in: PubMed

Shao F, Yang Y, Zhu LQ, Feng P, Wan Q. Oxide-based Synaptic Transistors Gated by Sol-Gel Silica Electrolytes. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Feb 10; 8(5):3050-5. View in: PubMed

Zhao J, He S, Minassian A, Li J, Feng P. Recent advances on viral manipulation of NF-? B signaling pathway. Curr Opin Virol. 2015 Dec; 15:103-11. View in: PubMed

Seo GJ, Yang A, Tan B, Kim S, Liang Q, Choi Y, Yuan W, Feng P, Park HS, Jung JU. Akt Kinase-Mediated Checkpoint of cGAS DNA Sensing Pathway. Cell Rep. 2015 Oct 13; 13(2):440-9. View in: PubMed

Liu YH, Zhu LQ, Feng P, Shi Y, Wan Q. Freestanding Artificial Synapses Based on Laterally Proton-Coupled Transistors on Chitosan Membranes. Adv Mater. 2015 Oct; 27(37):5599-604. View in: PubMed

Minassian A, Zhang J, He S, Zhao J, Zandi E, Saito T, Liang C, Feng P. An Internally Translated MAVS Variant Exposes Its Amino-terminal TRAF-Binding Motifs to Deregulate Interferon Induction. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jul; 11(7):e1005060. View in: PubMed

Brulois K, Wong LY, Lee HR, Sivadas P, Ensser A, Feng P, Gao SJ, Toth Z, Jung JU. Association of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF31 with ORF34 and ORF24 Is Critical for Late Gene Expression. J Virol. 2015 Jun 1; 89(11):6148-54. View in: PubMed

Zhang J, Zhu L, Lu X, Feldman ER, Keyes LR, Wang Y, Fan H, Feng H, Xia Z, Sun J, Jiang T, Gao SJ, Tibbetts SA, Feng P. Recombinant Murine Gamma Herpesvirus 68 Carrying KSHV G Protein-Coupled Receptor Induces Angiogenic Lesions in Mice. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jun; 11(6):e1005001. View in: PubMed

Liang Q, Chang B, Lee P, Brulois KF, Ge J, Shi M, Rodgers MA, Feng P, Oh BH, Liang C, Jung JU. Identification of the Essential Role of Viral Bcl-2 for Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Lytic Replication. J Virol. 2015 May 15; 89(10):5308-17. View in: PubMed

He S, Zhao J, Song S, He X, Minassian A, Zhou Y, Zhang J, Brulois K, Wang Y, Cabo J, Zandi E, Liang C, Jung JU, Zhang X, Feng P. Viral Pseudo-Enzymes Activate RIG-I via Deamidation to Evade Cytokine Production. Mol Cell. 2015 Apr 2; 58(1):134-46. View in: PubMed

Zhang J, He S, Wang Y, Brulois K, Lan K, Jung JU, Feng P. Herpesviral G Protein-Coupled Receptors Activate NFAT to Induce Tumor Formation via Inhibiting the SERCA Calcium ATPase. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Mar; 11(3):e1004768. View in: PubMed

Xia Z, Guo M, Liu H, Jiang L, Li Q, Peng J, Li JD, Shan B, Feng P, Ma H. CBP-dependent Wnt/ß-catenin signaling is crucial in regulation of MDR1 transcription. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2015; 15(6):519-32. View in: PubMed

Liu N, Zhu LQ, Feng P, Wan CJ, Liu YH, Shi Y, Wan Q. Flexible Sensory Platform Based on Oxide-based Neuromorphic Transistors. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:18082. View in: PubMed

Yu X, Wang P, Shi Z, Dong K, Feng P, Wang H, Wang X. Urotensin-II-Mediated Reactive Oxygen Species Generation via NADPH Oxidase Pathway Contributes to Hepatic Oval Cell Proliferation. PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0144433. View in: PubMed

Brulois K, Toth Z, Wong LY, Feng P, Gao SJ, Ensser A, Jung JU. Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus K3 and K5 Ubiquitin E3 Ligases Have Stage-Specific Immune Evasion Roles during Lytic Replication. J Virol. 2014 Aug 15; 88(16):9335-49. View in: PubMed

Zhang LJ, Cao J, Feng P, Huang J, Lu J, Lu XY, Xia ZF. Influencing factors of the quality of life in Chinese burn patients: Investigation with adapted Chinese version of the BSHS-B. Burns. 2014 Jun; 40(4):731-6. View in: PubMed

Lee HR, Doganay S, Chung B, Toth Z, Brulois K, Lee S, Kanketayeva Z, Feng P, Ha T, Jung JU. Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Viral Interferon Regulatory Factor 4 (vIRF4) Targets Expression of Cellular IRF4 and the Myc Gene To Facilitate Lytic Replication. J Virol. 2014 Feb; 88(4):2183-94. View in: PubMed

Zhang J, Zhu L, Feng P. Dissecting innate immune signaling in viral evasion of cytokine production. J Vis Exp. 2014; (85). View in: PubMed

He Z, Zhao J, Zhang J, Jung JU, Feng P. NF-?B Activation Coordinated by IKKß and IKK{varepsilon} Enables Latent Infection of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus. J Virol. 2014 Jan; 88(1):444-55. View in: PubMed

Liang Q, Chang B, Brulois KF, Castro K, Min CK, Rodgers MA, Shi M, Ge J, Feng P, Oh BH, Jung JU. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K7 modulates Rubicon-mediated inhibition of autophagosome maturation. J Virol. 2013 Nov; 87(22):12499-503. View in: PubMed

He S, Ni D, Ma B, Lee JH, Zhang T, Ghozalli I, Pirooz SD, Zhao Z, Bharatham N, Li B, Oh S, Lee WH, Takahashi Y, Wang HG, Minassian A, Feng P, Deretic V, Pepperkok R, Tagaya M, Yoon HS, Liang C. PtdIns(3)P-bound UVRAG coordinates Golgi-ER retrograde and Atg9 transport by differential interactions with the ER tether and the beclin 1 complex. Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Oct; 15(10):1206-19. View in: PubMed

Wang Y, Lu X, Zhu L, Shen Y, Chengedza S, Feng H, Wang L, Jung JU, Gutkind JS, Gutkind JS, Feng P. IKK epsilon kinase is crucial for viral G protein-coupled receptor tumorigenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 2; 110(27):11139-44. View in: PubMed

Feng P, Moses A, Früh K. Evasion of adaptive and innate immune response mechanisms by? -herpesviruses. Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Jun; 3(3):285-95. View in: PubMed

Dong X, He Z, Durakoglugil D, Arneson L, Shen Y, Feng P. Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68 Evades Host Cytokine Production via Replication Transactivator-Induced RelA Degradation. J Virol. 2012 Feb; 86(4):1930-41. View in: PubMed

Dong X, Feng P. Murine Gamma Herpesvirus 68 Hijacks MAVS and IKKß to Abrogate NF?B Activation and Antiviral Cytokine Production. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Nov; 7(11):e1002336. View in: PubMed

Wang H, Dong K, Xue X, Feng P, Wang X. Elevated expression of urotensin II and its receptor in diethylnitrosamine-mediated precancerous lesions in rat liver. Peptides. 2011 Feb; 32(2):382-7. View in: PubMed

Dong X, Feng P. Dissecting host-virus interaction in lytic replication of a model herpesvirus. J Vis Exp. 2011; (56). View in: PubMed

Feng H, Sun Z, Farzan MR, Feng P. Sulfotyrosines of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus G protein-coupled receptor promote tumorigenesis through autocrine activation. J Virol. 2010 Apr; 84(7):3351-61. View in: PubMed

Dong X, Feng H, Sun Q, Li H, Wu TT, Sun R, Tibbetts SA, Chen ZJ, Feng P. Murine gamma-herpesvirus 68 hijacks MAVS and IKKbeta to initiate lytic replication. PLoS Pathog. 2010; 6(7):e1001001. View in: PubMed

Liang C, Lee JS, Inn KS, Gack MU, Li Q, Roberts EA, Vergne I, Deretic V, Feng P, Akazawa C, Jung JU. Beclin1-binding UVRAG targets the class C Vps complex to coordinate autophagosome maturation and endocytic trafficking. Nat Cell Biol. 2008 Jul; 10(7):776-87. View in: PubMed

Feng H, Dong X, Negaard A, Feng P. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K7 induces viral G protein-coupled receptor degradation and reduces its tumorigenicity. PLoS Pathog. 2008; 4(9):e1000157. View in: PubMed

Feng P, Liang C, Shin YC, Xiaofei E, Zhang W, Gravel R, Wu TT, Sun R, Usherwood E, Jung JU. A novel inhibitory mechanism of mitochondrion-dependent apoptosis by a herpesviral protein. PLoS Pathog. 2007 Dec; 3(12):e174. View in: PubMed

Liang C, Feng P, Ku B, Oh BH, Jung JU. UVRAG: a new player in autophagy and tumor cell growth. Autophagy. 2007 Jan-Feb; 3(1):69-71. View in: PubMed

Liang C, Feng P, Ku B, Dotan I, Canaani D, Oh BH, Jung JU. Autophagic and tumour suppressor activity of a novel Beclin1-binding protein UVRAG. Nat Cell Biol. 2006 Jul; 8(7):688-99. View in: PubMed

Shin YC, Nakamura H, Liang X, Feng P, Chang H, Kowalik TF, Jung JU. Inhibition of the ATM/p53 signal transduction pathway by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus interferon regulatory factor 1. J Virol. 2006 Mar; 80(5):2257-66. View in: PubMed

Lee BS, Lee SH, Feng P, Chang H, Cho NH, Jung JU. Characterization of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K1 signalosome. J Virol. 2005 Oct; 79(19):12173-84. View in: PubMed

Feng P, Everly DN, Read GS. mRNA decay during herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections: protein-protein interactions involving the HSV virion host shutoff protein and translation factors eIF4H and eIF4A. J Virol. 2005 Aug; 79(15):9651-64. View in: PubMed

Cho NH, Feng P, Lee SH, Lee BS, Liang X, Chang H, Jung JU. Inhibition of T cell receptor signal transduction by tyrosine kinase-interacting protein of Herpesvirus saimiri. J Exp Med. 2004 Sep 6; 200(5):681-7. View in: PubMed

Chung YH, Cho NH, Garcia MI, Lee SH, Feng P, Jung JU. Activation of Stat3 transcription factor by Herpesvirus saimiri STP-A oncoprotein. J Virol. 2004 Jun; 78(12):6489-97. View in: PubMed

Lee SH, Chung YH, Cho NH, Gwack Y, Feng P, Jung JU. Modulation of T-cell receptor signal transduction by herpesvirus signaling adaptor protein. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Jun; 24(12):5369-82. View in: PubMed

Feng P, Scott CW, Cho NH, Nakamura H, Chung YH, Monteiro MJ, Jung JU. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K7 protein targets a ubiquitin-like/ubiquitin-associated domain-containing protein to promote protein degradation. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 May; 24(9):3938-48. View in: PubMed

Park J, Cho NH, Choi JK, Feng P, Choe J, Jung JU. Distinct roles of cellular Lck and p80 proteins in herpesvirus saimiri Tip function on lipid rafts. J Virol. 2003 Aug; 77(16):9041-51. View in: PubMed

Feng P, Park J, Lee BS, Lee SH, Bram RJ, Jung JU. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus mitochondrial K7 protein targets a cellular calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand to modulate intracellular calcium concentration and inhibit apoptosis. J Virol. 2002 Nov; 76(22):11491-504. View in: PubMed

Everly DN, Feng P, Mian IS, Read GS. mRNA degradation by the virion host shutoff (Vhs) protein of herpes simplex virus: genetic and biochemical evidence that Vhs is a nuclease. J Virol. 2002 Sep; 76(17):8560-71. View in: PubMed

Migone TS, Zhang J, Luo X, Zhuang L, Chen C, Hu B, Hong JS, Perry JW, Chen SF, Zhou JX, Cho YH, Ullrich S, Kanakaraj P, Carrell J, Boyd E, Olsen HS, Hu G, Pukac L, Liu D, Ni J, Kim S, Gentz R, Feng P, Moore PA, Ruben SM, Wei P. TL1A is a TNF-like ligand for DR3 and TR6/DcR3 and functions as a T cell costimulator. Immunity. 2002 Mar; 16(3):479-92. View in: PubMed

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