Associate Professor of Pathology
Primary Office: 1173 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City, IA 52242


BS, Biology, Beijing Normal University
MS, Department of Biology, Beijing Normal University
PhD, Cancer Institute, Hokkaido University School of Medicine

Post Doctorate, Cancer Institute, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
Post Doctorate, D.H. Ruttenberg Cancer Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

Interests: Role of TRAF2 in oncogene- and stress-induced NF-kB activation and resistance to apoptosis in cancer cells.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

Selected Publications

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Zhang L, Blackwell K, Altaeva A, Shi Z, Habelhah H.  TRAF2 phosphorylation promotes NF-κB-dependent gene expression and inhibits oxidative stress-induced cell death.  Molecular biology of the cell.  2011. 22(1):128-40. 

Zhang L, Blackwell K, Shi Z, Habelhah H.  The RING domain of TRAF2 plays an essential role in the inhibition of TNFα-induced cell death but not in the activation of NF-κB.  Journal of molecular biology.  2010. 396(3):528-39. 

Thomas G, Zhang L, Blackwell K, Habelhah H.  Phosphorylation of TRAF2 within its RING domain inhibits stress-induced cell death by promoting IKK and suppressing JNK activation.  Cancer research.  2009. 69(8):3665-72. 

Blackwell K, Zhang L, Thomas G, Sun S, Nakano H, Habelhah H.  TRAF2 phosphorylation modulates tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced gene expression and cell resistance to apoptosis.  Molecular and cellular biology.  2009. 29(2):303-14. 

Zhang L, Blackwell K, Thomas G, Sun S, Yeh W, Habelhah H.  TRAF2 suppresses basal IKK activity in resting cells and TNFα can activate IKK in TRAF2 and TRAF5 double knockout cells.  Journal of molecular biology.  2009. 389(3):495-510. 

López-Bergami P, Habelhah H, Bhoumik A, Zhang W, Wang L, Ronai Z.  RACK1 mediates activation of JNK by protein kinase C [corrected].  Molecular cell.  2005. 19(3):309-20. 

Habelhah H, Laine A, Erdjument-Bromage H, Tempst P, Gershwin M, Bowtell D, Ronai Z.  Regulation of 2-oxoglutarate (alpha-ketoglutarate) dehydrogenase stability by the RING finger ubiquitin ligase Siah.  The Journal of biological chemistry.  2004. 279(51):53782-8. 

Habelhah H, Takahashi S, Cho S, Kadoya T, Watanabe T, Ronai Z.  Ubiquitination and translocation of TRAF2 is required for activation of JNK but not of p38 or NF-κB.  The EMBO journal.  2004. 23(2):322-32. 

Habelhah H, Frew I, Laine A, Janes P, Relaix F, Sassoon D, Bowtell D, Ronai Z.  Stress-induced decrease in TRAF2 stability is mediated by Siah2.  The EMBO journal.  2002. 21(21):5756-65. 

Habelhah H, Shah K, Huang L, Ostareck-Lederer A, Burlingame A, Shokat K, Hentze M, Ronai Z.  ERK phosphorylation drives cytoplasmic accumulation of hnRNP-K and inhibition of mRNA translation.  Nature cell biology.  2001. 3(3):325-30.