Myoung-Goo Kang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

  • Affiliations:

    Neuroscience and Cell Biology

    Center for Addiction Research

    Neuroscience Graduate Program

    Cell Biology Graduate Program


  • Route: 1069, 2.138C Medical Research Building
  • Tel: (409) 772-1186
  • Fax: (409) 762-9382
  • Kang Lab Webpage
  • Dr. Kang's Publications
  • Kang CV

Myoung-Goo Kang, Ph.D.


Bachelor of Science, Sogang University, 1994
Master of Science, Loyola University, 1997
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Iowa, 2003
Post-Doctoral Training, Johns Hopkins University, 2003-2008

Research Interests

Proteomic identification and functional characterization of AMPA receptor complex    

The main focus of my research is in identifying molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity mediated by the AMPA receptor (AMPA-R). AMPA-R is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the excitatory synapse of the central nervous system (CNS). Modulation of AMPA-R trafficking and activity is known as one of the important mechanisms for synaptic plasticity, which is essential for the development and many functions of the CNS, such as learning and memory. Furthermore, disruption of synaptic plasticity mediated by AMPA-R has been directly linked to many neurological and psychiatric disorders, including mental retardation, dementia, schizophrenia, depression, addiction, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Some of these disorders are the subject of my research.

To make a breakthrough for the study of synaptic plasticity mediated by AMPA-R complex, I have developed methodologies for proteomic analysis of AMPA-R complex. By combining conventional protein biochemistry and high-resolution mass spectrometry, I found several novel components of the AMPA-R complex. Recently, my work has focused on the functional characterization of these novel components. Some of the novel components identified through my proteomic screening involved in the regulation of structural plasticity and AMPA-R trafficking. Functional characterization of the novel components will provide new insights into the molecular mechanism underlying the synaptic plasticity mediated by AMPA-R. For the functional analysis, my lab has utilized molecular, biochemical, optical imaging, and electrophysiological analyses of primary neuronal cultures, slices, and tissues from the brain and spinal cord of mice and rats.

The methodologies developed through proteomic analysis of AMPA-R complex have been applied to functional proteomics through collaborations with scientists working with animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Mutant mice with neurological or psychiatric phenotypes, or mice and rats with pharmacological manipulations have been and will be used to analyze the altered composition of AMPA-R complexes in vivo, as a part of the pathophysiology of the disorders. The alterations in the protein-protein interactions within the AMPA-R complex will be then the subject of our follow-up functional studies. Furthermore, the protein-protein interactions could be a target for the development of new therapy for the particular disorder.

In addition to the study of synaptic plasticity in the brain, I have also studied pain-related synaptic plasticity in the spinal cord. For this pain study, my lab has developed a multidisciplinary approach using biochemistry, optical imaging, and behavioral analyses applied to spinal cord slices and cultured neurons, as well as animal models of pain. Based on these experimental systems, we are actively studying the signal transduction pathway involved in the induction of pain-related synaptic plasticity in the spinal cord through collaboration with the pain research group in the department.

Taken, all together, I believe that this proteomic identification and functional characterization of AMPA-R complex will significantly contribute to our understanding on pathophysiology of neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as neurobiological mechanisms underlying fundamental functions of the brain and spinal cord.

Select Publications

Myoung-Goo Kang, Yurong Guo, and Richard L. Huganir, (2009) AMPA receptor and GEF-H1/Lfc complex regulates dendritic spine development through RhoA signaling cascade. PNAS 106(9): 3549-3554.

Jianxiong Jiang, Kodeeswaran Parameshwaran, M. Lamar Seibenhener, Myoung-Goo Kang, Vishnu Suppiramaniam, Richard L. Huganir, Maria T. Diaz-Meco, and Marie W. Wooten, (2009) AMPA Receptor Trafficking and Synaptic Plasticity Require SQSTM1/p62. Hippocampus 19(4): 392-406

Hailan Hu, Eleonore Real, Kogo Takamiya, Myoung-Goo Kang, Joeph Ledoux, Richard L. Huganir, and Roberto Malinow (2007) Emotion Enhances Learning via Norepinephrine Regulation of AMPA Receptor Trafficking. Cell 131(1): 160-173.

Jean-Claude Béïque, Da-Ting Lin, Myoung-Goo Kang, Hiro Aizawa, Kogo Takamiya, and Richard L. Huganir. (2006) Synapse-specific regulation of AMPA receptor function by PSD-95. PNAS 103(51): 19535-19540.

Jannic Boehm*, Myoung-Goo Kang*, Richard C. Johnson, Jose Esteban, Richard L. Huganir and Roberto Malinow. (2006) Synaptic Incorporation of AMPA Receptors During LTP is Controlled by a Novel PKC Phosphorylation Site on GluR1. Neuron. 51(2):213-25            (*These authors contributed equally to this paper)

Myoung-Goo Kang, Chien-Chang Chen, Minoru Wakamori, Yuji Hara, Yasuo Mori, and Kevin P. Campbell. (2006) A functional AMPA receptor-calcium channel complex in postsynaptic membrane. PNAS 103(14): 5561-5566.

Yarden Opatowsky, Orna Chomsky-Hecht, Myoung-Goo Kang, Kevin P. Campbell, and Joel A. Hirsch (2003) The Voltage-Dependent Calcium Channel b Subunit contains Two Stable Interacting Domains. J. Biol. Chem. 278(52):52323-32.

Manabu Murakami, Hisao Yamamura, Takashi Suzuki, Myoung-Goo Kang, Susumu Ohya, Agnieszka Murakami, Ichiro Miyoshi, Hironobu Sasano, Katsuhiko Muraki, Takuzou Hano, Noriyuki Kasai, Shinnsuke Nakayama, Kevin P. Campbell, Veit Flockerzi, Yuji Imaizumi,  Teruyuki Yanagisawa, and Toshihiko Iijima. (2003) Modified cardiovascular L-type channels in the mice lacking the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel b3 subunit. J. Biol. Chem 278(44):43261-7.

Verity A. Letts, Myoung-Goo Kang, Connie L. Mahaffey, Barbara Beyer, Heather Tenbrink, Kevin P. Campbell, Wayne N. Frankel (2003) Phenotypic heterogeneity in the stargazin allelic series. Mammalian Genome. 14(8):506-13.

Myoung-Goo Kang and Kevin P. (2003) Gamma subunit of voltage-activated calcium channels J. Biol. Chem. 278(24):21315-8.

Myoung-Goo Kang, Ricardo Felix, and Kevin P. Campbell. (2002) Long-term regulation of neuronal P/Q-type Ca2+ channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes by gabapentin. FEBS Let 528:177-182.

Myoung-Goo Kang, Chien-Chang Chen, Ricard Felix, Verity A. Letts, Wayne N. Frankel, Yasuo Mori, and Kevin P. Campbell. (2001) Biochemical and biophysical evidence for g2 subunit association with neuronal voltage-activated Ca2+ channels. J. Biol. Chem.276 (35):32917-32924.

Myoung-Goo Kang, Andrei Kulisz, and William J. Wasserman (1998) Raf-1 kinase, a potential regulator of intracellular pH in Xenopus oocytes. Biol Cell. 90(6-7):477-85.

Publications on PubMed: