Associate Professor

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology




Chemistry Program

University of Northern BC

Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, CANADA

Tel:            (250) 960-5413

Fax:           (250) 960-5845








Photos with Students



Research Interests


Our lab is interested in post-transcriptional regulation of mammalian gene expression, in particular, on how a group of enzymes called endoribonucleases degrade mRNAs and influence the overall biology of gene expression.  In addition to understanding the basic biochemical processes of mRNA degradation, we are also interested in using these enzymes and their properties for the treatment of human diseases.  We have recently purified and characterized two endoribonucleases that are capable of degrading c-myc mRNA in vitro.  We have named these enzymes, PAC-1 (polysome-associated c-myc CRD endonuclease) and PAC-2.  Current focuses of our lab include: (1) determining the RNA sequence and structure requirements for cleavage by these enzymes, (2) characterizing the interaction between these enzymes and CRD-BP, an RNA-binding protein, (3) mapping the catalytic domain and studying protein structure/function relationships, and (4) understanding the biological role of these enzymes in cells and animals.




Ph.D., Molecular Cell Biology, Flinders University, AUSTRALIA; 1992.

B.Sc. (Hons I), Biochemistry/Physiology, University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA; 1988.





Dept of Advanced Therapeutics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, CANADA; 1997-1998.

McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; 1996-1997.

Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; 1991-1996.





Associate Professor: Department of Chemistry, UNBC; 2003-present.

Affiliate Associate Professor: Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, UBC; 2004-present.

National Cancer Institute of Canada Research Scientist; 2002-2008.

Visiting Scholar: Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, USA; 2003.

Assistant Professor: Department of Chemistry, UNBC; 1999-2003.

Term Assistant Professor: Department of Chemistry, UNBC; 1998 - 1999.





Published Articles:

Eberding A, Rehaume V, Lee CH. (2004) Detection of mRNA degradation intermediates in tissues using 3-end poly(A)-tailing polymerase chain reaction method.  Anal. Biochem. (in press).


Lee CH. (2004) Drug resistance in cancer therapy: Reversing agents for ABC drug transporters. Curr. Med. Chem. Anti-Cancer Agents 4: 1-10.


Lee CH, Ling V. (2003) Superinduction of P-glycoprotein messenger RNA in vivo

in presence of transcriptional inhibitors. J. Exp. Ther. Oncol. 3: 14-26.


Lee CH, Edwards AM. (2003) Effects of estrogens and other growth-stimulatory

Agents on expression of c-fos and c-myc protooncogenes in primary rat

hepatocytes. Arch. Toxicol. 77: 150-159.


Lee CH, Cragoe EJ Jr, Edwards AM. (2003) Control of hepatocyte DNA synthesis

by intracellular pH and its role in the action of tumor promoters. J. Cell. Physiol.

195: 61-69.


Lee CH. (2002) Differential regulation of P-glycoprotein genes in primary rat

hepatocytes by collagen sandwich and drugs. J. Cell. Biochem. 86: 12-20.


Lee CH, Edwards AM. (2002) Structural specificity of steroids in stimulating hepatocyte DNAsynthesis and protooncogenes expression in primary culture. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 81: 25-36.


Lee CH. (2001) Induction of P-glycoprotein mRNA transcripts by cycloheximide in

animal tissues: Evidence that class I Pgp is transcriptionally regulated whereas

class II Pgp is post-transcriptionally regulated. Mol. Cell. Biochem. 216: 103-110.


Lee CH, Edwards AM. (2001) Stimulation of DNA synthesis and c-fos messenger

RNA expression in primary rat hepatocytes by estrogens. Carcinogenesis  22:



Lee CH, Edwards AM. (2001) Stimulation of DNA synthesis by tumour promoters

in primary rat hepatocytes is not mediated by arachidonic acid metabolites. J.

Cell. Physiol. 187: 336-344.


Kim NC, Wallis AE, Lee CH, de Menezes DL, Sartor J, Dragowska WH, Mayer L.

(2000) Effects of Bcl-2 modulation with G3139 antisense oligonucleotides on

human breast cancer cells are independent of inherent Bcl-2 protein expression.

Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 63: 199-212.


Lee CH, Leeds P, Ross J. (1998) Purification and characterization of a polysome

associated endoribonuclease that degrades c-myc mRNA in vitro. J. Biol. Chem.

273: 25261-25271.


Lee CH, Bradley G, Ling V. (1998) Increased P-glycoprotein messenger RNA

stability in rat liver tumors in vivo. J. Cell. Physiol. 177: 1-12.


Lee CH, Bradley G, Ling V. (1995) Overexpression of the class II P-glycoprotein

gene in primary rat hepatocyte culture: Evidence for increased mRNA stability.

Cell Growth & Differ. 6: 347-354.


Zhang J-T, Lee CH, Duthie M, Ling V. (1995) Topological determinants of internal

transmembrane segments in P-glycoprotein sequences. J. Biol. Chem. 270: 1742-



Lee CH, Bradley G, Ling V. (1994) Expression of P-glycoprotein in normal and

malignant rat liver cells. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 59: 607-615.


Lee CH, Bradley G, Zhang J-T, Ling V. (1993) Differential expression of P-

glycoprotein genes in primary rat hepatocyte culture. J. Cell. Physiol. 157: 392-



Articles Submitted or In Preparation:

Bergstrom K, Lee CH. Evidence for two distinct endoribonucleases capable of cleaving coding region determinant of c-myc mRNA in vitro


Bergstrom K, Urquhart J, Tafech A, Lee CH. Characterization and purification of PAC-2, a mammalian polysome-associated endoribonuclease that degrades c-myc mRNA in vitro


Bergstrom K, Urquhart JC, Tafech A, Lee CH. PAC-2, a mammalian polysome-associated endoribonuclease that degrades c-myc mRNA in vitro is a SNAP receptor protein.


Lee CH, Rehaume V, Shandro J. Identification of in vivo P-glycoprotein mRNA decay intermediates in normal liver but not in liver tumours.


Tafech A, Mills F, Bergstrom K, Lee CH.  Identification of RNA sequences and structures involved in site-specific cleavage of coding region determinant of c-myc mRNA by PAC-2.



Courses Taught:


CHEM 204 -                          Biochemistry I (Introductory Biochemistry)

CHEM 221 -                          Organic & Biochemistry Lab

CHEM 306 -                          Biochemistry II (Intermediary Metabolism)

CHEM 307 -                          Biochemistry III (Proteins & Nucleic Acids)

CHEM 308 -                          Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Lab

CHEM 405/605 -                  Topics in Biochemistry (Basic Science of Oncology)

CHEM 405 -                          Topics in Biochemistry (Biochemistry of RNA)

CHEM 499 -                          Independent Study/Research Project

CHEM 705 -                          Cell Culture & Cell Biology Techniques (Practical & Theory)

CHEM 699 -                          Protein Purification (Practical & Theory)

CHEM 699 -                          Bioinformatics (RNA & Protein)

MCPS 705 -                          Molecular Biology