The Yan Lab
Molecular Mechanisms of Genomic Integrity Maintenance and Tumorigenesis
University of North Carolina at Charlott
9201 University City Blvd
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Environmental Health, Xenopus laevis
All eukaryotes have evolved an elaborate network, DNA damage response (DDR), to detect aberrant DNA structures or stalled replication forks, and to coordinate DNA repair, checkpoint activation, cell cycle arrest, and senescence/apoptosis. From a broader perspective, the DDR machinery plays an important role in fundamental biomedical fields such as ageing and cancer. For example, DNA damage checkpoint has been demonstrated as biological tumorigenesis barrier. However, it remains largely unknown how the DNA damage or replication stress is sensed by checkpoint signaling pathways, and how the defectives in DDR machinery contribute to cancer development. The research projects in the Yan lab focus on several essential questions linking DDR and cancer. Using biochemical, molecular and cell biology approaches, our laboratory is interested in crucial issues in maintaining genomic stability, including checkpoint activation, DNA damage repair, and translesion synthesis (TLS) in response to DNA replication stress and oxidative stress. Ultimately, our research program will help to better understand how cells maintain genome stability and to provide novel clues for precancerous detection and cancer therapeutics. Xenopus egg extracts and human cell lines will be used as model systems to investigate fundamental biomedical questions with cutting-edge technologies.