Keywords: Structural biology, epigenetics, chromatin signaling, biochemistry, proteomics, and chemical biology
Detailed Description: My lab aims to characterize chromatin proteins by X-ray crystallography in combination with other biochemical and biophysical techniques. Research in the chromatin structural biology group consists of:
1) Chromatin modifying enzymes: Chromatin structure is very dynamic, and is governed by different chromatin modifying activities such as: DNA modification, histone modification, and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling. My laboratory is trying to understand the mechanisms of catalysis and inhibition of these chromatin modifying enzymes.
2) Regulation and recruitment of chromatin modifying activities: Regulation and recruitment of chromatin-modifying activities is critical for establishing and maintaining normal gene expression patterns, and aberrant gene expression is linked to many human diseases, such as various genetic diseases and cancers. Chromatin-modifying activities have been relatively well characterized, but the regulation and recruitment mechanisms of chromatin-modifying activities are poorly understood. One major focus of my laboratory is to identify and characterize the recruitment and regulation mechanisms of the chromatin modifying activities.
3). Structure-Based Drug Discovery: Epigenetic abnormalities play an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer and other genetic diseases. Therefore, proteins involved in chromatin modifications are attractive therapeutic targets for drug design. We are screening and designing small molecules that can inhibit chromatin-regulating proteins in collaboration with medicinal chemists.
Procedures: mass spectrometry, proteomics, western blot
Amplifier, Benchtop Centifuge, Culture hood, Culture Incubators, HPLC, Low- and High speed centrifuge, Mass Spectrometer, Microwave Oven, Mini Vortexer, Plate Reader, Setups for electropherosis, Stirrer/Hot Plate, Water Baths
Chao Xu (PDF)
Cheng Dong (PDF)
Heng Zhang (PDF)