Andrew Zhuo Xiao PhD

Assistant Professor of Genetics

Research Interests

Chromatin biology; Histone variants; Modifications and chromatin remodeling complexes; Cellular reprogramming (iPS) and stem cell biology; Mammalian neural crest cell; Mammalian DNA damage response

Current Projects

Current research focuses on 1) Determining the role of H2A.X in differentiation and cellular reprogramming (iPS cells). H2A.X is a unique histone variant, which is highly enriched in ES cells. We are using genomic and biochemistry approach to investigate the function of H2A.X in transcriptional regulation and cell fate determination. 2) Delineating the pathways regulated by H2A.X and WSTF in embryonic development and its implication in human Williams syndrome. We are using mouse genetics approach to investigate their functions in pluripotent neural crest cells and tissue-specific stem cells. 3) Investigating the functions of H2A.X and WSTF in DNA repair pathways. We are focusing on identifying their functions in maintaining genome integrity and preventing aberrant transcription. We welcome young scientists with similar interests to join us to study these interesting and intriguing questions.

Research Summary

We focus on elucidating molecular mechanisms for mammalian stem cell biology, cellular reprogramming (iPS) and embryonic development, with an emphasis on histone variants, histone posttranslational modifications and chromatin remodeling complexes. Maintenance of genome integrity and control of gene expression are two important issues during embryonic development. Our research has revealed several new functions of histone variant H2A.X and its novel kinase WSTF in maintaining genome integrity (Nature 2009 V457, 57-62). Our latest findings motivate us to investigate how H2A.X and WSTF coordinate genome integrity and gene expression in stem cell, development and reprogramming (iPS). We are using biochemistry, cell biology, mouse genetics, and genomics approaches to address these questions.

Extensive Research Description

Selected Publications

  • Xiao A., Li H., Shechter D., Ahn S.H.,. Fabrizio L.A., Erdjument-Bromage H., Ishibe-Murakami S., Wang B., Tempst P., Hoffman K., Patel D.J., Elledge, S.J., and Allis C.D. (2009) WSTF regulates the H2A.X DNA damage response via a novel tyrosine kinase activity. Nature (research article) 457, 57-62 See news and view, Nature V458, 581
  • Shechter D., Chitta R.K., Xiao A., Shabanowitz J., Hunt D.F., and Allis C.D. (2009) A Distinct H2A.X Isoform is Enriched in Xenopus laevis Eggs and Early Embryos and is Phosphorylated in the Absence of DNA Damage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:749?–?54
  • Zhao X., Pardanani A., Menendez S.J., Gural A., Dunne R., Xiao A., Erdjument-Bromage H., Allis C.D., Tempst P., and Nimer S. (2008) Methylation of RUNX1 by PRMT1 abrogates SIN3A binding and potentiates its transcriptional activity. Genes and Development, 22: 640-653.
  • Xiao A., Wu H., Louis D.N., Pandolfi P.P., and Van Dyke T.A. (2002) Astrocyte inactivation of the pRb pathway predisposes mice to malignant astrocytoma development that is accelerated by PTEN Mutation. Cancer Cell 1: 157-66.

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