Qin Yan PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Epigenetics; Gene regulation; Cancer biology; Stem cell biology
Stable inheritance of epigenetic states is essential for the maintenance of tissue and cell type specific functions. Epigenetic aberrations often lead to cancer and other human diseases. Our laboratory is interested in dissecting the roles of epigenetic regulators in cancer and stem cells. In particular, we focus on the roles and regulatory mechanisms of histone demethylases for tri- methylated lysine 4 in histone H3 (H3K4me3), the epigenetic mark for transcriptionally active chromatin. We have previously showed RBP2/JARID1A is one of the first known histone demethylases for H3K4me3. Using the RBP2 knockout mouse model, we further showed that loss of RBP2 inhibits tumorigenesis in two genetically-engineered mouse models. We are currently studying how this enzyme contributes to oncogenesis using a combination of biochemical, molecular biological, cell biological and mouse genetic approaches. We are also investigating the roles of another H3K4me3 histone demethylase PLU1/JARID1B. These enzymes are potential drug targets for epigenetic therapies against cancer, therefore we have developed first generation inhibitors against these enzymes.