Zhang Lab

The laboratory led by Xinna Zhang, PhD is focused on the study of protein regulators and noncoding RNAs in the DNA damage signaling pathway and human cancer, especially as they relate to genome stability, tumor initiation and progression.

Active Research

Chromosome 17q23 amplification is a frequent genomic event in human breast cancer. Zhang’s lab found the amplification results in the upregulation of two oncogenes, Wip1 and miR-21, which may contribute to breast cancer initiation and progression. The goal of the study is focused on the function of Wip1/miR-21 in HER2+ breast cancer and their role in resistance to anti-HER2 therapy.

Recent studies have identified a large number of microRNAs and lncRNAs (long non-coding RNAs) in mammalian transcriptomes, and dysregulation of many ncRNAs have been associated with human cancer. However, molecular mechanisms were unclear regarding the regulation of ncRNA expression and functions in the cancer development. Zhang’s lab has identified the RNA-binding protein DDX1 as a regulatory protein that promotes the expression of a subset of microRNAs that determine the mesenchymal ovarian cancer subtype. Currently they are identifying new RNA-binding proteins that involve cancer initiation and progression by specifically regulating primary microRNA processing.

Recent Publications

Pichler M, Stiegelbauer V, Vychytilova-Faltejskova P, Ivan C, Ling H, Winter E, Zhang X, Goblirsch M, Wulf-Goldenberg A, Ohtsuka M, Haybaeck J, Svoboda M, Gerger A, Okugawa Y, Hoefler G, Ajay A, Slaby O, Calin GA (2017). Genome-wide microRNA analysis identifies miR-188-3p as novel prognostic marker and molecular factor involved in colorectal carcinogenesis.Clin Cancer Res, 23:1323-33.

Kanlikilicer P, Rashed MH, Bayraktar R, Mitra R, Ivan C, Aslan B, <strong>Zhang X</strong>, Filant J, Silva AM, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Bayraktar E, Pichler M, Ozpolat B, Calin GA, Sood AK, Lopez-Berestein G (2016). Ubiquitous Release of Exosomal Tumor Suppressor miR-6126 from Ovarian Cancer Cells. <strong><em>Cancer Res</em></strong>, 76:7194-207.

Han C, Yang L, Choi H, Baddou J, Achreja A, Liu Y, Li Y, Li J, Wan G, Huang C, Ji G, <strong>Zhang X</strong>, Nagrath D, Lu X (2016). Amplification of USP13 drives ovarian cancer metabolism. <strong><em>Nat Commun</em></strong>, 7:13525.

<strong>Zhang X*</strong>, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK, Calin GA (2016). Profiling long non-coding RNA expression using custom-designed microarray. <strong><em>Methods Mol Biol</em></strong>, 1402: 33-41 (*corresponding author).

Liu Y, Zhang X, Han C, Wan G, Huang X, Ivan C, Jiang D, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Lopez-Berestein G, Rao PH, Maru DM, Pahl A, He X, Sood AK, Ellis LM, Anderl J, Lu X(2015). TP53 loss creates therapeutic vulnerability in colorectal cancer. Nature, 520(7549):697-701.

Challagundla KB, Wise PM, Neviani P, Chava H, Murtadha M, Xu T, Kennedy R, Ivan C, Zhang X, Vannini I, Fanini F, Amadori D, Calin GA, Hadjidaniel M, Shimada H, Jong A, Seeger RC, Asgharzadeh S, Goldkorn A, Fabbri M (2015). Exosome-mediated transfer of microRNAs within the tumor microenvironment and neuroblastoma resistance to chemotherapy. J Natl Cancer Inst, 107(7).

Han C, Liu Y, Wan G, Choi HJ, Zhao L, Ivan C, He X, Sood AK, Zhang X*, Lu X (2014). The RNA-binding protein DDX1 promotes primary microRNA maturation and inhibits ovarian tumor progression. Cell Rep 8:1447-60 (*co-corresponding author).

Wan G, Zhang X, Langley RR, Liu Y, Hu X, Han C, Peng G, Ellis LM, Jones SN, Lu X (2013). DNA-damage-induced nuclear export of precursor microRNAs is regulated by the ATM-AKT pathway. Cell Rep 3(6):2100-12.

Setoyama T, Zhang X, Natsugoe S, Calin GA (2011). MicroRNA-10b – a new marker or the marker of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Re, 17(17):5527-9.

Zhang X, Berger FG, Yang J, Lu X (2011). USP4 inhibits p53 through deubiquitinating and Stabilizing ARF-BP1. EMBO J, 30(11):2177-89.

Research Team

Xinna Zhang, PHD

Xinna Zhang, PHD

Assistant Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members involved in the Zhang lab include Lifei Wang (research associate) and Sisi Liu (postdoctoral fellow).