Epigenetic inheritance mechanism
Chromatin states encode epigenetic information and must be stably transmitted to daughter cells to maintain gene expression and cell identity. However, the molecular mechanism of how the parental histone (the epigenetic information carrier) transferred to replicating DNA and how the marks on parental H3-H4 are copied to new (H3-H4)2 tetramers is largely unknown, which hinders our understanding of transmission of epigenetic information into daughter cells. We will study molecular the mechanism epigenetic inheritance in both yeast and mammalian cells, and the consequence of the epigenetic inheritance regulation.
Recently, cancer genomes have been sequenced. One of the biggest surprises finding that many chromatin regulators are mutated in many types of cancer. Even more surprising findings that histone itself also with mutation in some specific tumors. We will study the epigenetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis and drug resistant to identify potential epigenetic therapeutic targets for precision medicine.
In the last decades, the research in the field of epigenetics were focused mostly on mapping various epigenomic modifications at a global scale in different cell types from healthy and diseased tissues and organisms and to correlate them with gene expression. Even though tremendous amount of information has been collected, we are still far from the complete understanding of epigenetic processes, especially concerning the cause and consequence of chromatin marks with respect to gene expression and other regulatory processes. We will develop forward-engineering approaches directly interrogate the relationships between the epigenome and transcriptional function. It will provide opportunities to transform the increasingly precise genome-wide maps for developmental and disease states into therapeutics and other benefits for human health.