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Biochemistry Department - Primary Faculty

Yu-Chung Yang, Ph.D.



  • Ph.D.: Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Postdoc: NIH, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests

Dr. Yang and her former colleagues at Genetics Institute were responsible for the cloning of three cytokines: human interleukin (IL)-3, -9 and -11. FDA approved IL-11 in 1997 for treating cancer patients with severe chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. It is the first thrombopoietic agent to be approved for clinical use in the United States. It is anticipated that understanding the molecular basis of cytokine signal transduction and cellular responses may lead to new modalities of treatment for various diseases including cancer. Recent work has focused on biochemical and functional aspects of several transcription factors and transcription cofactors discovered while studying cytokine signal transduction. The laboratory cloned Cited2 in 1998 and showed that Cited2 is induced by many biological stimuli including cytokines and it is a transforming gene when overexpressed. They generated Cited2 knockout mice and showed that deletion of Cited2 causes Cited2-/- embryos to die at mid-gestation with many developmental defects. Since ectopic activation of the signaling pathways that control normal development and homeostasis could lead to hyperproliferative conditions, such as cancer, studies are now underway to generate tissue-specific knockout mouse models to study the role of Cited2 in normal and stressed physiological conditions and their dysregulation in disease processes including cancer.

Selected References

  • Du J, Qiang Li, Tang FQ, Pichowitz M, Brunengraber H, Fujioka H, Dunwoodie SL, David Danielpour D, Yang Y-C.
    “Cited2 is required for the maintenance of glycolytic metabolism in adult hematopoietic stem cells”
    Stem Cells and Development 23:83-94 (2014). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Li Q, Hakimi P, Liu X, Yu WM, Ye F, Fujioka H, Raza S, Shankar E, Tang FQ, Dunwoodie SL, Danielpour D, Hoppel CL, Ramírez-Bergero DL, Qu CK, Hanson RW and Yang Y-C.
    “Cited2, a transcriptional modulator, regulates metabolism in murine embryonic stem cells”
    JBC 1289:251-263 (2014). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Du J. and Yang Y. C.
    “Cited2 in hematopoietic stem cell function”
    Current Opinion in Hematology in press: (2013).
  • Huang T. Q., Wang Y., Ebrahem Q., Chen Y., Cheng C., Doughman Y. Q., Watanabe M., Dunwoodie S. L., and Yang Y. C.
    “Deletion of HIF-1alpha partially rescues the abnormal hyaloid vascular system in Cited2 conditional knockout mouse eyes”
    Mol Vis 18: 1260-70 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Du J. and Yang Y. C.
    “HIF-1 and its antagonist Cited2: regulators of HSC quiescence”
    Cell Cycle 11 (13): 2413-4 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Du J., Chen Y., Li Q., Han X., Cheng C., Wang Z., Danielpour D., Dunwoodie S. L., Bunting K. D., and Yang Y. C.
    “HIF-1alpha deletion partially rescues defects of hematopoietic stem cell quiescence caused by Cited2 deficiency”
    Blood 119 (12): 2789-98 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Yang K., Doughman Y. Q., Karunamuni G., Gu S., Yang Y. C., Bader D. M., and Watanabe M.
    “Expression of active Notch1 in avian coronary development”
    Dev Dyn 238 (1): 162-70 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Chen Y., Carlson E. C., Chen Z. Y., Hamik A., Jain M. K., Dunwoodie S. L., and Yang Y. C.
    “Conditional deletion of Cited2 results in defective corneal epithelial morphogenesis and maintenance”
    Dev Biol 334 (1): 243-52 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Xu B., Qu X., Gu S., Doughman Y. Q., Watanabe M., Dunwoodie S. L., and Yang Y. C.
    “Cited2 is required for fetal lung maturation”
    Dev Biol 317 (1): 95-105 (2008). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Ning J., Zheng G., and Yang Y. C.
    “Tip60 modulates PLAGL2-mediated transactivation by acetylation”
    J Cell Biochem 103 (3): 730-9 (2008).
  • Lesniewski M. L., Haviernik P., Weitzel R. P., Kadereit S., Kozik M. M., Fanning L. R., Yang Y. C., Hegerfeldt Y., Finney M. R., Ratajczak M. Z., Greco N., Paul P., Maciejewski J., and Laughlin M. J.
    “Regulation of IL-2 expression by transcription factor BACH2 in umbilical cord blood CD4+ T cells”
    Leukemia 22 (12): 2201-7 (2008).
  • Chen Y., Doughman Y. Q., Gu S., Jarrell A., Aota S., Cvekl A., Watanabe M., Dunwoodie S. L., Johnson R. S., van Heyningen V., Kleinjan D. A., Beebe D. C., and Yang Y. C.
    “Cited2 is required for the proper formation of the hyaloid vasculature and for lens morphogenesis”
    Development 135 (17): 2939-48 (2008). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Zheng G., Ning J., and Yang Y. C.
    “PLAGL2 controls the stability of Pirh2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase for p53”
    Biochem Biophys Res Commun 364 (2): 344-50 (2007). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Zhang K., Zheng G., and Yang Y. C.
    “Stability of Nmi protein is controlled by its association with Tip60”
    Mol Cell Biochem 303 (1-2): 1-8 (2007).
  • Xu B., Doughman Y., Turakhia M., Jiang W., Landsettle C. E., Agani F. H., Semenza G. L., Watanabe M., and Yang Y. C.
    “Partial rescue of defects in Cited2-deficient embryos by HIF-1alpha heterozygosity”
    Dev Biol 301 (1): 130-40 (2007).
  • Qu X., Lam E., Doughman Y. Q., Chen Y., Chou Y. T., Lam M., Turakhia M., Dunwoodie S. L., Watanabe M., Xu B., Duncan S. A., and Yang Y. C.
    “Cited2, a coactivator of HNF4alpha, is essential for liver development”
    EMBO J 26 (21): 4445-56 (2007). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Chen Y., Haviernik P., Bunting K. D., and Yang Y. C.
    “Cited2 is required for normal hematopoiesis in the murine fetal liver”
    Blood 110 (8): 2889-98 (2007). Read article in PubMedCentral


Yu-Chung Yang Faculty's publications at pubmed