Epigenetics, Structural and Molecular biology


I spent my college study in Jilin University, major in biochemistry.  After graduation in July 2000, I went to the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences to do Ph. D research on protein structures under the advisory of professors Dongcai Liang and Wenrui Chang, both of whom are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After I got my Ph. D degree in 2006, I went to U.S.A to do my postdoctoral research in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center under the guidance of professor Dinshaw J. Patel for around seven years, focusing on the epigenetic regulation mechanisms of several key cancer-related proteins, published a series of papers in high impact journals such as Cell, Nature and Annual Review of Biochemistry. I went back to China to become a professor in the College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University in 2013, and then I lead my group to do research in the Key laboratory of cell proliferation and regulation biology of ministry of education located in the cell biology department of the college of life sciences.


Research Interests

Our lab mainly focuses on the epigenetic regulation mechanisms of important protein complexes and their relationship with human diseases through structural, biochemical and cell biological methods. Our research includes the recognition mechanisms of leukemia related MLL1 or AML1-ETO with modified histones or transcription factors; how TRIM family proteins such as TRIM24 and TRIM33 recognize combined “histone codes” and their relationship with human cancer; how transcription elongation factor Paf1 complex organizes itself and functions in transcriptional regulation or epigenetic regulation, etc. By solving the high resolution structures of these important protein complexes and through detailed analysis of their functions in vitro and in vivo, we expect to reveal the physiological functions of these proteins and their deregulation related human diseases.


Selected Publications

♦ Research Articles

1. Tian, W.#, Yan, P.#, Xu, N., Chakravorty, A., Liefke, R.*, Xi, Q.*, and Wang, Z.* (2019) The HRP3 PWWP domain recognizes the minor groove of double-stranded DNA and recruits HRP3 to chromatin. Nucleic Acids Res 47(10), 5436-5448. (#co-first author; *corresponding author)

2. Deng, P.#, Zhou, Y.#, Jiang, J., Li, H., Tian, W., Cao, Y., Qin, Y., Kim, J., Roeder, R.G., Patel, D.J.* and Wang, Z.* (2018) Transcriptional elongation factor Paf1 core complex adopts a spirally wrapped solenoidal topology. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 115, 9998-10003. (#co-first author; *corresponding author)

3. Li, H.#, Liefke, R.#, Jiang, J.#, Kurland, J.V., Tian, W., Deng, P., Zhang, W., He, Q., Patel, D.J., Bulyk, M.L., Shi, Y. and Wang, Z.* (2017) Polycomb-like proteins link the PRC2 complex to CpG islands. Nature 549, 287-291. (#co-first author; *corresponding author)

4. Wang,Z.#, Song,J.#, Milne,T.A., Wang,G.G., Li,H., Allis,C.D., and Patel,D.J.*(2010)Pro isomerization in MLL1 PHD3-bromo cassette connects H3K4me readout to CyP33 and HDAC-mediated repression, Cell, 141, 1183-1194. (#co-first author; *corresponding author)

5. Tsai,W.W.#, Wang,Z.#, Yiu,T.T., Akdemir,K.C., Xia,W., Winter,S., Tsai,C.Y., Shi,X., Schwarzer,D., Plunkett,W., Aronow,B., Gozani,O., Fischle,W., Hung,M.C., Patel,D.J.*, and Barton,M.C.* (2010) TRIM24 links a non-canonical histone signature to breast cancer, Nature, 468, 927-932. (#co-first author; *corresponding author)


Contact Information

College of Life Sciences,

Beijing Normal University,

Beijing 100875,

P. R. China

Tel. : +86-10-58804996

E-mail: wangz@bnu.edu.cn