Suming Huang, Ph.D.
Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression
Epigenetic modifications play an important role in chromatin organization and gene expression. Misregulation of this process often perturbs normal cellular proliferation and differentiation that eventually links to cancer. Our lab is interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanism that underlies the controls of the enhancer and promoter interaction in developmentally regulated gene activation. It has been proposed that the chromatin insulator works as a barrier by maintaining a local environment of active chromatin. To test this hypothesis, we undertook biochemical purification to isolate the regulatory factors USF1/2 and histone methyltransferases that are associated with the 5'HS4 insulator. We are currently focusing on how the transcription factors USF1/2 and their associated histone modifying enzymes act to maintain the chromatin boundary and regulate the expression of globin genes.
Another project my laboratory will focus on is the transcriptional regulation of SCL/TAL1 oncoprotein activity. SCL (stem cell leukemia) is crucial for the formation of hematopoietic stem cells and the development of hematopoietic lineages. However, up to 60% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients are associated with the aberrant activation of the SCL gene. We will use biochemical and cell biology approaches such as protein purification, siRNA technology, tissue culture, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and in vitro and in vivo transformation assays to determine: 1) The mechanism that triggers the ectopic activation of TAL1 transcription and 2) The mechanism that dictates the TAL1 transcriptional activity in normal and pathological hematopoiesis.
Accepting New Students This Year
office: CGRC 355
lab: Paste Bldg & room
Dr. Suming Huang received his PhD in Molecular Virology from Mississippi State University in 1996. He then joined Dr. Stephen Brandt's laboratory at Vanderbilt Medical Center as a postdoctoral fellow, where he worked on the transcriptional regulation of hematopoiesis. In 2001, he joined Gary Felsenfeld's group at NIDDK/NIH to study chromatin insulator and epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Dr. Huang joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 2006.
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