Xiaochun Yu

Concordia University–Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

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Publications (47)488.22 Total impact

  • Lin-Yu Lu, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract During meiotic prophase, DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair-mediated homologous recombination (HR) occurs for exchange of genetic information between homologous chromosomes. Unlike autosomes or female sex chromosomes, human male sex chromosomes X and Y share little homology. Although DSBs are generated throughout male sex chromosomes, homologous recombination does not occur for most regions and DSB repair process is significantly prolonged. As a result, male sex chromosomes are coated with many DNA damage response proteins and form a unique chromatin structure known as the XY body. Interestingly, associated with the prolonged DSB repair, transcription is repressed in the XY body but not in autosomes, a phenomenon known as meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI), which is critical for male meiosis. Here using mice as model organisms, we briefly summarize recent progress on DSB repair in meiotic prophase and focus on the mechanism and function of DNA damage response in the XY body.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2015; · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The maintenance of DNA methylation in nascent DNA is a critical event for numerous biological processes. Following DNA replication, DNMT1 is the key enzyme that strictly copies the methylation pattern from the parental strand to the nascent DNA. However, the mechanism underlying this highly specific event is not thoroughly understood. In this study, we have identified topoisomerase II (TopoIIα) as a novel regulator of the maintenance DNA methylation. UHRF1, a protein important for global DNA methylation, interacts with TopoIIα and regulates its localization to hemi-methylated DNA. TopoIIα decatenates the hemi-methylated DNA following replication, which might facilitate the methylation of the nascent strand by DNMT1. Inhibiting this activity impairs DNA methylation at multiple genomic loci. Taken together, we have uncovered a novel mechanism during the maintenance of DNA methylation. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Mo Li, Chunjing Bian, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is an unique posttranslational modification and required for spindle assembly and function during mitosis. However, the molecular mechanism of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) in mitosis remains elusive. Here, we show the evidence that PAR is recognized by ECT2, a key guanine nucleotide exchange factor in mitosis. The BRCT domain of ECT2 directly binds to PAR both in vitro and in vivo. We further found that α-tubulin is PARylated during mitosis. PARylation of α-tubulin is recognized by ECT2 and recruits ECT2 to mitotic spindle for completing mitosis. Taken together, our study reveals a novel mechanism by which PAR regulates mitosis.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 09/2014; 13(18):2944-2951. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and intractable human malignant tumors and a leading cause of cancer-related death across the world, with incidence equaling mortality. Because of the extremely high malignance, this disease is usually diagnosed at its advanced stage and recurs even after surgical excision. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is generally thought to arise from pathological changes of pancreatic duct, and the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma accounts for more than 90 % of malignant neoplasms of the pancreas. To date, scientists have revealed several risk factors for pancreatic cancer, including smoking, family history, and aging. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. Meanwhile, more mutations of DNA damage response factors have been identified in familial pancreatic cancers, implying a potential link between DNA damage and pancreatic cancer. DNA damage is a recurring phenomenon in our bodies which could be induced by exogenous agents and endogenous metabolism. Accumulated DNA lesions cause genomic instability which eventually results in tumorigenesis. In this study, we showed obvious DNA damages existed in human pancreatic cancer, which activated DNA damage response and the DNA repair pathway including ataxia-telangiectasia mutated, DNA-PK, CHK1, and CHK2. The persistent DNA damage in pancreatic tissue may be the source for its tumorigenesis.
    Histochemie 07/2014; 142(6). · 2.93 Impact Factor
  • Feng Zhang, Yibin Chen, Mo Li, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold is a ssDNA or RNA binding motif in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Unexpectedly, we found that the OB fold of human ssDNA-binding protein 1 (hSSB1) is a poly(ADP ribose) (PAR) binding domain. hSSB1 exhibits high-affinity binding to PAR and recognizes iso-ADP ribose (ADPR), the linkage between two ADPR units. This interaction between PAR and hSSB1 mediates the early recruitment of hSSB1 to the sites of DNA damage. Mutations in the OB fold of hSSB1 that disrupt PAR binding abolish the relocation of hSSB1 to the sites of DNA damage. Moreover, PAR-mediated recruitment of hSSB1 is important for early DNA damage repair. We have screened other OB folds and found that several other OB folds also recognize PAR. Taken together, our study reveals a PAR-binding domain that mediates DNA damage repair.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: H2A.B is a unique histone H2A variant that only exists in mammals. Here, we found that H2A.B is ubiquitously expressed in major organs. Genome-wide analysis of H2A.B in mouse ES cells shows that H2A.B is associated with methylated DNA in gene body regions. Moreover, H2A.B enriched gene loci are actively transcribed. One typical example is that H2A.B is enriched in a set of differentially methylated regions at imprinted loci and facilitates transcription elongation. These results suggest that H2A.B positively regulates transcription elongation by overcoming DNA methylation in the transcribed region. It provides a novel mechanism by which transcription is regulated at DNA hypermethylated regions.
    Genome Research 01/2014; · 13.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the recent decades, carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) has been developed into a credible option for the patients with carotid stenosis. However, restenosis remains a severe and unsolved issue after CAS treatment. Restenosis is characterized by neointimal hyperplasia, which is partially caused by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) proliferation. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the restenosis is still unclear. In this study, we demonstrated a functional crosstalk between two TGF-β superfamily signaling pathway members, Smad3 and BMPR2, in VSMC proliferation. Smad3 plays an important role in the TGF-β/Smad3 signaling pathway, and is significantly upregulated in the carotid artery with restenosis to promote VSMC proliferation. In contrast, BMP receptor II (BMPR2), an inhibitor of VSMC proliferation is downregulated in carotid restenosis. We further found that BMPR2 downregulation is mediated by miR-17-92 cluster, which is transcriptionally regulated by Smad3. Thus, Smad3 upregulation and Smad3/miR-17-92 cluster-dependent BMPR2 downregulation are likely to promote VSMC proliferation and restenosis. Taken together, our results may provide novel clues for early diagnosis of carotid restenosis and developing new therapeutic strategy.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 12/2013; · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    Chunjing Bian, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Ten-eleven translocation (TET) family enzymes convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine. However, the molecular mechanism that regulates this biological process is not clear. Here, we show the evidence that PGC7 (also known as Dppa3 or Stella) interacts with TET2 and TET3 both in vitro and in vivo to suppress the enzymatic activity of TET2 and TET3. Moreover, lacking PGC7 induces the loss of DNA methylation at imprinting loci. Genome-wide analysis of PGC7 reveals a consensus DNA motif that is recognized by PGC7. The CpG islands surrounding the PGC7-binding motifs are hypermethylated. Taken together, our study demonstrates a molecular mechanism by which PGC7 protects DNA methylation from TET family enzyme-dependent oxidation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence shows that Uhrf1 plays an important role in DNA damage response for maintaining genomic stability. Interestingly, Uhrf1 has a paralog Uhrf2 in mammals. Uhrf1 and Uhrf2 share similar domain architectures. However, the role of Uhrf2 in DNA damage response has not been studied yet. During the analysis of the expression level of Uhrf2 in different tissues, we found that Uhrf2 is highly expressed in aorta and aortic vascular smooth muscle cells. Thus, we studied the role of Uhrf2 in DNA damage response in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells. Using laser microirradiation, we found that like Uhrf1, Uhrf2 was recruited to the sites of DNA damage. We dissected the functional domains of Uhrf2 and found that the TTD, PHD and SRA domains are important for the relocation of Uhrf2 to the sites of DNA damage. Moreover, depletion of Uhrf2 suppressed DNA damage-induced H2AX phosphorylation and DNA damage repair. Taken together, our results demonstrate the function of Uhrf2 in DNA damage response.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • Feng Zhang, Teng Ma, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: hSSB1 plays an important role in DNA damage response and the maintenance of genomic stability. It has been shown that the core hSSB1 complex contains hSSB1, INTS3 and C9orf80. Here, using protein affinity purification, we have identified INTS6 as a major subunit of the core hSSB1 complex. INTS6 forms a stable complex with INTS3 and hSSB1 both in vitro and in vivo. In this complex, INTS6 directly interacts with INTS3. In response to DNA damage response, along with INTS3 and hSSB1, INTS6 relocates to the DNA damage sites. Moreover, the hSSB1-INTS complex regulates the accumulation of RAD51 and BRCA1 at DNA damage sites and the correlated homologous recombination (HR).
    Journal of Cell Science 08/2013; · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a unique post-translational modification participating in many biological processes, such as DNA damage response. Here, we demonstrate that a set of Forkhead-associated (FHA) and BRCA1 C-terminal (BRCT) domains recognizes poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) both in vitro and in vivo. Among these FHA and BRCT domains, the FHA domains of APTX and PNKP interact with iso-ADP-ribose, the linkage of PAR, whereas the BRCT domains of Ligase4, XRCC1, and NBS1 recognize ADP-ribose, the basic unit of PAR. The interactions between PAR and the FHA or BRCT domains mediate the relocation of these domain-containing proteins to DNA damage sites and facilitate the DNA damage response. Moreover, the interaction between PAR and the NBS1 BRCT domain is important for the early activation of ATM during DNA damage response and ATM-dependent cell cycle checkpoint activation. Taken together, our results demonstrate two novel PAR-binding modules that play important roles in DNA damage response.
    Genes & development 08/2013; 27(16):1752-68. · 12.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During meiotic prophase in males, the sex chromosomes partially synapse to form the XY body, a unique structure that recruits proteins involved in the DNA damage response, which is believed to be important for silencing of the sex chromosomes. It remains elusive how the DNA damage response in the XY body is regulated. Here we show that H2AX-MDC1-RNF8 signaling, which is well characterized in somatic cells, is dispensable for the recruitment of proteins to the unsynapsed axes in the XY body. On the other hand, the DNA damage response that spreads over the sex chromosomes is largely similar to that in somatic cells. This analysis shows that there are important differences between the regulation of the DNA damage response at the XY body and at DNA damage sites in somatic cells.
    Nature Communications 06/2013; 4:2105. · 10.74 Impact Factor
  • Mo Li, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Carriers of BRCA1 germline mutations are predisposed to breast and ovarian cancers. Accumulated evidence shows that BRCA1 is quickly recruited to DNA lesions and plays an important role in the DNA damage response. However, the mechanism by which BRCA1 is recruited to DNA damage sites remains elusive. BRCA1 forms a Ring-domain heterodimer with BARD1, a major partner of BRCA1 that contains tandem BRCA1 C-terminus (BRCT) motifs. Here, we identify the BRCTs of BARD1 as a poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR)-binding module. The binding of the BARD1 BRCTs to PAR targets the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer to DNA damage sites. Thus, our study uncovers a PAR-dependent mechanism of rapid recruitment of BRCA1/BARD1 to DNA damage sites.
    Cancer cell 05/2013; 23(5):693-704. · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein ubiquitination plays an important role in initiating the DNA damage response. Following DNA damage, E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes are crucial for catalyzing substrate ubiquitination that recruits downstream DNA repair factors to DNA lesions. To identify novel E2 conjugating enzymes important for initiating the DNA damage-induced ubiquitination cascade, we screened most of the known E2 enzymes and found that RAD6A and RAD6B function together with RNF168 in the ionizing radiation (IR)-induced DNA damage response. Similar to RNF168-deficient cells, RAD6A or 6B-deficient cells exhibit a reduction in DNA damage-induced protein ubiquitination. Correspondingly, DNA damage-induced foci formation of DNA damage repair proteins, such as BRCA1 and 53BP1, is impaired in the absence of RAD6A or 6B. Moreover, the RNF168/RAD6 complex targeted histone H1.2 for ubiquitination in vitro, and regulated DNA damage-induced histone H1.2 ubiquitination in vivo. Collectively, these data demonstrate that RNF168, in complex with RAD6A or 6B, is activated in the DNA damage-induced protein ubiquitination cascade.
    Journal of Cell Science 03/2013; · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin-like proteins have been shown to be covalently conjugated to targets. However, the functions of these ubiquitin-like proteins are largely unknown. Here, we have screened most known ubiquitin-like proteins after DNA damage and found that NEDD8 is involved in the DNA damage response. Following various DNA damage stimuli, NEDD8 accumulated at DNA damage sites; this accumulation was dependent on an E2 enzyme (UBE2M) and an E3 ubiquitin ligase (RNF111). We further found that histone H4 was polyneddylated in response to DNA damage, and NEDD8 was conjugated to the N-terminal lysine residues of H4. Interestingly, the DNA damage-induced polyneddylation chain could be recognized by the MIU (motif interacting with ubiquitin) domain of RNF168. Loss of DNA damage-induced neddylation negatively regulated DNA damage-induced foci formation of RNF168 and its downstream functional partners, such as 53BP1 and BRCA1, thus affecting the normal DNA damage repair process.
    Molecular cell 02/2013; · 14.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein ubiquitination plays an important role in activating the DNA damage response and maintaining genomic stability. In response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), a ubiquitination cascade occurs at DNA lesions. Here, we show that checkpoint with Forkhead-associated (FHA) and RING finger domain protein (CHFR), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is recruited to DSBs by poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). At DSBs, CHFR regulates the first wave of protein ubiquitination. Moreover, CHFR ubiquitinates PAR polymerase 1 (PARP1) and regulates chromatin-associated PARP1 in vivo. Thus, these results demonstrate that CHFR is an important E3 ligase in the early stage of the DNA damage response, which mediates the crosstalk between ubiquitination and poly-ADP-ribosylation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2012; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ten eleven translocation (TET) enzymes, including TET1, TET2 and TET3, convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and regulate gene transcription. However, the molecular mechanism by which TET family enzymes regulate gene transcription remains elusive. Using protein affinity purification, here we search for functional partners of TET proteins, and find that TET2 and TET3 associate with O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase (OGT), an enzyme that by itself catalyses the addition of O-GlcNAc onto serine and threonine residues (O-GlcNAcylation) in vivo. TET2 directly interacts with OGT, which is important for the chromatin association of OGT in vivo. Although this specific interaction does not regulate the enzymatic activity of TET2, it facilitates OGT-dependent histone O-GlcNAcylation. Moreover, OGT associates with TET2 at transcription start sites. Downregulation of TET2 reduces the amount of histone 2B Ser 112 GlcNAc marks in vivo, which are associated with gene transcription regulation. Taken together, these results reveal a TET2-dependent O-GlcNAcylation of chromatin. The double epigenetic modifications on both DNA and histones by TET2 and OGT coordinate together for the regulation of gene transcription.
    Nature 12/2012; · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Receptor Associated Protein 80 (RAP80) is a subunit of the BRCA1-A complex and targets BRCA1 to DNA damage sites in response to DNA double strand breaks. Since mutations of BRCA1 are associated with familial ovarian cancers, we screened 26 ovarian cancer-derived cell lines for RAP80 mutations and found that TOV-21G cells harbor a RAP80 mutation (c.1107G >A). This mutation generates a stop codon at Trp369, which deletes the partial AIR region and the C-terminal zinc fingers of RAP80. Interestingly, both the mutant and wild type alleles of RAP80 lose their expression due to promoter hypermethylation, suggesting that TOV-21G is a RAP80-null cell line. In these cells, not only is the BRCA1-A complex disrupted, but the relocation of the remaining subunits in the BRCA1-A complex including BRCA1, CCDC98, NBA1, BRCC36 and BRE is significantly suppressed. Moreover, TOV-21G cells are hypersensitive to ionizing radiation, which is due to the compromised DNA damage repair capacity in these cells. Reconstitution of TOV-21G cells with wild type RAP80 rescues these cellular defects in response to DNA damage. Thus, our results demonstrate that RAP80 is a scaffold protein in the BRCA1-A complex. Identification of TOV-21G as a RAP80 null tumor cell line will be very useful for the study of the molecular mechanism in DNA damage response.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e40406. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintain high genomic plasticity, which is essential for their capacity to enter diverse differentiation pathways. Posttranscriptional modifications of chromatin histones play a pivotal role in maintaining this plasticity. We now report that one such modification, monoubiquitylation of histone H2B on lysine 120 (H2Bub1), catalyzed by the E3 ligase RNF20, increases during ESC differentiation and is required for efficient execution of this process. This increase is particularly important for the transcriptional induction of relatively long genes during ESC differentiation. Furthermore, we identify the deubiquitinase USP44 as a negative regulator of H2B ubiquitylation, whose downregulation during ESC differentiation contributes to the increase in H2Bub1. Our findings suggest that optimal ESC differentiation requires dynamic changes in H2B ubiquitylation patterns, which must occur in a timely and well-coordinated manner.
    Molecular cell 06/2012; 46(5):662-73. · 14.46 Impact Factor
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    Jiaxue Wu, Chao Liu, Junjie Chen, Xiaochun Yu
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    ABSTRACT: RAP80 (receptor-associated protein 80) is a ubiquitin-binding protein that can specifically recognize and bind to Lys-63-linked polyubiquitin chains, thus targeting the BRCA1-A complex to DNA damage sites. To study the role of RAP80 in vivo, we generated RAP80-deficient mice. The deficient mice are prone to B-cell lymphomagenesis. B-cell lymphomas in RAP80-deficient mice are nearly diploid but harbor clonal chromosome translocations. Moreover, the deficient mice are hypersensitive to ionizing radiation. Repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks is impaired in RAP80-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Mechanistically, loss of RAP80 suppresses recruitment of the BRCA1-A complex to DNA damage sites and abrogates the DNA damage repair process at DNA damage sites. Taken together, these results reveal that RAP80 plays a crucial role in the DNA damage response and in maintaining genomic integrity.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(27):22919-26. · 4.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
488.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2013
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    • University of Michigan
      • • Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2012
    • Fudan University
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
  • 2010
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2007–2009
    • Yale University
      • Department of Therapeutic Radiology
      New Haven, CT, United States
  • 2008
    • Yale-New Haven Hospital
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2003–2006
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Oncology
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States