Cancer Metastasis Control
The ultimate goal of this research is to provide mechanistic understanding on cancer metastasis and to develop means to control cancer. Epigenetic gene regulation plays essential roles in stem cell pluripotency maintenance and embryonic development as well as in later stages of development. The perturbation of epigenetic memory can cause developmental defects, onset of cancers and may cause neurological disorders. We are particularly interested in understanding epigenetic mechanism of cancer progression and metastasis via multi-disciplinary approaches of structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology.
- Identifying responsible genes and understanding their action modes in cancer progression and metastasis
Metastasis is a multi-step process, which involves invasion, intravasation, survival in blood circulation, extravasation, and the formation of colonies at the distal organs. Thus, identifying key players that contribute to various steps of cancer metastasis is essential for the development of new anti-cancer therapeutic drugs. To decipher underlying molecular mechanisms of metastasis, we are applying various approaches including cell-based studies, mouse model, analysis of patient samples as well as genome-wide screening. Our study will not only provide more comprehensive understanding of this complex process but also allow us to prevent and control metastasis.
- Determining 3 dimensional structures of proteins involved in cancer progression and metastasis
Many multi-subunit protein complexes have been identified to regulate epigenetic gene regulation. To understand the exact mechanism of these epigenetic gene regulators, I will investigate the structures, dynamics and functions of the complexes involved in epigenetic gene regulation. For structural studies, I will use a hybrid approach of single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography and cross-linking mass spectrometry, and I will investigate dynamics and function of the complexes by single-molecule FRET combined and by biochemical approaches. Outcomes of this proposed research will provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation and provide a platform to develop to cure diseases occurred by epigenetic alternations.
- Identifying biomarkers for cancer progression and metastasis
- RNAi screening for cancer related genes
- Analyzing 3-dimensional protein structures
- Microbiome analysis