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Zhijun Li and Jun Yan
Zhijun Li, PhD (research associate) and Jun Yan, PhD (former postdoctoral fellow) from the lab of Dr. Xue Xiong published two papers back-to-back in the June 5th issue of Molecular Cell. The papers reveal that the 3M genes CUL7, OBSL1, and CCDC8 - which are mutated in several growth retardation syndromes - maintain microtubule and genome integrity and normal development. Dr. Yan’s paper "The 3M Complex Maintains Microtubule and Genome Integrity" demonstrated that the products of three 3M genes form a functional complex (the 3M complex) to regulate microtubule dynamics and cell division. Dr. Li’s paper "CUL9 Mediates the Functions of the 3M Complex and Ubiquitylates Survivin to Maintain Genome Integrity" demonstrated that CUL9 mediates the function of the 3M complex and is an E3 ubiquitin ligase for survivin. These studies elucidate a pathway, the 3M-CUL9-survivin pathway or 3M pathway, for the maintenance of the genome integrity.
Dr. Xiong is currently a Willian R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an internationally recognized scientist working in the area of cancer and stem cell control and ubiquitin pathway. His seminal early discoveries and continuing investigation of cell cycle control, tumor suppression and the ubiquitin pathway have changed the way the world understands cancer causation. Furthermore, his exciting recent work on the alteration of cell metabolism and its consequences for epigenetic changes are resulting in the search for new cancer therapies.
Learn more: Xiong Lab