Dr. Abhinav K. Jain
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis
My research interest is focused on understanding the factors (proteins or non-coding RNAs) that control epigenetic regulation of gene expression during development and disease. The highly intricate epigenetic machinery that interfaces with chromatin to control precise gene expression patterns is often deregulated during disease progression. A more detailed understanding of this epigenetic machinery is necessary to clearly understand the mechanism of specific transcription factor (such as p53) activity during changing cellular states. We investigated p53’s activity during the earliest stages of development by using human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) differentiation as a model system and demonstrated that p53 plays significant roles in altering the cell cycle and epigenetic bivalency to promote differentiation of hESCs. Recently, we identified several p53-regulated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that control the stem cell state, including an ESC-specific lncRNA such as LncPRESS1 that safeguards pluripotency by maintaining ES-specific histone acetylation marks. Our long-term goals are: a) investigating the roles of lncRNAs as effectors of p53’s activity during earliest stages of human stem cell differentiation, b) extending these studies to determine the relevance and mechanism of lncRNA functions to diseases, such as cancer, and c) delineating the functions of readers of histone post-translational modifications that regulate chromatin dynamics in cancer with ultimate aim of developing targeted therapeutics. These are my research interests:
- Transcriptome profiling studies to illuminate functions of tumor suppressor p53 using human Embryonic stem cells
- Comparative genomics to identify and delineate functions of long-non coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in cancer
- Readers of histone post-translational modifications and cancer Epigenetics
- HT-ChIP Seq Resource: An innovative, cost-effective and high-throughput (HT) format for chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by library preparation for genome-wide chromatin enrichment of proteins of interests.