Xiao-kun Zhang, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhang received his bachelor degree from Xiamen University in China and earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont in the United States. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute prior to his appointment to the faculty in 1992, and currently he is the professor at the cancer center of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. In 2006, he was recruited to Xiamen University as Dean of the school of pharmaceutical science. He was awarded as “Cheung Kong Scholar Lecture Professor” and was elected to the “National Thousand Talents Program”. Dr. Zhang has published more than 100 papers in prestigious journals such asScience,NatureandCell, and holds more than ten U.S. patents.
Dr. Zhang studies the chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of Vitamin A and its synthetic analogs in various cancers and other diseases. He discovered a new vitamin A signaling pathway through RXR protein complexes. An agent that modulates RXR activities has been approved by the FDA for treating lymphoma patients and is now in phase III clinical trial for lung cancer. Dr. Zhang also found that a gene that binds Vitamin A (called RARb) acts as a tumor suppressor. His group recently discovered a new paradigm for destroying cancer cells using a protein called TR3, or Nur77. TR3 is often present at high levels in cancer cells to promote their growth in the nucleus. Dr. Zhang recently showed that he is able to move TR3 from the nucleus to the mitochondria. In mitochondria, TR3 binds to Bcl-2, a protein that maintains tumor growth. The binding converts Bcl-2 from a tumor protector to a tumor destroyer. He also defined the oncogenic function of a truncated RXRa (tRXRa), which is specifically expressed in cancer cells and promotes cancer cell growth by activation of PI3K. Based on that, he developed a lead compound which targets tRXRa and inhibits tumor growth. Dr. Zhang's laboratory is now exploring the possibility of treating cancer patients using a class of specific agents that induce TR3 migration and modulate tRXRa.
Ph. DXiamen University, China
Guanghui Wangassistant professor
Ph. DShenyang Pharmaceutical University, China
Yang Xuassistant professor
Ph. D TheUniversityof Hong kong
Quancheng Chenassistant professor
Ph. DChungnam National University, Korea
Selected Publications:（last 5 years）
1.Kolluri, S. K, Zhu, X, Zhou, X, Lin, B, Chen, Y,Sun, K, Tian, X,Town, J, Cao, X, Lin, F, Zhai, D, Kitada, S, Luciano, F,O'Donnell, E, Cao, Y, He, F,Lin, J, Reed, J. C, Satterth wait, A. C,Zhang, X. K, A short Nur77-derived peptide converts Bcl-2 from aprotector to a killer.Cancer Cell2008,14 (4), 285-98.
2.Zhou H, Liu W, Su Y, Wei Z, Liu J, Kolluri SK, Wu H, Cao Y, Chen J, Wu Y, Yan T, Cao X, Gao W, Molotkov A, Jiang F, Li WG, Lin B, Zhang HP, Yu J, Luo SP, Zeng JZ, Duester G, Huang PQ,Zhang XK. NSAID sulindac and its analog bind RXRalpha and inhibit RXRalpha-dependent AKT signaling.Cancer Cell2010, 17(6):560-573.
3.Sun, Z,Cao, X,Jiang, M. M, Qiu, Y, Zhou, H , Chen, L, Qin, B, Wu, H, Jiang, F,
Chen, J, Liu, J ,Dai, Y, Chen, H. F, Hu, Q. Y, Wu, Z, Zeng, J. Z, Yao, X. S, Zhang, X. K.,Inhibition of beta-catenin signaling by nongenomic action of orphan nuclear receptor Nur77.Oncogene2012,31 (21), 2653-67.
4.Yan, T. D, Wu, H, Zhang, H. P, Lu, N, Ye, P, Yu, F. H, Zhou, H, Li, W. G, Cao, X, Lin, Y. Y, He, J. Y, Gao, W. W, Zhao, Y, Xie, L, Chen, J. B,Zhang, X. K, Zeng, J. Z.,Oncogenic potential of retinoic acid receptor-gamma in hepatocellular carcinoma.Cancer Res2010,70 (6), 2285-95.
5.Liu, J, Zhou, W, Li, S. S, Sun, Z, Lin, B, Lang, Y. Y, He, J. Y, Cao, X, Yan, T, Wang,L, Lu, J, Han, Y. H, Cao, Y, Zhang, X. K, Zeng, J. Z, Modulation of orphan nuclear receptor Nur77-mediated apoptotic pathway by acetylshikonin and analogues.Cancer Res2008,68 (21), 8871-80.
6.Han, Y. H, Zhou, H, Kim, J. H, Yan, T. D, Lee, K. H, Wu, H, Lin, F, Lu, N.; Liu, J,
Zeng, J. Z,Zhang, X. K., A unique cytoplasmic localization of retinoic acid receptor-gamma and its regulations.J Biol Chem2009, 284 (27), 18503-14.