Danzhou Yang

Danzhou Yang Profile Picture

Martha and Fred Borch Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
B.S., University of Science and Technology of China, Molecular and Cell Biology, 1989
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Biophysics, 1996
Postdoc, University of Kentucky, Pharmaceutical Sciences, (1996-99)

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Biomolecular Structure and Biophysics

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

Research in my laboratory is focused on structures and functions of cancer-specific DNA molecular targets and structure-based rational design of new anticancer drugs. We work on a number of molecular targets for cancer therapeutics, including DNA secondary structures such as G-quadruplexes, their biological functions and molecular interactions with small molecules and proteins, as well as targeting DNA binding of transcription factors by DNA bis-intercalating drugs. In particular, the biologically relevant DNA G-quadruplexes, including those formed in human oncogene promoters and telomere, have become attractive new molecular targets for anticancer drugs. We use a variety of biophysical, biochemical, molecular and cellular biology methods, particularly high-field NMR spectroscopy. NMR represents a major method for structural study of biologically relevant DNA secondary structures.

Selected Publications:

Buket Onel, Megan Carver, Guanhui Wu, Daraia Timonina, Salil Kalarn, Marti Larriva, Danzhou Yang “A new G-quadruplex with hairpin loop immediately upstream of the human BCL-2 P1 promoter modulates transcription” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (8), pp 2563–2570.

Clement Lin, Danzhou Yang, “DNA Recognition by a DNA Bis-intercalating Anticancer Drug XR5944”, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry: Potential Therapeutic Agents based on DNA/RNA Sequence-selective Binding Compounds. 2015.

Yuwei Chen, Prashansa Agrawal, Robert V. Brown, Emmanuel Hatzakis, Laurence Hurley, Danzhou Yang “The Major G-Quadruplex Formed in the Human Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor-ß (PDGFR-ß) Promoter Adopts a Novel Broken-Strand Primarily Parallel Structure”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134 (32), 13220–13223, PMID:22866911. 2012.

Jixun Dai, Megan Carver, Laurence H. Hurley, Danzhou Yang “Solution structure of a 2:1 quindoline–c-MYC G-quadruplex. Drug-induced reorientation of the flanking sequence and implications for drug design”, J Am Chem Soc, 133 (44), 17673–17680, 2011

Danzhou Yang and Keika Okamoto “Structural Insights Into G-Quadruplexes: Towards New Anti-Cancer Drugs.” Future Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 2, No. 4, 619-646, April 2010.

Jixun Dai, Megan Carver, Chandanamalie Punchihewa, Roger A. Jones, and Danzhou Yang “Structure of the hybrid-2 type intramolecular human telomeric G-quadruplex in K+ solution: Insights into structure polymorphism of the human telomeric sequence.” Nucleic Acid Research, 35, 4927-4940, 2007. (cover article)

Jixun Dai, Thomas S. Dexheimer, Ding Chen, Megan Carver, Attila Ambrus, Roger A. Jones, Danzhou Yang “An Intramolecular G-Quadruplex Structure with Mixed Parallel/Antiparallel G-strands Formed in the Human BCL-2 Promoter Region in Solution.” J. of American Chemical Society 128, 1096 –1098, 2006.

Attila Ambrus, Ding Chen, Jixun Dai, Tiffanie Bialis, Roger A. Jones, Danzhou Yang “Human telomeric sequence forms a hybrid-type intramolecular G-quadruplex structure with mixed parallel/antiparallel strands in potassium solution.” Nucleic Acid Research 34(9), 2723-2735, 2006.

Attila Ambrus, Ding Chen, Jixun Dai, Roger A. Jones, Danzhou Yang “Solution Structure of the Biologically Relevant G-Quadruplex Element in the Human c-MYC Promoter. Implications for G-Quadruplex Stabilization.” Biochemistry, 44, 2048-2058, 2005.

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