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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Chao-Lan Yu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
813B Light Hall
Nashville, TN 37232-0615

Research Specialty

Regulation of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway and gene expression in cellular transformation.

Research Description

The family of Janus protein tyrosine kinases (JAKs) and the downstream signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) are essential for cytokine/growth factor signaling and play critical roles in modulating many important physiological functions. Our earlier studies further demonstrated their possible involvement in cellular transformation and in human cancer. We hypothesize that disregulation of distinct JAK-STAT pathway, especially STAT3 and STAT5, may contribute to certain types of oncogenesis. Our research currently focuses on the negative regulation of the JAK-STAT pathway and how its disruption may lead to tumorigenesis. Using cytokine-dependent T cell lines, we have recently shown that STAT5 activation can be inhibited by proteasome-mediated protein degradation and by protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2. We will continue to explore the detailed mechanisms of these regulations in normal and transformed cells. In the future, we also plan to expand our studies in three other major directions. First, we will perform proteomic analysis to identify novel interacting partners in regulating the JAK-STAT pathway. Second, we will use genomic approach to characterize important STAT-target genes. Third, we will establish animal models to address the biological outcome of modulating the JAK-STAT pathway.