Feng Lab - University of Houston
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Feng Lab

Qin Feng, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Office: SERC, 3009
Contact: qfeng4@central.uh.edu - 832-842-8824

Google Scholar Profile

Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression in HIV and cancer

Fig 1

Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable changes caused by mechanisms other than alterations in the DNA sequence. Core histones, the fundamental units of chromatin structure, are subject to many types of post-translational modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, crotonylation, etc. Depending on the types and locations, these modifications can regulate gene expression either positively or negatively. Aberrant gene expression caused by deregulated epigenetics is implicated in the initiation and progression of many diseases. Our work has mainly focused on transcriptional coregulators, including histone modifying enzymes and acetylated histone binding proteins. We aim to understand the molecular events that lead to aberrant regulation of gene expression in human diseases, such as AIDS and cancer, and ultimately develop novel therapeutic agents.

TDRD1 in prostate tumorigenesis

Fig 2

Tudor domain containing 1 (TDRD1) is a germ cell specific protein containing four Tudor domains, the signature domains that bind to methylated lysine or arginine. Under physiological condition, TDRD1 is solely expressed in testis and ovary, but not in any other tissues. However, its expression is detected in ~70% of primary prostate tumors, suggesting TDRD1 is important in prostate cancer development. This project aims to understand how TDRD1 contributes to prostate tumorigenesis.

Prostate cancer immunotherapy

Fig 3

Prostate cancer has an immunologically “cold” nature and is notoriously resistant to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. This is likely due to low level of somatic mutations in prostate tumors. As a result, prostate cancer cells cannot be recognized by T cells as foreigners. We aim to develop PSMA-specific CAR-NK cells for prostate cancer treatment. Because PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is a cell membrane protein that selectively expresses in normal prostate and highly elevated in prostate tumors, the PSMA-specific CAR-NK cells can direct the cytotoxicity toward prostate cancer cells and therefore is a promising strategy to overcome the “cold” nature of prostate tumors.

Funding

University of Houston   National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Qin Feng

Qin Feng, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department of Biology and Biochemistry
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5001

Office: SERC 545, Room 3009
Phone: 832-842-8824
Email: qfeng4@central.uh.edu

Staff

Chengtai (Vincent) Yu

Chengtai (Vincent) Yu, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Email: cyu18@central.uh.edu

Yali Han

Yali Han, M.S.
Researcher
Email: yhan20@central.uh.edu

Postdoc

Hong Kim

Hong Kim, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Email: hkim67@central.uh.edu

Graduate Students

Amrita Barua

Amrita Barua
Email: abarua2@central.uh.edu

Tianyi Zhou

Tianyi Zhou
Email: tzhou7@central.uh.edu

Aroshi Mitra

Aroshi Mitra
Email: amitra5@central.uh.edu

Undergraduate Students

Sharon Zachariah

Sharon Zachariah

Hussain Kalavadwala

Hussain Kalavadwala

Alumni

Zheng Zhang

Zheng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Yujing Gao

Yujing Gao, Ph.D.