Zhihui Liu, Ph.D.
Dr. Liu’s research interest is in the field of cancer biology, in particular to obtain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroblastoma (NB) tumorigenesis and progression. His main focus is to investigate the transcriptional dysregulation that contribute to the malignancy of NB. Through high-throughput screening of dysregulated transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in NB, Dr. Liu aims to identify novel therapeutic targets that could benefit the NB patients.
1) cancer biology, 2) pediatric cancer neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, 3) transcriptional regulation, 4) bioinformatics
Dr. Liu’s research interest is in the field of cancer biology, in particular, to obtain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the tumorigenesis of neuroblastoma (NB) and rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). His studies focus on the transcriptional dysregulation occur in these cancers. Dr. Liu identified that the zinc finger transcription factor CASZ1 plays an important role in inducing NB cell differentiation and suppressing NB growth. In addition to NB, Dr. Liu found that CASZ1 induces skeletal myogenesis and RMS differentiation through forming a feed-forward loop with MYOD and MYOG. Moreover, Dr. Liu is using cutting-edge techniques such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, Hi-C and single cell RNA-seq to screen dysregulated transcription factors and epigenetic regulators that contribute to NB tumorigenesis, which could help to develop novel therapies and benefit NB patients whose disease is unresponsive to current treatments.
CASZ1 induces skeletal muscle and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma differentiation via formation of a feed-forward differentiation loop with MYOD and MYOG. .Nat Commun. 11: 2020. [ Journal Article ]
Epigenetic siRNA and chemical screens identify SETD8 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for p53 activation in high-risk neuroblastoma. .Cancer Cell. 31: 50-63, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
Identification of CASZ1 NES reveals potential mechanisms for loss of CASZ1 tumor suppressor activity in neuroblastoma. .Oncogene. 36: 97-108, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
Essential role of the zinc finger transcription factor Casz1 for mammalian cardiac morphogenesis and development. .J Biol Chem. 289: 29801-16, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
CASZ1, a candidate tumor suppressor suppresses neuroblastoma tumor growth through reprogramming gene expression..Cell Death Differ. 18: 1174-83, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Zhihui Liu received his B.S. in biochemistry from Nanjing University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2004. After graduation Dr. Liu joined the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the NCI as a visiting fellow in Dr. Carol Thiele’s laboratory. He currently works with Dr. Thiele in the Pediatric Oncology Branch as an Associate Scientist.