Acong Yang, Ph.D.

Acong Yang, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
RNA Biology Laboratory


Dr. Acong Yang studies the mechanism of microRNA targeting, microRNA turnover and microRNA functions in cancer. She contributed to the discovery of a new microRNA-targeting mechanism, tail-U-mediated repression (TUMR), to the RNA field. Using biochemical approaches and next generation sequencing analysis, Dr. Yang found that uridylation can modulate pairing between microRNA and mRNA, enabling 3'-uridylated isomiRs to recognize and repress a distinct set of non-canonical targets.

Areas of Expertise

RNA Uridylation
RNA Decay
Embryonic Stem Cell
Cancer Stem Cell


Selected Key Publications

AGO-bound mature miRNAs are oligouridylated by TUTs and subsequently degraded by DIS3L2

Yang A, Shao TJ, Bofill-De Ros X, Lian C, Villanueva P, Dai L, Gu S.
Nat Commun. 11(1): 2765, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Uridylation Confers miRNAs with Non-canonical Target Repertoires

Yang A, Bofill-De Ros X, Shao TJ, Jiang M, Li K, Villanueva P, Dai L, Gu S.
Mol Cell. 75(3): 511-522.e4, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Structural Differences between Pri-miRNA Paralogs Promote Alternative Drosha Cleavage and Expand Target Repertoires

Bofill-De Ros X, Kasprzak WK, Bhandari Y, Fan L, Cavanaugh Q, Jiang M, Dai L, Yang A, Shao TJ, Shapiro BA, Wang YX, Gu S.
Cell Rep. 26(2): 447-459.e4, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Nucleolin maintains embryonic stem cell self-renewal by suppression of p53 protein-dependent pathway

Yang A, Shi G, Zhou C, Lu R, Li H, Sun L, Jin Y.
J Biol Chem. 286(50): 43370-82, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Calcineurin-NFAT signaling critically regulates early lineage specification in mouse embryonic stem cells and embryos

Li X, Zhu L, Yang A, Lin J, Tang F, Jin S, Wei Z, Li J, Jin Y.
Cell Stem Cell. 8(1): 46-58, 2011. [ Journal Article ]