Xinguo Chen, Ph.D.

Xinguo Chen, Ph.D.

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


Dr. Xinguo Chen’s research focuses on the biogenesis and regulation of noncoding RNAs.  A particular area of interest is the Ro 60 kDa autoantigen (Ro60) and is associated Y RNAs. His research revealed that a bacterial Ro60 protein contributes to cell survival following ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, associates with exoribonucleases to mature ribosomal RNA, and is required for several stress-induced changes in RNA metabolism. He also found that the bacterial Ro60 and Y RNA adapt the exoribonuclease polynucleotide phosphorylase for effective degradation of structured RNAs and that many bacterial Y RNAs contain a domain that resembles tRNA. He also showed that the mouse Ro60 protein contributes to cell survival after UV irradiation, and that Ro60 and Y RNA accumulate in nuclei after irradiation. Excitingly, mice lacking the Ro60 protein develop a lupus-like syndrome, suggesting that Ro60 may be important for preventing autoimmune disease.

Areas of Expertise

Noncoding RNA Biogenesis And Function
RNA-protein Interactions
Exo- And Endoribonucleases
RNA Processing And Decay
RNA Damage Response


Selected Key Publications

An RNA Repair Operon Regulated by Damaged tRNAs

Hughes KJ, Chen X, Burroughs AM, Aravind L, and Wolin SL.
Cell Reports. 33: 108527, 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Deletion of the rnl gene encoding a nick-sealing RNA ligase sensitizes Deinococcus radiodurans to ionizing radiation

Schmier BJ, Chen X, Wolin SL, and Shuman S.
Nucleic Acids Res. 45: 3812-3821, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Bacterial noncoding Y RNAs are widespread and mimic tRNAs

Chen X, Sim S, Wurtmann EJ, Feke A, and Wolin, SL.
RNA. 20: 1715-1724 , 2014. [ Journal Article ]

An RNA degradation machine sculpted by Ro autoantigen and noncoding RNA

Chen X, Taylor DW, Fowler CC, Galan JE, Wang HW, and Wolin SL.
Cell. 153: 166-177, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

An ortholog of the Ro autoantigen functions in 23S rRNA maturation in D. radiodurans

Chen X, Wurtmann EJ, Van Batavia J, Zybailov B, Washburn MP, and Wolin SL.
Genes Dev. 21: 1328-1339, 2007. [ Journal Article ]