Yilun Sun, Ph.D.

Yilun Sun, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Building 37, Room 5066
  • 37 Convent Dr, Bethesda, MD 20892-4255
  • 240-760-6647


Dr. Sun’s research interest is to characterize molecular mechanisms for repairing topoisomerase inhibitor- and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor-induced DNA damage. He has delineated several post-translational modification-regulated mechanisms that resolve topoisomerase DNA-protein crosslinks including pathways regulated by ubiquitylation, SUMOylation, neddylation and ADP-ribosylation. He also investigates proteases and nucleases that repair non-enzymatic/non-specific DNA-protein crosslinks such as those induced by aldehydes. The goal of his research is to target these repair mechanisms to improve tumor response to topoisomerase inhibitors and PARP inhibitors.

Areas of Expertise

Cancer Biology
Chromosome Biology
Molecular Biology
And Molecular Pharmacology


Selected Recent Publications

Targeting neddylation sensitizes colorectal cancer to topoisomerase I inhibitors by inactivating the DCAF13-CRL4 ubiquitin ligase complex

Sun Y, Baechler SA, Zhang X, Kumar S, Factor VM, Arakawa Y, Chau CH, Okamoto K, Parikh A, Walker B, Su YP, Chen J, Ting T, Huang SN, Beck E, Itkin Z, McKnight C, Xie C, Roper N, Nijhawan D, Figg WD, Meltzer PS, Yang JC, Thomas CJ, Pommier Y
Nature Communications. 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

The ubiquitin-dependent ATPase p97 removes cytotoxic trapped PARP1 from chromatin

Krastev DB, Li S, Sun Y, Wicks AJ, Hoslett G, Weekes D, Badder LM, Knight EG, Marlow R, Pardo MC, Yu L, Talele TT, Bartek J, Choudhary JS, Pommier Y, Pettitt SJ, Tutt ANJ, Ramadan K, Lord CJ
Nature Cell Biology. 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

PARylation prevents the proteasomal degradation of topoisomerase I DNA-protein crosslinks and induces their deubiquitylation

Sun Y, Chen J, Huang SN, Su YP, Wang W, Agama K, Saha S, Jenkins LM, Pascal JM, Pommier Y
Nature Communications. 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

A conserved SUMO pathway repairs topoisomerase DNA-protein cross-links by engaging ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation

Sun Y, Miller Jenkins LM, Su YP, Nitiss KC, Nitiss JL, Pommier Y
Science Advances. 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]


Lauren Escobedo