Dong-Er Zhang


Dr. Zhang’s laboratory studies the molecular basis of cancer development, progression, and treatment. Her laboratory uses molecular biology, protein biochemistry, cell biology, and animal models to address questions related to blood cell differentiation, transformation, and innate immune responses. A major project underway in the Zhang laboratory focuses on the transcription factor AML1 (RUNX1) and its fusion protein AML1-ETO. As a second major project, Dr. Zhang studies the role of a ubiquitin-like modifier, ISG15, and the ISG15–specific protease, USP18 (UBP43), in inter­feron-initiated cell-signaling and cancer.


  • Yan M, Kanbe E, Peterson LF, Boyapati A, Miao Y, Wang Y, Chen IM, Chen Z, Willman CL, Rowley JD, Zhang D-E. (2006). A previously unidentified alternatively spliced isoform of t(8;21) transcript promotes leukemogenesis. Nature Med. 12:945-949.
  • Ahn E-Y, DeKelver RC, Lo MC, Nguyen TA, Matsuura S, Boyapati A, Pandit S, Fu X-D, Zhang D-E (2011). SON controls cell cycle progression by coordinated regulation of RNA splicing. Molec. Cell 42:185-198.
  • Cong X, Yan M, Yin X, Zhang D-E (2010). Hematopoietic cells from Ube1L-deficient mice exhibit an impaired proliferation defect under the stress of bone marrow transplantation. Blood Cells Molec. Disease, 45:103-111.
  • Yan M, Ahn E-Y, Hiebert SW, Zhang D-E. (2009). NHR2 oligomerization domain of t(8;21)(q22;q22) fusion protein is critical in leukemogenesis. Blood 113:883-886.
  • Ahn E-Y, Yan M, Malakhova OA, Boyapati A, Ommen HB, Hines R, Hokland P, Zhang D-E. (2008). Disruption of the NHR4 domain structure in AML1-ETO abrogates SON binding and promotes leukemogenesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105:17103-17108.
  • Okumura AJ, Peterson LF, Okumura F, Boyapati A, Zhang D-E.(2008). t(8;21)(q22;q22) fusion proteins preferentially bind to duplicated AML1/RUNX1 DNA binding sequences to differentially regulate gene expression. Blood 112:1392-1401.
  • Boyapati A, Yan M, Peterson LF, Biggs JR, Le Beau MM, Zhang D-E. (2007). A t(8;21) fusion protein attenuates the spindle checkpoint and promotes aneuploidy. Blood 109:3963-3971.
  • Okumura F, Zou W, Zhang D-E. (2007). ISG15 modification of the eIF4E cognate 4EHP enhances cap structure binding activity of 4EHP. Genes Devel. 21:255-260.
  • Biggs JR, Peterson LF, Zhang Y, Kraft AS, Zhang D-E. (2006). AML1/RUNX1 phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinases regulates the degradation of AML1/RUNX1 by the anaphase-promoting complex. Mol Cell Biol. 26:7420-7429.
  • Malakhova OA, Kim KI, Luo JK, Zou W, Kumar KGS, Fuchs SY, Shuai K, Zhang D-E. (2006). UBP43 is a novel regulator of interferon signaling independent of its ISG15 isopeptidase activity. EMBO J. 25:2358-2367.

References From PubMed (NCBI)

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Dr. Dong-Er Zhang received her BS in Biochemistry at Peking (Beijing) University, China. She was selected to enter a graduate school in the United States through the CUSBEA (China-United States Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examination and Administration) program and received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Houston. She was a Postdoctoral Scholar/Instructor at the University of Texas and then Instructor/Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School. In 1999, Dr. Zhang was recruited by The Scripps Research Institute as Associate Professor and was subsequently promoted to the Full Professor level before joining UCSD. Dr. Zhang was a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar (1998-2003) and received the prestigious Stolhman Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is involved in multiple international grant review committees and also contributes to the organization of scientific conferences.