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.


  • Chen L, Chen JY, Huang YJ, Gu Y, Qiu J, Qian H, Shao C, Zhang X, Hu J, Li H, He S, Zhou Y, Abdel-Wahab Omar, Zhang DE, Fu XD. Augmented R-loop is a Unifying Mechanism for Myelodysplastic Syndromes Induced by High Risk Splicing Factor Mutations (* co-corresponding). Mol Cell. 2018 69:421-425.
  • Arimoto KI*, Löchte S*, Stoner SA, Burkart C, Zhang Y, Miyauchi S, Wilmes S, Fan JB, Heinisch JJ, Li Z, Yan M, Pellegrini S, Colland F, Piehler J*, Zhang DE*. STAT2 is an essential adaptor in USP18-mediated suppression of type I interferon signaling (* co-first or co-corresponding authors). Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2017. 24:279-89.
  • Weng S, Matsuura S, Mowery C, Stoner SA, Lam K, Ran D, Davis AG, Lo MC, Zhang DE. Restoration of MYC-repressed targets mediates the negative effects of GM-CSF on RUNX1-ETO leukemogenicity. Leukemia 2017 31:159-169.
  • Qiu J, Zhou B, Thol F, Zhou Y, chen L, shao C, DeBoever C, Hou J, Li H, Chaturvedi A, Ganser A, Bejar R, Zhang DE*, Fu SD*, Heuser M*. Distinct splicing signatures affect converged pathways in myelodysplastic syndrome patients carrying mutations in different splicing regulators (co-corresponding). RNA 2016 22:1535-49.
  • Lam K, Muselman A, Du R, Yan M, Matsuura S, Zhang DE. Loss of RUNX1 function results in enhanced granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor-mediated mobilization. Blood Cancer J. 2016 6:e407.
  • Fan JB, Arimoto KI, Yan M, Liu C, Gyorffy B, Zhang DE. Type I IFN induces protein ISGylation to enhance cytokine expression and augments colonic inflammation. PNAS, 2015, 112:14313-8.
  • Fan JB, Arimoto KI, Motamedchaboki K, Yan M Wolf DA, Zhang DE. Identification and characterization of a novel ISG15-ubiquitin mixed chain and its role in regulating protein homeostasis. Scientific Report 2015, 5:12704.
  • Komeno Y, Yan M, Matsuura S, Lam K, Lo MC, Huang YJ, Tenen DG, Downing JR, Zhang DE. Runx1 exon 6 related alternative splicing isoforms differentially regulate hematopoiesis in mice. Blood. 2014 123:3760-9.
  • Lam L, Muselman A, Du R, Harada Y, Scholl AG, Yan M, Matsuura S, Weng S, Harada H, Zhang DE. Hmga2 is a direct target gene of RUNX1 and regulates expansion of myeloid progenitors in mice. Blood. 2014. 124:2203-12.
  • Burkart C, Arimoto K-I, Tang T, Liu YC, Kotenko SV, Ellies LG, Zhang DE. Usp18 deficient mammary epithelial cells create an antitumour environment driven by hypersensitivity to IFN-λ and elevated secretion of Cxcl10. EMBO Mol Med 2013 5:967-82.
  • Ran D, Shia WJ, Lo MC, Fan JB, Knorr DA, Ferrell PI, Ye Z, Yan M, Cheng L, Kaufman DS, Zhang DE. RUNX1a enhances hematopoietic lineage commitment from human embryonic stem cells and inducible pluripotent stem cells. Blood 2013 121:2882-90.
  • DeKelver RC, Lewin B, Lam K, Komeno Y, Yan M, Rundle C, Lo MC, Zhang DE. Cooperation between RUNX1-ETO9a and novel transcriptional partner KLF6 in upregulation of Alox5 in acute myeloid leukemia. PLOS Genetics, 2013 9:e1003765.
  • Lo MC, Peterson LF, Yan M, Cong X, Jin F, Shia W-J, Matsuura S, Ahn E-Y, Komeno Y, Ly M, Ommen HB, Chen I-M, Hokland P, Willman CL, Ren B, Zhang DE. Combined gene expression and DNA occupancy profiling identifies potential therapeutic targets of t(8;21) AML. Blood. 2012, 120:1473-84.
  • Matsuura S, Komeno Y, Stevenson KE, Biggs JR, Lam K, Tang T, Lo M-C, Cong X, Yan M, Neuberg DS, Zhang DE. Expression of the runt homology domain of RUNX1 disrupts homeostasis of hematopoietic stem cells and induces progression to myelodysplastic syndrome, Blood, 2012, 120:4028-37.
  • Ahn E-Y, DeKelver RC, Lo MC, Nguyen TA, Matsuura S, Boyapati A, Pandit S, Fu X-D*, Zhang DE*, SON Controls Cell Cycle Progression by Coordinated Regulation of RNA Splicing (*co-corresponding). 2011, Molecular Cell, 42:185-98.

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.