Yang Laboratory

Cancer-specific DNA-related molecular targets & structure-based rational design

Structures and functions of DNA G-quadruplex secondary structures. We seek to understand the molecular structures and cellular functions of the biologically relevant DNA G-quadruplexes, including those formed in the promoter regions of human oncogenes such as MYC, BCL-2, and PDGFR-b, as well as in human telomeres.

Protein interactions of G-quadruplexes. We work to understand the structures and cellular functions of proteins that interact with DNA G-quadruplexes, and their therapeutic targeting.

Targeting G-quadruplexes for anticancer drug development. DNA G-quadruplexes are emerging as a new class of cancer-specific molecular targets. We seek to discover small molecular anticancer drugs that target the DNA G-quadruplexes for oncogene suppression (e.g. MYC). We hope to combine the potency of DNA-interactive anticancer drugs with the selectivity properties of molecular-targeted approaches.

Structure-based rational drug design. We use structure-based rational design in combination with structural biology, biophysical, biochemical, and cellular methods for our drug discovery efforts.