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Jun Wan, Ph.D.: A reinterpretation of role of DNA methylation in gene regulation

Friday, February 3 at 12:30 p.m. in IT 252


By integrating genome-wide DNA methylation and high-throughput gene expression data from different tissues, we found that tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (T-DMRs) were preferentially located in gene exons and introns, suggesting a strong association with alternative splicing. Moreover, T-DMRs enriched in nucleosome-free regions regulate gene expression of down-stream genes. While DNA methylation represses expression of most target genes, it also activates a number of genes during tissue differentiation, including transcription repressors. We collaborated with biologists at Johns Hopkins University to identify a number of transcription factors (TFs) which interact with methylated-type DNA sequence. Some TFs exhibit specific binding activity to distinct sets of methylated and unmethylated DNA motifs. The last part of this talk presents how KLF4 plays critical roles in glioblastoma via its DNA-methylated-dependent binding.

About Jun Wan

Dr. Wan is an assistant professor at Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine. He is director of collaborative core for cancer bioinformatics shared by IU Simon Cancer Center and Purdue Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Wan got his Ph.D. in Physics from Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario, Canada, followed by postdoctoral training in bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to Indiana University, Dr. Wan was a research faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored over 40 research papers published in Cell, Molecular Cell, eLife, PNAS, Nucleic Acids Research, Bioinformatics, etc.