||Weei-Chin Lin, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Cell Biology
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Areas of Focus: Cell cycle control and DNA damage response
We study the cell cycle regulators in Rb/E2F and p53 pathways, and aim at identification of Achilles heels of cancer for therapeutic targeting. We have identified a new class of E2F regulators. TopBP1 and MCPH1 both contain multiple BRCT motifs and interact with the N-terminus of E2F1 through their BRCT motifs. TopBP1 is a repressor, whereas, MCPH1 is an activator of E2F1 target genes in checkpoint/repair and apoptosis. Both proteins are also directly involved in DNA damage checkpoint activation; therefore, they might coordinate the DNA damage response signaling with transcriptional regulation. These two regulators with opposite activities toward E2F1 could provide a switch-control of E2F1 for proper response to different environmental milieu. Induction of E2F1 has been shown to be required for eliciting effective apoptotic response during treatment of chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, with the understanding of how TopBP1 interacts with E2F1, we can now design strategies to specifically target TopBP1 and re-activate E2F1 for effective chemotherapy in cancer patients harboring excessive TopBP1 in their tumors
Weei-Chin Lin, Associate Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology, received his MD degree from National Taiwan University and PhD degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was awarded The Martin and Carol Macht Research Prize at Hopkins for his graduate works on cell cycle and phosphorylation control of V(D)J Recombination Activating Protein RAG-2. He then went to Duke for residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology. He was a recipient of Physician Scientist Award from the Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation while he worked on regulation of E2F1 during DNA damage in Joe Nevins' lab at Duke. He joined the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UAB in June 2001 as a recipient of HHMI Career Development Award. He is a General Motor Cancer Research Scholar, and a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar.