Adult stem cells located in different organs sustain tissue regeneration during normal homeostasis and in response to wounding. A mechanistic understanding of how stem cell functions are regulated is important for regenerative medicine as well as for treatment of pathological conditions such as cancer. Our lab studies stem cell biology within epithelia tissues using mouse as a genetic model. We focus on two areas: 1. Stem cell self-renewal mechanism. One of the definitive characteristics shared by all stem cells is their ability to long-term self-renew. This is why adult stem cells can sustain tissue regeneration throughout our lifetime. Using in vitro screen and in vivo knockout mouse model, we are studying how adult stem cell long-term self-renewal is regulated. Specifically we want to understand what mechanisms control stem cell activation to undergo self-renewal proliferation and what maintain the undifferentiated stem cell state. 2. Stem Cell fate specification during morphogenesis. How is the stem cell fate specified in the first place? Using in vivo screen, lineage tracing and different mice models, we are studying how multipotent progenitors become specified into different stem cell lineages during embryonic development. And what the intrinsic vs. extrinsic factors involved are.
1. Wenbo Wu, Zhiwei Lu, Fei Li, Wenjie Wang, Nannan Qian, Jinzhi Duan, Yu Zhang, Fengchao Wang,and Ting Chen,Efficient in vivo gene editing using ribonucleoproteins in skin stem cells of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa mouse model.PNAS,2016.
3. Chen, T., Heller E., Slobodan B., Oshimori N., Stokes N., and Fuchs E., An RNA interference screen uncovers a new molecule in stem cell self-renewal and long-term regeneration, Nature 2012.
(Selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology)
4. Greco V.,* Chen T.,* Rendl M., Schober M., Pasolli HA., Stokes N., Dela Cruz-Racelis J., Fuchs E., A two-step mechanism for stem cell activation during hair regeneration. Cell Stem Cell 2009.
* Authors contributed equally
(Highlight Review in Cell Stem Cell, Selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology)
5. Chen, T., Muratore T., Tooley C., Shabanowitz J., Hunt D., and Macara IG., N-terminal α-methylation of RCC1 is necessary for stable chromatin association and normal mitosis. Nature Cell Biology 2007.
(Highlight Review in Nature Cell Biology, Selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology)
6. Chen, T., Brownawell AM., and Macara IG., Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of JAZ, a New Cargo Protein for Exportin-5. Molecular and Cellular Biology 2004.
1. Fuchs E. and Chen T., A matter of life and death: self-renewal in stem cells, EMBO 2012.