Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Kexin Xu, Ph.D.



Dr. Kexin Xu's research seeks to understand the fundamental roles of the epigenome in control of the context-specific transcriptional programs and how this control contributes to normal development or cancer progression. Specifically, she focus on the following topics:

1) The interaction between tissue-specific transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in transcriptional control

2) The crosstalk among distinct types of epigenetic modifications in shaping the physical structure of genome

3) The response of epigenetic tags to the external and internal stimuli

4) The development of new chemical probes targeting the master epigenetic enzymes in cancer pathogenesis

Her work is highly interdisciplinary and covers the fields of epigenomics, functional genomics, genome editing, biochemistry, bioinformatics and drug discovery. 

Findings from our studies will not only provide critical insights into the mechanisms of the epigenetic aberrations driving the pathogenesis of human cancers, but also lay solid foundations for the design of novel therapeutic targets or approaches.

Selected Publications

Reiter, R.J., Rosales-Corral, S.A., Tan, D.X., Acuna-Castroviejo, D., Qin, L., Yang, S.F., Xu, K. (2017). Melatonin, a full service anti-cancer agent: inhibition of initiation, progression and metastasis. Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(4), 843. PMID: 28420185

Yanming Wu, Zhao Zhang, Mauro Ezequiel Cenciarini,Cecilia Jazmín Proietti, Matias Amasino, Tao Hong, Mei Yang, Yiji Liao, Huai-Chin Chiang, Virginia Kaklamani, Rinath Jeselsohn, Ratna K. Vadlamudi, Tim Hui-Ming Huang, Rong Li, Carmine De Angelis, Xiaoyong Fu, Patricia V. Elizalde, Rachel Schiff, Myles Brown, Kexin Xu. Transcriptional Axis of EZH2-ERa-GREB1 Regulates Tamoxifen Resistance in Breast Cancer. Cancer Research, In press.

Kexin Xu*, Christopher McNair*, Amy C. Mandigo, Matteo Benelli, Benjamin Leiby, Daniel Rodrigues, Johan Lindberg, Henrik Gronberg, Bram De Laere, Luc Dirix, Tapio Visakorpi, Fugen Li, Felix Y. Feng, Johann de Bono, Francesca Demichelis, Mark A Rubin, Myles Brown and Karen E. Knudsen. Differential impact of RB status on E2F1 reprogramming in human cancer. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, In press. (*, co-first authors)

Kexin Xu*, Lixin Wan*, Yongkun Wei*, Jinfang Zhang*, Tao Han, Christopher Fry,Zhao Zhang, Yao Vickie Wang,Liyu Huang, Weiya Xia,Wei-Chao Chang,Wen-Chien Huang,Chien-Liang Liu, Yuan-Ching Chang,Yun Wu, Jinsong Liu, Victor X Jin, Jin Li, Xiangpeng Dai, Jianfeng Guo, Jia Liu, John M. Asara,Myles Brown, Mien-Chie Hung and Wenyi Wei. Phosphorylation of EZH2 by AMPK Suppresses PRC2 MethyltransferaseActivity and Oncogenic Function. Molecular Cell, Accepted. (*, co-first authors)

Kunhua Qin, Ning Zhang, Zhao Zhang, Michael Nipper, Zhenxin Zhu, Jake Leighton,Kexin Xu, Nicolas Musi, Pei Wang. The histone deacetylase SIRT6 regulates Txnip in β-cells.Diabetologia,Accepted.

Xu, K.*, Xu, H.*, He, H.H., Zang, C., Chen, CH., Chen, Y., Qin, Q., Wang, S., Wang, C., Hu, S., Li, F., Long, H., Brown, M. & Liu, X.S. (2015). Integrative analysis reveals the transcriptional collaboration between EZH2 and E2F1 in the regulation of cancer-related gene expression. Molecular Cancer Research, 14(2):163-72 (*: co-first authors) (selected as MCR Highlights)

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine


Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Maryland, 2008

B.S., Biological Sciences, Wuhan University, 2001



Phone: (210) 562-4148

Graduate Students

Richard DeLa Rosa