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

Search Program Faculty/Research

Zhijie (Jason) Liu, Ph.D.

Jason-liu-2

RESEARCH

Different signals, including hormones, inflammatory cytokines and metabolic signals, work in a collaborative way to regulate context-specific gene programs in normal growth and disease conditions. However many questions are still open: How do these different signals crosstalk with each other for a specific gene expression program? How do signals affect the composition and organization of transcriptional machinery including transcription factors and their cofactors? How are epigenetic alterations and chromatin 3D architectural changes achieved in response to signals?

Dr. Jason Liu’s research is to understand how signal-dependent gene programs are regulated in cell differentiation/dedifferentiation and in the development of cancer and other diseases. Currently, his lab is combining biochemical, cellular, and animal model-related studies with different NGS-based assays to work on the following projects to understand gene regulation mechanisms and find their connection to clinical applications:

(1) Explore the roles and regulation mechanisms of signaling-dependent gene regulation programs in normal development and disease conditions, and study how context-specific gene programs are regulated by the crosstalk of different signaling pathways.

(2) Decipher the epigenetic and 3D architectural changes of the cis-regulatory elements upon developmental/pathological stimuli and during hormone/drug resistance acquisition in cancers.

(3) Based on our understanding of gene regulation mechanisms, identify diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for multiple human cancer types.

(4) Develop drugs and therapeutics for pre-clinical studies and potential clinical applications.

Selected Publications

Jianxun Wang, Francesca Telese, Yuliang Tan, Wenbo Li, Chunyu Jin, Xin He, Harihar Basnet, Qi Ma, Daria Merkurjev, Xiaoyan Zhu, Zhijie Liu, et al., and Michael G. Rosenfeld. LSD1n is an H4K20 demethylase regulating memory formation via transcriptional elongation control. Nature Neuroscience. 2015 Sep;18(9):1256-64. PMID: 26214369

Wenbo Li, Yiren Hu, Soohwan Oh, Qi Ma, Daria Merkurjev, Xiaoyuan Song, Xiang Zhou, Zhijie Liu, et al., and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Condensin I and II complexes license full estrogen receptor α-dependent enhancer activation. Molecular Cell. 2015 Jul 16; 59(2): 188–202. PMID: 26166704

Feng Zhang, Bogdan Tanasa, Daria Merkurjev, Chijen Lin, Xiaoyuan Song, Wenbo Li, Yuliang Tan, Zhijie Liu, et al., and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Enhancer-bound LDB1 regulates a corticotrope promoter pausing repression program. PNAS. 2015 Feb 3; 112(5): 1380-5. PMID: 25605944

Janusz Puc, Piotr Kozbial, Wenbo Li, Yuliang Tan, Zhijie Liu, Tom Suter, Kenneth A. Ohgi, Jie Zhang, Aneel K. Aggarwal, and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Ligand-dependent enhancer activation requires topoisomerase-I catalytic activity. Cell. 2015 Jan 29; 160(3): 367-80. PMID: 25619691

Zhijie Liu*, Daria Merkurjev, Feng Yang, Wenbo Li, et al., and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Enhancer activation requires trans-recruitment of a mega transcription factor complex. Cell. 2014 Oct 9; 159(2): 358-73. PMID: 25303530 (*first and co-corresponding author)

Zhijie Liu*, Qidong Hu, and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Complexity of the RAR-mediated transcriptional regulatory programs. Chapter 10 of BookThe biochemistry of retinoic acid receptors I: structure, activation, and function at the molecular Level.” Subcellular Biochemistry. 2014; 70: 203-225. PMID: 24962887 (*first and co-corresponding author)

Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk, Qi Ma, Michal Schwartz, Kathleen Scully, Wenbo Li, Zhijie Liu, et al., and Michael G. Rosenfeld. Required interactions of enhancers with Matrin-3 nuclear architecture for transcriptional activation by homeodomain factors. Nature. 2014 Aug 3; 514(7521): 257-61. PMID: 25119036

Kaitlin A. G. Reeh, Kim T. Cardenas, Virginia E. Bain, Zhijie Liu, Micheline Laurent, Nancy R. Manley and Ellen R. Richie. Ectopic TBX1 suppresses thymic epithelial cell differentiation and proliferation during thymus organogenesis. Development. 2014 Aug; 141(15): 2950-8. PMID: 25053428

Jie Li, Zhijie Liu, Shiyun Xiao and Nancy Manley. Transdifferentiation of parathyroid cells into cervical thymi promotes atypical T cell development. Nature Communications. 2013 Dec 17;4:2959. PMID: 24343363

Zhijie Liu, Alison Farley, Lizhen Chen, Beth J. Kirby, Christopher S. Kovacs, C. Clare Blackburn, Nancy Manley. Thymus-associated parathyroid hormone has two cellular origins with distinct endocrine and immunological functions. PLoS Genetics. 2010 Dec 23; 6(12):e1001251. PMID: 21203493

Zhijie Liu, Shannon Yu, Nancy Manley. Gcm2 is required for the differentiation and survival of parathyroid precursor cells in parathyroid/thymus primordia. Developmental Biology. 2007 May 1; 305(1): 333-46. PMID: 17382312

Cunlan Liu, Fumi Saito, Zhijie Liu, Yu Lei, Shoji Uehara, Paul Love, Martin Lipp, Shunzo Kondo, Nancy Manley, and Yousuke Takahama. Coordination between CCR7- and CCR9-mediated chemokine signals in prevascular fetal thymus colonization. Blood. 2006 Oct 15; 108(8): 2531-9. PMID: 16809609

Liu Zhijie, Yanzehong, Wan Yongfang, Liu Kunfan, Zheng Youliang, Wang Daowen. Analysis of HMW glutenin subunits and their coding sequences in two diploid Aegilops species. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 2003; 106: 1368-1378. PMID: 12750780

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine

Education

Ph.D., Genetics, University of Georgia, 2007

M.S., Molecular Genetics, Institute of Genetics & Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2002

B.S., Biochemistry, Lanzhou University, 1999 

Contact

Email: liuz7@uthscsa.edu

Phone: (210) 567-8734