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Yao's Laboratory

Hongjie Yao, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Dr. Hongjie Yao joined Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Science since October, 2011. Dr. Yao's current research interests focus on epigenetic regulation during cell fate determination. Dr. Yao has published more than 30 papers in the high-profile journals, including Cell Stem Cell, Nature Genetics, Nature Cell Biology, Genes & Development, Nature Communications, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and so on. 


Dr. Yao’s laboratory has three research assistants, 2 postdoc fellows, 10 Ph.D. graduate students and 3 master graduate students.


Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Dr. Yao’s laboratory currently focuses on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression during cell fate transition. 




1)    Li J, Huang K, Hu G, Babarinde IA, Li Y, Dong X, Chen Y-S, Shang L, Guo W, Wang J, Chen Z, Hutchins AP, Yang Y-G, Yao H*. An alternative CTCF isoform antagonizes canonical CTCF occupancy and changes chromatin architecture to promote apoptosis. Nature Communications 2019. 10(1): 1535. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08949-w. (Highlighted by Nature Communications Editor)

2)    Yao M, Zhou X, Zhou J, Gong S, Hu G, Li J, Huang K, Lai P, Shi G, Sun H, Wang H, Yao H*. PCGF5 is required for neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells.  Nature Communications 2018. 9(1):1463. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03781-0.

3)    Li H, Lai P, Jia J, Song Y, Xia Q, Huang K, He N, Ping W, Chen J, Yang Z, Li J, Yao M, Dong X, Zhao J, Hou C, Esteban MA, Gao S, Pei D, Hutchins AP, Yao H*. RNA Helicase DDX5 Inhibits Reprogramming to Pluripotency by miRNA-based Repression of RYBP and its PRC1-dependent and -independent Functions. Cell Stem Cell 2017. 20(4):462-477. (Previewed by Cell Stem Cell)

4)    Ping W, Hu J, Hu G, Li H, Song Y, Xia Q, Yao M, Gong S, Jiang C*, Yao H*. Genome-wide DNA Methylation Analysis Reveals that Mouse Chemical iPSCs Have Closer Epigenetic Features to mESCs than OSKM-integrated-iPSCs. Cell Death & Disease 2018. 9(2):187. 

5)    Li W, Shang L, Huang K, Li J, Wang Z, Yao H*. Identification of Critical Base Pairs Required for CTCF Binding in Motif M1 and M2. Protein & Cell 2017. 8: 544-549. 

6)    Huang K, Jia J, Wu C, Yao M, Li M, Jin J, Jiang C, Cai Y, Pei D, Pan G*, Yao H*.  Ribosomal RNA Gene Transcription Mediated by the Master Genome Regulator Protein CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is Negatively Regulated by the Condensin Complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2013. 288: 26067-26077.

7)    Yao H, Brick K, Evrard Y, Xiao T, Camerini-Otero R, Felsenfeld G. Mediation of CTCF Transcriptional Insulation by DEAD-box RNA-binding Protein p68 and Steroid Receptor RNA Activator SRA. Genes & Development 2010. 24: 2543-2555.

8)      Yao H, Li P, Venters B, Zheng S, Thompson P, Pugh BF, Wang Y*. Histone Arg Modifications and p53 Regulate the Expression of OKL38, a Mediator of Apoptosis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2008. 283: 20060-20068.





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