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Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Xue-Zhong Yu, MD & MS

Dr. Yu PictureProfessor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Department of Medicine
Distinguished Endowed Chair
SmartState Cancer Stem Cell Biology & Therapy Program
Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Yu received a Bachelor of Science degree in Medicine (an MD equivalent) and then a Master of Science in Immunology from Peking University Health Sciences Center in Beijing China.  After his residency in Nanchang China, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Contact Info
Phone: (843) 792-4756
Office: HCC HO350
Lab: HCC HO356

Research Interests

The research in Dr. Yu’s Lab focuses on the biology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).  The ultimate goal of these studies is to prevent or treat GVHD while preserving GVL effect, which could greatly enhance the therapeutic potential of HSCT.  Because T cells play central role to induce GVHD and mediated GVL effect, understanding T-cell response to normal tissue versus tumor cells is critical for achieving the ultimate goal.  The major lines of current work in Dr. Yu’s Lab include: 1) T-cell differentiation and GVHD development; 2) Biology of regulatory T cells and their potential application in the control of GVHD; 3) Understanding how micro-RNAs regulate T- and B-cell responses after allogeneic HSCT; 4) Evaluation of metabolic pathways or intermediates as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in GVHD and leukemia relapse. 

Recent Publications

MicroRNA-17-92 is required for T-cell and B-cell pathogenicity in chronic graft-versus-host disease in mice.
Wu Y, Schutt S, Paz K, Zhang M, Flynn RP, Bastian D, Sofi MH, Nguyen H, Dai M, Liu C, Chang YJ, Blazar BR, Yu XZ.
Blood. 2018 Mar 12. pii: blood-2017-06-789321. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-06-789321. [Epub ahead of print]

Inhibition of the IRE-1α/XBP-1 pathway prevents chronic GVHD and preserves the GVL effect in mice.
Schutt SD, Wu Y, Tang CH, Bastian D, Nguyen H, Sofi MH, Zhang M, Liu C, Helke K, Wilson C, Schnapp LM, Del Valle JR, Hu CC, Yu XZ.
Blood Adv. 2018 Feb 27;2(4):414-427. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2017009068.

T-Cell Metabolism in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
Nguyen HD, Kuril S, Bastian D, Yu XZ.
Front Immunol. 2018 Feb 9;9:176. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00176. eCollection 2018. Review.

Targeting JAK2 reduces GVHD and xenograft rejection through regulation of T cell differentiation.
Betts BC, Bastian D, Iamsawat S, Nguyen H, Heinrichs JL, Wu Y, Daenthanasanmak A, Veerapathran A, O'Mahony A, Walton K, Reff J, Horna P, Sagatys EM, Lee MC, Singer J, Chang YJ, Liu C, Pidala J, Anasetti C, Yu XZ.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 13;115(7):1582-1587. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712452115. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

CD38-NAD+Axis Regulates Immunotherapeutic Anti-Tumor T Cell Response.
Chatterjee S, Daenthanasanmak A, Chakraborty P, Wyatt MW, Dhar P, Selvam SP, Fu J, Zhang J, Nguyen H, Kang I, Toth K, Al-Homrani M, Husain M, Beeson G, Ball L, Helke K, Husain S, Garrett-Mayer E, Hardiman G, Mehrotra M, Nishimura MI, Beeson CC, Bupp MG, Wu J, Ogretmen B, Paulos CM, Rathmell J, Yu XZ, Mehrotra S.
Cell Metab. 2018 Jan 9;27(1):85-100.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.10.006. Epub 2017 Nov 9.

T cells lacking HDAC11 have increased effector functions and mediate enhanced alloreactivity in a murine model.
Woods DM, Woan KV, Cheng F, Sodré AL, Wang D, Wu Y, Wang Z, Chen J, Powers J, Pinilla-Ibarz J, Yu Y, Zhang Y, Wu X, Zheng X, Weber J, Hancock WW, Seto E, Villagra A, Yu XZ, Sotomayor EM.
Blood. 2017 Jul 13;130(2):146-155. doi: 10.1182/blood-2016-08-731505. Epub 2017 May 26.

Targeting the PIM protein kinases for the treatment of a T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia subset.
Padi SKR, Luevano LA, An N, Pandey R, Singh N, Song JH, Aster JC, Yu XZ, Mehrotra S, Kraft AS.
Oncotarget. 2017 May 2;8(18):30199-30216. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.16320.

Regulatory B cells promote graft-versus-host disease prevention and maintain graft-versus-leukemia activity following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
Hu Y, He GL, Zhao XY, Zhao XS, Wang Y, Xu LP, Zhang XH, Yu XZ, Liu KY, Chang YJ, Huang XJ.
Oncoimmunology. 2017 Feb 6;6(3):e1284721. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1284721. eCollection 2017.

Lower incidence of acute GVHD is associated with the rapid recovery of CD4+CD25+CD45RA+ regulatory T cells in patients who received haploidentical allografts from NIMA-mismatched donors: A retrospective (development) and prospective (validation) cohort-based study.
Wang Y, Zhao XY, Xu LP, Zhang XH, Han W, Chen H, Wang FR, Mo XD, Zhang YY, Zhao XS, Y K, Liua KY, Huang XJ, Yu XZ, Chang YJ.
Oncoimmunology. 2016 Oct 14;5(12):e1242546. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1242546. eCollection 2016.

Systemic therapy with oncolytic myxoma virus cures established residual multiple myeloma in mice.
Bartee E, Bartee MY, Bogen B, Yu XZ.
Mol Ther Oncolytics. 2016 Dec 7;3:16032. eCollection 2016.

IL-17A ≠ Th17 in GvHD.
Wu Y, Yu XZ.
Cell Mol Immunol. 2018 Mar;15(3):282-283. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2016.54. Epub 2016 Oct 31. No abstract available.

Regulatory T-Cell Therapy for Graft-versus-host Disease.
Heinrichs J, Bastian D, Veerapathran A, Anasetti C, Betts B, Yu XZ.
J Immunol Res Ther. 2016;1(1):1-14. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

CD8(+) Tregs promote GVHD prevention and overcome the impaired GVL effect mediated by CD4(+) Tregs in mice.
Heinrichs J, Li J, Nguyen H, Wu Y, Bastian D, Daethanasanmak A, Sofi MH, Schutt S, Liu C, Jin J, Betts B, Anasetti C, Yu XZ.
Oncoimmunology. 2016 Mar 28;5(6):e1146842. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1146842. eCollection 2016 Jun.

T-bet Promotes Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease by Regulating Recipient Hematopoietic Cells in Mice.
Fu J, Wu Y, Nguyen H, Heinrichs J, Schutt S, Liu Y, Liu C, Jin J, Anasetti C, Yu XZ.
J Immunol. 2016 Apr 1;196(7):3168-79. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1501020. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Exploiting IL-17-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to improve cancer immunotherapy in the clinic.
Majchrzak K, Nelson MH, Bailey SR, Bowers JS, Yu XZ, Rubinstein MP, Himes RA, Paulos CM.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016 Mar;65(3):247-59. doi: 10.1007/s00262-016-1797-6. Epub 2016 Jan 29. Review.

A novel prognostic biomarker SPC24 up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Zhu P, Jin J, Liao Y, Li J, Yu XZ, Liao W, He S.
Oncotarget. 2015 Dec 1;6(38):41383-97. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5510.

Inhibition of BTK and ITK with Ibrutinib Is Effective in the Prevention of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease in Mice.
Schutt SD, Fu J, Nguyen H, Bastian D, Heinrichs J, Wu Y, Liu C, McDonald DG, Pidala J, Yu XZ.
PLoS One. 2015 Sep 8;10(9):e0137641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137641. eCollection 2015.

MicroRNA-31 negatively regulates peripherally derived regulatory T-cell generation by repressing retinoic acid-inducible protein 3.
Zhang L, Ke F, Liu Z, Bai J, Liu J, Yan S, Xu Z, Lou F, Wang H, Zhu H, Sun Y, Cai W, Gao Y, Li Q, Yu XZ, Qian Y, Hua Z, Deng J, Li QJ, Wang H.
Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 13;6:7639. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8639.

MicroRNA-17-92 controls T-cell responses in graft-versus-host disease and leukemia relapse in mice.
Wu Y, Heinrichs J, Bastian D, Fu J, Nguyen H, Schutt S, Liu Y, Jin J, Liu C, Li QJ, Xia C, Yu XZ.
Blood. 2015 Sep 10;126(11):1314-23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-02-627356. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

NF-κB-induced microRNA-31 promotes epidermal hyperplasia by repressing protein phosphatase 6 in psoriasis.
Yan S, Xu Z, Lou F, Zhang L, Ke F, Bai J, Liu Z, Liu J, Wang H, Zhu H, Sun Y, Cai W, Gao Y, Su B, Li Q, Yang X, Yu J, Lai Y, Yu XZ, Zheng Y, Shen N, Chin YE, Wang H.
Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 3;6:7652. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8652.

Current Research Support

R21 AI136531                                                                                                                                               2/21/18 - 1/31/20
Ceramide Synthesis as a Potential Target for Control of GVHD
The current research is designed to further understand how lipid metabolism regulates T- and B-cell responses after HCT and to identify potential therapeutic target(s) for controlling chronic GVHD.
Role: Principal Investigator

R01 HL137373                                                                                                                                                5/1/15-1/31/22
Separation of GVH and GVL Responses Using Alloreactive CD8 iTregs
The goal of this project is to study alloreactive CD8 iTregs on GVH and GVL responses in allogenic BMT.
Role: Principal Investigator

R01 AI118305                                                                                                                                                 8/1/15-1/31/20
MicroRNA Regulates Graft-versus-Host Disease
The major goal of this project is to validate miR-17-92 as therapeutic targets for the control of acute and chronic GVHD while preserving GVL activity.
Role: Principal Investigator

K08 HL116547                                                                                                                                              7/1/13 – 6/30/18
JAK2/STAT3 as a Therapeutic Target and Marker of GVHD
Role: Co-Mentor

South Carolina Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Program                                                            5/1/13 - present
State of South Carolina
Role: PI

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