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Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Xue-Zhong Yu

Xue-Zhong Yu, MD, MSDr. Yu Picture

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 work in Dr. Yu’s Lab include: 1) T-cell differentiation and GVHD development; 2) Control of GVHD development by targeting protein kinases essential for T-cell survival and function; 3) Biology of regulation T cells (Tregs) and their potential application in the control of GVHD; 4) Regulation of T-cell mediated GVHD and GVL through costimulation and adhesion. 

Recent Publications

1. Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Independent Signaling Pathways Contribute to ICOS-Mediated T Cell Costimulation in Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Mice. Li J, Heinrichs J, Leconte J, Haarberg K, Semple K, Liu C, Gigoux M, Kornete M, Piccirillo CA, Suh WK, Yu XZ. J Immunol. 2013 May 31.  PMID: 23729441

2. C-Rel is an essential transcription factor for the development of acute graft-versus-host disease in mice. Yu Y, Wang D, Kaosaard K, Liu C, Fu J, Haarberg K, Anasetti C, Beg AA, Yu XZ. Eur J Immunol. 2013 May 29. PMID: 23716202

3. Dynamic change and impact of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in mice. Wang D, Yu Y, Haarberg K, Fu J, Kaosaard K, Nagaraj S, Anasetti C, Gabrilovich D, Yu XZ. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013 May;19(5):692-702.  PMID: 23376089

4. Adoptive transfer of Tc1 or Tc17 cells elicits antitumor immunity against established melanoma through distinct mechanisms. Yu Y, Cho HI, Wang D, Kaosaard K, Anasetti C, Celis E, Yu XZ. J Immunol. 2013 Feb 15;190(4):1873-81. PMID: 23315072

5. Targeting PKCθ in alloreactivity and graft-versus-host-disease: unanswered questions and therapeutic potential. Bronk CC, Yu XZ, Beg AA. Front Immunol. 2012;3:259. PMID: 22912640

6. LBH589 enhances T cell activation in vivo and accelerates graft-versus-host disease in mice. Wang D, Iclozan C, Liu C, Xia C, Anasetti C, Yu XZ.  Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2012 Aug;18(8):1182-1190. PMID: 22698484

7. Ex vivo expansion of human Tregs specific for alloantigens presented directly or indirectly. Veerapathran A, Pidala J, Beato F, Yu XZ, Anasetti C.  Blood. 2011 Nov 17;118(20):5671-80. PMID: 21948174

8. Prevention of GVHD while sparing GVL effect by targeting Th1 and Th17 transcription factor T-bet and RORγt in mice. Yu Y, Wang D, Liu C, Kaosaard K, Semple K, Anasetti C, Yu XZ. Blood. 2011 Nov 3;118(18):5011-20. PMID: 21856864

9. PKCtheta is required for alloreactivity and GVHD but not for immune responses toward leukemia and infection in mice. Valenzuela JO, Iclozan C, Hossain MS, Prlic M, Hopewell E, Bronk CC, Wang J, Celis E, Engelman RW, Blazar BR, Bevan MJ, Waller EK, Yu XZ, Beg AA. J Clin Invest. 2009 Dec;119(12):3774-86. PMID: 19907075

10. T helper17 cells are sufficient but not necessary to induce acute graft-versus-host disease. Iclozan C, Yu Y, Liu C, Liang Y, Yi T, Anasetti C, Yu XZ.  Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010 Feb;16(2):170-8. PMID: 19804837

11. Abundant c-Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1-converting enzyme inhibitory protein expression determines resistance of T helper 17 cells to activation-induced cell death. Yu Y, Iclozan C, Yamazaki T, Yang X, Anasetti C, Dong C, Yu XZ. Blood. 2009 Jul 30;114(5):1026-8. PMID: 19429865

12. CD28 controls differentiation of regulatory T cells from naive CD4 T cells.  Guo F, Iclozan C, Suh WK, Anasetti C, Yu XZ. J Immunol. 2008 Aug 15;181(4):2285-91. PMID: 18684917

13. Beta2 integrins separate graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukemia effects. Liang Y, Liu C, Djeu JY, Zhong B, Peters T, Scharffetter-Kochanek K, Anasetti C, Yu XZ. Blood. 2008 Jan 15;111(2):954-62. PMID: 17928532

14. Opposing effects of ICOS on graft-versus-host disease mediated by CD4 and CD8 T cells. Yu XZ, Liang Y, Nurieva RI, Guo F, Anasetti C, Dong C.  J Immunol. 2006 Jun 15;176(12):7394-401. PMID: 16751384

15. Alloantigen affinity and CD4 help determine severity of graft-versus-host disease mediated by CD8 donor T cells. Yu XZ, Albert MH, Anasetti C.  J Immunol. 2006 Mar 15;176(6):3383-90. PMID: 16517706

Current Research Support

Title:                Alloreactive Regulatory T cells Control GVHD and Maintain GVL
Agency:         NIH/NCI
Grant#:           R01 CA118116
Role:               PI
Period:           08/01/2006 – 06/30/2016 

Title:                Th1/Th17 Cell Differentiation in GVHD and GVL
Agency:         NIH/NCI
Grant#:           R01 CA143812
Role:               PI
Period:           05/01/2010 – 04/30/2014 

Title:                Elucidating the Function of PKC-theta in Alloreactivity and GVHD
Agency:         NIH/NIAID
Grant#:           R01 AI082685
Role:               PI
Period:           06/01/2010 – 05/31/2015 

Title:                Targeting IL-12/23 p40 Pathways for the Control of GVHD
Agency:         NIH/NCI
Grant#:           R01 CA169116
Role:               PI
Period:           03/01/2013 – 02/28/2018 

Title:                Evaluation on the therapeutic potential of MDSCs in BMT
Agency:         DOD
Grant#:           W81XWH-08-2-0101
Role:               PI
Period:           11/01/2012 – 10/31/2013 

Title:                JAK2/STAT3 as a therapeutic target and marker of GVHD
Agency:         NIH/NHLBI
Grant#:           K08 HL116547
Role:               Mentor
Period:           7/01/2013 – 6/30/2018

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