We have realized that the resistance of many breast cancer patients against various therapies is mainly caused by tumor environment in our own body. Therefore, how to therapeutically target the tumor environment becomes a key question for current breast cancer therapy. Our research goal is to develop more novel strategies targeting tumor environment cells to improve the efficacy of current cancer therapeutics, and ultimately prolong the lives of cancer patients.
07, 2017 – present：Postdoctoral Associate, Dr. Guangwen Ren lab, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
03, 2014 – 06, 2017：Lecturer, The Institute of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China
09, 2007–12, 2013 Ph.D., Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China. Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
09, 2003 – 07, 2007 Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.), College of Life Science, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China
Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are major transcription factors activating the expression of genes involved in biosynthesis of cholesterol, fatty acid and triglyceride. In this study, we identified a small molecule, betulin, that specifically inhibited the maturation of SREBP by inducing interaction of SREBP cleavage activating protein (SCAP) and Insig. Inhibition of SREBP by betulin decreased the biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acid. In vivo, betulin ameliorated diet-induced obesity, decreased the lipid contents in serum and tissues, and increased insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, betulin reduced the size and improved the stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Our study demonstrates that inhibition SREBP pathway can be employed as a therapeutic strategy to treat metabolic diseases including type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. Betulin, which is abundant in birch bark, could be a leading compound for development of drugs for hyperlipidemia.