Yi Tang, PhD

Associate Professor
Regenerative and Cancer Biology

Areas of Study

The p53 tumor suppressor in cancer


  • SUNY-Downstate Medical Center2004PhD


The long-term goal of research in the Tang laboratory is to understand the molecular basis for control of the tumor suppressor p53 in cancer.  The p53 tumor suppressor, which acts as a transcription factor, controls a genomic network that modulates cellular response to diverse stresses including DNA damage. Not surprisingly, p53 itself is exquisitely regulated through multiple signaling mechanisms that utilize protein-protein interactions and posttranscriptional modifications including ubiquitination, phosphorylation, and acetylation.  p53 level and activity are normally restrained by its negative regulators  Mdm2 (a p53 ubiquitin ligase) and Mdmx. Upon DNA damage, p53 levels are rapidly increased and p53 activated by the Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated kinase (ATM).  Indeed, several recent studies have identified ATM-mediated phosphorylation of Mdm2 and Mdmx as an important mechanism that regulates p53 stabilization.
We are currently focused on investigating the molecular mechanism for regulation of p53 stabilization and activation using a multidisciplinary approach including tools in molecular biology, genetics, protein biochemistry, and knockout mouse models.