Feng XU  
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  Feng XU  
  Lab Location: #7-16

tel: 6586 9678
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  Key Publications  

Peng, X., Wu, J.Y., Brunmeir, R., Kim, S.Y., Zhang, Q.Y., Ding, C.M., Han, W.P., Xie, W. and Xu, F. * (2015)
TELP, a sensitive and versatile library construction method for next-generation sequencing.
Nucleic Acids Res. 43(6):e35.

Ramlee, M.K., Zhang, Q.Z., Idris, M., Peng, X., Sim, C.K., Han, W.P. and Xu, F. * (2014) Histone H3 K27 acetylation marks a potent enhancer for the adipogenic master regulator gene Pparg2.
Cell Cycle. 13(21), 3414-3422.

Gao, M., Sim, C.K., Leung, C., Hu, Q.L., Feng, G.X., Xu, F.* Tang, B.Z.* and Liu, B.* (2014)
A fluorescent light-up probe for specific mitochondrial imaging to identify differentiating brown adipose cells.
Chemical Communications. 50(61), 8312-8315.

Zhang, Q.Y., Ramlee, M.K., Brunmeir, R., Villanueva, C.J., Halperin, D. and Xu, F. * (2012)
Dynamic and distinct histone modifications modulate the expression of key adipogenesis regulatory genes.
Cell Cycle 11:23, 4310–4322.

Villanueva, C.J., Vergnes, L., Drew, B., Tu, Y.P., Hu, Y., Peng, X., Xu, F., Saez, E., Wroblewski, K., Hevener, A., Reue, K., Fong, L.G., Young, S.G. and Tontonoz, P.* (2013)
Adipose subtype-selective recruitment of TLE3 or Prdm16 by PPARg specifies lipid storage versus thermogenic gene programs.
Cell Metabolism 17, 423–435.

Xie, W., Song, C., Young, N.L., Sperling, A.S., Xu, F., Sridharan, R., Conway, A.E., Garcia, B.A., Plath, K., Clark, A.T. and Grunstein, M. (2009)
Histone H3 lysine 56 acetylation is linked to the core transcriptional network in human embryonic stem cells.
Molecular Cell. 33, 417-427.

Xu, F., Zhang, Q.Y., Zhang, K.L., Xie, W. and Grunstein, M. (2007)
Sir2 Deacetylates Histone H3 Lysine 56 to Regulate Telomeric Heterochromatin Structure in Yeast.
Molecular Cell. 27, 890-900.

Millar, C.B., Xu, F., Zhang, K.L. and Grunstein, M. (2006)
Acetylation of H2AZ Lys 14 is associated with genome-wide gene activity in yeast.
Genes & Development. 20 (6), 711-722.

Xu, F., Zhang, K.L. and Grunstein, M. (2005)
Acetylation in Histone H3 Globular Domain Regulates Gene Expression in Yeast.
Cell. 121,375-385.

Xu, F., Chen, X.L., Xin, L., Chen, L., Jin, Y.X. and Wang, D.B. (2001) Species-Specific Differences in the Operational RNA Code for Aminoacylation of tRNATrp.
Nucleic Acids Res. 29, 4125-4133.




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  Feng XU

Dr Dr. Feng Xu has been a principal investigator in the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS, A-STAR) since 2009. He also holds adjunct positions in the National University of Singapore and Duke-NUS. He obtained his Ph.D. from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2002. Then he was trained as a chromatin biologist in the lab of Dr. Michael Grunstein at University of California, Los Angeles. His current research interest centers on the epigenetic regulation of adipogenesis. This topic includes the study of microRNA, post-translational modifications on histone and non-histone proteins during white and brown fat cell differentiation. His previous and current research have been published in leading scientific journals including Cell, Molecular Cell and Cell Metabolism.


Synopsis of Research


Obesity and its related diseases such as diabetes increasingly are responsible for significant economic and social burdens in established and emerging countries. For instance, diabetes alone, is affecting more than 170 million people worldwide. As such, understanding the molecular mechanism that controls adipose (fat) cell differentiation would greatly enhance our ability to solve these problems. Adipogenesis is a complex physiological process that requires concerted regulation of gene expression by various adipogenic factors. Among these regulators are many histone modifying enzymes and chromatin remodelers, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms play essential roles in modulating adipogenesis. In addition to histone modifications, microRNA represents another major group of epigenetic regulators involved in diverse physiological processes including adipogenesis. Our current research centers on the function of histone modifications and microRNAs in white adipocyte differentiation. And we are extending our research to the epigenetic control of brown adipocyte differentiation as well as lineage commitment from multipotent stem cells. To fully decipher the epigenetic mechanisms controlling adipogenesis and lineage commitment, we utilize the advanced genomic and proteomic methodologies as well as classic biochemistry and molecular biology techniques in our study. Besides our basic research into the molecular mechanism of adipogenesis, we are also interested in identifying novel drug targets to treat obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.