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Taiping Chen, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX

Research Interests

Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, play crucial roles in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression. Over the last two decades, great progress has been made in identifying the enzymes responsible for adding and erasing these modifications. However, the biological functions of most epigenetic modifiers remain poorly understood. Our laboratory is interested in unraveling epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease. We use a variety of model systems, including mice, embryonic stem (ES) cells, and other cell lines, to investigate the roles of epigenetic modifiers in various biological processes, including embryogenesis, gametogenesis, metabolism, and tumorigenesis. Currently, we are pursuing the following projects:


  1. Defining the interplays between histone lysine methylation and DNA methylation in the establishment of genomic imprinting during gametogenesis.
  2. Exploring the role of the histone demethylase KDM1B (also known as LSD2 or AOF1) in cancer formation and progression.
  3. Investigating the roles of the histone methyltransferase SetDB1 (also known as ESET or KMT1E) in metabolism, immunity, tissue regeneration and repair, and stem cell functions.

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1808 Park Road 1C
P.O. Box 389
Unit Number: 0116
Smithville, TX 78957
Phone: (512) 237-9479
Fax: (512) 237-2475
Email: tchen2@mdanderson.org

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2000 McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, PHD, Molecular and Cell Biology
1996 The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, MS, Biology
1988 Xi'an Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, MD, Clinical Medicine

Postgraduate Training

2000-2003 Postdoctoral Research, DNA methylation in mammalian development, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Honors and Awards

2011-2016 CPRIT Rising Star Award, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
2009 Catalyst Award, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
2007 Catalyst Award, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
2001-2003 Long-term Fellowship, Human Frontier Science Program
2000-2001 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
2000 Dean's Honor List, McGill University
2000 Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Cancer Institute of Canada
1998-2000 Doctoral Research Award, Medical Research Council of Canada
1998 Terry Fox Studenship, National Cancer Institute of Canada
1997-1998 CRS Studenship, Cancer Research Society Inc. Canada
1997 Canderal Studenship, McGill University

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Stadtfeld M, Apostolou E, Ferrari F, Choi J, Walsh RM, Chen T, Ooi SS, Kim SY, Bestor TH, Shioda T, Park PJ, Hochedlinger K. Ascorbic acid prevents loss of Dlk1-Dio3 imprinting and facilitates generation of all-iPS cell mice from terminally differentiated B cells. Nat Genet 44(4):398-405, S1-2, 4/2012. e-Pub 3/4/2012. PMID: 22387999.
2. Xu Y, Wu F, Tan L, Kong L, Xiong L, Deng J, Barbera AJ, Zheng L, Zhang H, Huang S, Min J, Nicholson T, Chen T, Xu G, Shi Y, Zhang K, Shi YG. Genome-wide regulation of 5hmC, 5mC, and gene expression by Tet1 hydroxylase in mouse embryonic stem cells. Mol Cell 42(4):451-64, 5/2011. e-Pub 4/2011. PMCID: PMC3099128.
3. Cho HS, Suzuki T, Dohmae N, Hayami S, Unoki M, Yoshimatsu M, Toyokawa G, Takawa M, Chen T, Kurash JK, Field HI, Ponder BA, Nakamura Y, Hamamoto R. Demethylation of RB regulator MYPT1 by histone demethylase LSD1 promotes cell cycle progression in cancer cells. Cancer Res 71(3):655-60, 2/1/2011. e-Pub 11/29/2010. PMID: 21115810.
4. Nguyen AT, Xiao B, Neppl RL, Kallin EM, Li J, Chen T, Wang DZ, Xiao X, Zhang Y. DOT1L regulates dystrophin expression and is critical for cardiac function. Genes Dev 25(3):263-74, 2/2011. PMCID: PMC3034901.
5. Singh P, Han L, Rivas GE, Lee DH, Nicholson TB, Larson GP, Chen T, Szabó PE. Allele-specific H3K79 Di- versus trimethylation distinguishes opposite parental alleles at imprinted regions. Mol Cell Biol 30(11):2693-707, 6/2010. e-Pub 3/2010. PMCID: PMC2876510.
6. Lohmann F, Loureiro J, Su H, Fang Q, Lei H, Lewis T, Yang Y, Labow M, Li E, Chen T, Kadam S. KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation is required for the maintenance of embryonic stem cells by repressing trophectoderm differentiation. Stem Cells 28(2):201-12, 2/2010. PMID: 20014010.
7. Ciccone DN, Su H, Hevi S, Gay F, Lei H, Bajko J, Xu G, Li E, Chen T. KDM1B is a histone H3K4 demethylase required to establish maternal genomic imprints. Nature 461(7262):415-8, 9/2009. e-Pub 9/2009. PMID: 19727073.
8. Yu Z, Chen T, Hébert J, Li E, Richard S. A mouse PRMT1 null allele defines an essential role for arginine methylation in genome maintenance and cell proliferation. Mol Cell Biol 29(11):2982-96, 6/2009. e-Pub 3/2009. PMCID: PMC2681996.
9. Wang J, Hevi S, Kurash JK, Lei H, Gay F, Bajko J, Su H, Sun W, Chang H, Xu G, Gaudet F, Li E, Chen T. The lysine demethylase LSD1 (KDM1) is required for maintenance of global DNA methylation. Nat Genet 41(1):125-9, 1/2009. e-Pub 12/21/2008. PMID: 19098913.
10. Benetti R, Gonzalo S, Jaco I, Muñoz P, Gonzalez S, Schoeftner S, Murchison E, Andl T, Chen T, Klatt P, Li E, Serrano M, Millar S, Hannon G, Blasco MA. A mammalian microRNA cluster controls DNA methylation and telomere recombination via Rbl2-dependent regulation of DNA methyltransferases. Nat Struct Mol Biol 15(9):998, 9/2008. PMID: 18769471.
11. Hu YG, Hirasawa R, Hu JL, Hata K, Li CL, Jin Y, Chen T, Li E, Rigolet M, Viegas-Péquignot E, Sasaki H, Xu GL. Regulation of DNA methylation activity through Dnmt3L promoter methylation by Dnmt3 enzymes in embryonic development. Hum Mol Genet 17(17):2654-64, 9/2008. e-Pub 6/2008. PMID: 18544626.
12. Schmid RS, Tsujimoto N, Qu Q, Lei H, Li E, Chen T, Blaustein CS. A methyl-CpG-binding protein 2-enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter mouse model provides a new tool for studying the neuronal basis of Rett syndrome. Neuroreport 19(4):393-8, 3/2008. PMID: 18287934.
13. Jones B, Su H, Bhat A, Lei H, Bajko J, Hevi S, Baltus GA, Kadam S, Zhai H, Valdez R, Gonzalo S, Zhang Y, Li E, Chen T. The histone H3K79 methyltransferase Dot1L is essential for mammalian development and heterochromatin structure. PLoS Genet 4(9):e1000190, 2008. e-Pub 9/2008. PMCID: PMC2527135.
14. Li JY, Pu MT, Hirasawa R, Li BZ, Huang YN, Zeng R, Jing NH, Chen T, Li E, Sasaki H, Xu GL. Synergistic function of DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b in the methylation of Oct4 and Nanog. Mol Cell Biol 27(24):8748-59, 12/2007. e-Pub 10/2007. PMCID: PMC2169413.
15. Chen T, Hevi S, Gay F, Tsujimoto N, He T, Zhang B, Ueda Y, Li E. Complete inactivation of DNMT1 leads to mitotic catastrophe in human cancer cells. Nat Genet 39(3):391-6, 3/2007. e-Pub 2/2007. PMID: 17322882.
16. Gonzalo S, Jaco I, Fraga MF, Chen T, Li E, Esteller M, Blasco MA. DNA methyltransferases control telomere length and telomere recombination in mammalian cells. Nat Cell Biol 8(4):416-24, 4/2006. e-Pub 3/2006. PMID: 16565708.
17. Ueda Y, Okano M, Williams C, Chen T, Georgopoulos K, Li E. Roles for Dnmt3b in mammalian development: a mouse model for the ICF syndrome. Development 133(6):1183-92, 3/2006. PMID: 16501171.
18. Zhu H, Geiman TM, Xi S, Jiang Q, Schmidtmann A, Chen T, Li E, Muegge K. Lsh is involved in de novo methylation of DNA. EMBO J 25(2):335-45, 1/2006. e-Pub 1/2006. PMCID: PMC1383509.
19. Richard S, Torabi N, Franco GV, Tremblay GA, Chen T, Vogel G, Morel M, Cléroux P, Forget-Richard A, Komarova S, Tremblay ML, Li W, Li A, Gao YJ, Henderson JE. Ablation of the Sam68 RNA binding protein protects mice from age-related bone loss. PLoS Genet 1(6):e74, 12/2005. e-Pub 12/2005. PMCID: PMC1315279.
20. Dodge JE, Okano M, Dick F, Tsujimoto N, Chen T, Wang S, Ueda Y, Dyson N, Li E. Inactivation of Dnmt3b in mouse embryonic fibroblasts results in DNA hypomethylation, chromosomal instability, and spontaneous immortalization. J Biol Chem 280(18):17986-91, 5/2005. e-Pub 3/2005. PMID: 15757890.
21. Fang J, Chen T, Chadwick B, Li E, Zhang Y. Ring1b-mediated H2A ubiquitination associates with inactive X chromosomes and is involved in initiation of X inactivation. J Biol Chem 279(51):52812-5, 12/2004. e-Pub 10/2004. PMID: 15509584.
22. Chen T, Tsujimoto N, Li E. The PWWP domain of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is required for directing DNA methylation to the major satellite repeats at pericentric heterochromatin. Mol Cell Biol 24(20):9048-58, 10/2004. PMCID: PMC517890.
23. Chen T, Ueda Y, Dodge JE, Wang Z, Li E. Establishment and maintenance of genomic methylation patterns in mouse embryonic stem cells by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. Mol Cell Biol 23(16):5594-605, 8/2003. PMCID: PMC166327.
24. Lehnertz B, Ueda Y, Derijck AA, Braunschweig U, Perez-Burgos L, Kubicek S, Chen T, Li E, Jenuwein T, Peters AH. Suv39h-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 methylation directs DNA methylation to major satellite repeats at pericentric heterochromatin. Curr Biol 13(14):1192-200, 7/2003. PMID: 12867029.
25. Larocque D, Pilotte J, Chen T, Cloutier F, Massie B, Pedraza L, Couture R, Lasko P, Almazan G, Richard S. Nuclear retention of MBP mRNAs in the quaking viable mice. Neuron 36(5):815-29, 12/2002. PMID: 12467586.
26. Chen T, Ueda Y, Xie S, Li E. A novel Dnmt3a isoform produced from an alternative promoter localizes to euchromatin and its expression correlates with active de novo methylation. J Biol Chem 277(41):38746-54, 10/2002. e-Pub 7/2002. PMID: 12138111.
27. Chen T, Cote J, Richard S. Identification of Sam68 arginine glycine-rich sequences capable of conferring non-specific RNA binding to the GSG domain. J Biol Chem 276(33):30803-11, 8/2001. PMID: 11395494.
28. Derry JJ, Richard S, Valderrama Carvajal H, Ye X, Vasioukhin V, Cochrane AW, Chen T, Tyner AL. Sik (BRK) phosphorylates Sam68 in the nucleus and negatively regulates its RNA binding ability. Mol Cell Biol 20(16):6114-26, 8/2000. PMID: 10913193.
29. Chen T, Boisvert FM, Bazett-Jones DP, Richard S. A role for the GSG domain in localizing Sam68 to novel nuclear structures in cancer cell lines. Mol Biol Cell 10(9):3015-33, 9/1999. PMID: 10473643.
30. Di Fruscio M, Chen T, Richard S. Characterization of Sam68-like mammalian proteins SLM-1 and SLM-2: SLM-1 is a Src substrate during mitosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96(6):2710-5, 3/1999. PMID: 10077576.
31. Aarts MM, Levy D, He B, Stregger S, Chen T, Richard S, Henderson JE. Parathyroid hormone-related protein interacts with RNA. J Biol Chem 274(8):4832-8, 2/1999. PMID: 9988723.
32. Di Fruscio M, Chen T, Bonyadi S, Lasko P, Richard S. The identification of two Drosophila K homology domain proteins. Kep1 and SAM are members of the Sam68 family of GSG domain proteins. J Biol Chem 273(46):30122-30, 11/1998. PMID: 9804767.
33. Chen T, Richard S. Structure-function analysis of Qk1: a lethal point mutation in mouse quaking prevents homodimerization. Mol Cell Biol 18(8):4863-71, 8/1998. PMID: 9671495.
34. Chen T, Damaj BB, Herrera C, Lasko P, Richard S. Self-association of the single-KH-domain family members Sam68, GRP33, GLD-1, and Qk1: role of the KH domain. Mol Cell Biol 17(10):5707-18, 10/1997. PMID: 9315629.
35. Rael ED, Rivas JZ, Chen T, Maddux N, Huizar E, Lieb CS. Differences in fibrinolysis and complement inactivation by venom from different northern blacktailed rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus molossus). Toxicon 35:505-13, 1997.
36. Chen T, Rael ED. Purification of M5, a fibrinolytic proteinase from Crotalus molossus molossus venom that attacks complements. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 29:789-99, 1997.

Invited Articles

1. He XJ, Chen T, Zhu JK. Regulation and function of DNA methylation in plants and animals. Cell Res 21(3):442-65, 3/2011. e-Pub 2/2011. PMCID: PMC3152208.
2. Chen T. Mechanistic and functional links between histone methylation and DNA methylation. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 101:335-48, 2011.
3. Nicholson TB, Chen T, Richard S. The physiological and pathophysiological role of PRMT1-mediated protein arginine methylation. Pharmacol Res 60(6):466-74, 12/2009. e-Pub 7/2009. PMID: 19643181.
4. Ciccone DN, Chen T. Histone lysine methylation in genomic imprinting. Epigenetics 4(4):216-20, 5/2009. e-Pub 5/2009. PMID: 19483465.
5. Nicholson TB, Chen T. LSD1 demethylates histone and non-histone proteins. Epigenetics 4(3):129-32, 4/1/2009. e-Pub 4/14/2009. PMID: 19395867.
6. Chen T, Li E. Establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation patterns in mammals. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 301:179-201, 2006.
7. Chen T, Li E. Structure and function of eukaryotic DNA methyltransferases. Curr Top Dev Biol 60:55-89, 2004. PMID: 15094296.

Book Chapters

1. Chen T, Li E. DNA methylation regulates genomic imprinting, X inactivation, and gene expression during mammalian development. In: Gene Expression and Regulation. Ed(s) J Ma. Higher Education Press & Springer: Beijing, 377-91, 2005.

Last updated: 8/6/2013