Zidong Li

Zidong Li staff profile picture

School of Fundamental Sciences
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Characterisation of pseudogene-like EP400NL in chromatin remodelling and transcriptional regulation

Research Description
EP400 is a chromatin remodelling enzyme that has been implicated in DNA double-strand break repair and transcription regulation. Our recent data indicates that the N-terminal domain of EP400 increases the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs against cancer cells. Interestingly, we found that EP400 N-terminal-Like (EP400NL) gene resides right next to the EP400 gene locus, suggesting its potential regulatory function in the DNA damage response and transcription. The proto-oncogene Myc is a transcription factor over-expressed in many cancers and required for cell growth. In particular, EP400 seems to exhibit critical role in the function of Myc oncogene and other transcriptional factors. Therefore, EP400NL is likely to play a role in the oncogenesis and can be regarded as a potential cancer therapeutic target. Previous evidence has shown that the oncogenic transcription factor Myc can be stabilized via EP400 for the transcriptional induction of its targeted genes. Since PD-L1 is a Myc target gene and heavily involved in inhibitory immune response by allowing tumour cells to escape or suppress host immune surveillance. This can result in the inactivation of T-cells through PD-L1/PD-1 interaction. Therefore, elucidating the association between PD-L1 and p400NL will shed light on strategies for developing new cancer therapeutics.

Personal Description
I received my bachelor's degree in Biological Science at University of Tsukuba (Tsukuba, Japan) and obtained my master's degree in the field of Molecular Biology at The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). During my time at UQ, I was given the opportunity to take part in two major research based projects. It was during this time that I was first introduced to molecular cancer biology and I was immediately captivated. My passion for cancer biomedical research continued to thrive and is what ultimately led me to pursue my PhD at Massey.

Dr Helen Fitzsimons
Dr Tracy Hale
Dr Jeong Park