Shuyang  Chen,  PhD

Shuyang Chen, PhD

Assistant Staff

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


In the United States, about 1/50 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and melanoma incidence increases at an estimated rate of 3% yearly. The Chen lab has primary research interests in the environmental and genetic factors contributing to melanoma development. One of our research is focusing on the reasons redheaded people are more likely to develop melanoma. Melanoma disproportionately affects redheads, as mutations in the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), known to control the melanocyte cells producing pigment, make these redheads unable to tan or have pigmentation to protect their skin. Currently, the lab is using physiologically relevant animal models to study the role of MC1R in melanoma development. Expected outcomes will bring novel insights into the mechanisms of melanoma development and identify novel intervention strategies to combat melanoma.

Selected publications:

1. Yin C, Zhu B, Zhang T, Liu T, Chen S, Liu Y, Li X, Miao X, Li S, Mi X, Zhang J, Li L, Wei G, Xu ZX, Gao X, Huang C, Wei Z, Goding CR, Wang P, Deng X, Cui R. Pharmacological Targeting of STK19 Inhibits Oncogenic NRAS-Driven Melanomagenesis. Cell. 2019 Feb 21;176(5):1113-1127.e16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.002. Epub 2019 Jan 31. PubMed PMID: 30712867.

2. Chen S, Han C, Miao X, Li X, Yin C, Zou J, Liu M, Li S, Stawski L, Zhu B, Shi Q, Xu ZX, Li C, Goding CR, Zhou J, Cui R. Targeting MC1R depalmitoylation to prevent melanomagenesis in redheads. Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 20;10(1):877. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08691-3. PubMed PMID: 30787281; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6382811.

3. Zhu B, Tang L, Chen S, Yin C, Peng S, Li X, Liu T, Liu W, Han C, Stawski L, Xu ZX, Zhou G, Chen X, Gao X, Goding CR, Xu N, Cui R, Cao P. Targeting the upstream transcriptional activator of PD-L1 as an alternative strategy in melanoma therapy. Oncogene. 2018 Sep;37(36):4941-4954. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0314-0. Epub 2018 May 22. PubMed PMID: 29786078.

4. Zhu B, Chen S, Wang H, Yin C, Han C, Peng C, Liu Z, Wan L, Zhang X, Zhang J, Lian CG, Ma P, Xu ZX, Prince S, Wang T, Gao X, Shi Y, Liu D, Liu M, Wei W, Wei Z, Pan J, Wang Y, Xuan Z, Hess J, Hayward NK, Goding CR, Chen X, Zhou J, Cui R. The protective role of DOT1L in UV-induced melanomagenesis. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 17;9(1):259. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02687-7. PubMed PMID: 29343685; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5772495.

5. Chen S, Zhu B, Yin C, Liu W, Han C, Chen B, Liu T, Li X, Chen X, Li C, Hu L, Zhou J, Xu ZX, Gao X, Wu X, Goding CR, Cui R. Palmitoylation-dependent activation of MC1R prevents melanomagenesis. Nature. 2017 Sep 21;549(7672):399-403. doi: 10.1038/nature23887. Epub 2017 Sep 6. PubMed PMID: 28869973; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5902815.

6. Robles-Espinoza CD, Roberts ND, Chen S, Leacy FP, Alexandrov LB, Pornputtapong N, Halaban R, Krauthammer M, Cui R, Timothy Bishop D, Adams DJ. Germline MC1R status influences somatic mutation burden in melanoma. Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 12;7:12064. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12064. PubMed PMID: 27403562; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4945874.

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