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Shengyu Yang, PhD

Shengyu Yang, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis
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Research Interests

The long-term research interest in Dr. Shengyu Yang’s lab is to understand the mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis and developing novel therapeutic strategies in the prevention and treatment of cancer metastasis.

The research in the lab currently focus on two areas related to mitochondrial signaling and metabolism in cancer metastasis.

The first area of research effort is to understand how the actin cytoskeleton remodeling in lung adenocarcinoma promotes metastatic colonization by controlling mitochondrial DNA homeostasis and augmenting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. The second area of research effort is to understand the role of mitochondrial calcium signaling in the control of metabolic stress resistance by activating the Keap1-Nrf2 antioxidant response program in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

  • Neoplasms
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms
  • fascin
  • Cell Movement
  • Proteins
  • Calcium
  • Growth
  • Actins
  • Genes
  • Breast Neoplasms

Recent Publications


Ruggiero, C, Tamburello, M, Rossini, E, Zini, S, Durand, N, Cantini, G, Cioppi, F, Hantel, C, Kiseljak-Vassiliades, K, Wierman, ME, Landwehr, LS, Weigand, I, Kurlbaum, M, Zizioli, D, Turtoi, A, Yang, S, Berruti, A, Luconi, M, Sigala, S & Lalli, E 2023, 'FSCN1 as a new druggable target in adrenocortical carcinoma', International Journal of Cancer, vol. 153, no. 1, pp. 210-223.
Zhou, T, Xie, Y, Hou, X, Bai, W, Li, X, Liu, Z, Man, Q, Sun, J, Fu, D, Yan, J, Zhang, Z, Wang, Y, Wang, H, Jiang, W, Gao, S, Zhao, T, Chang, A, Wang, X, Sun, H, Zhang, X, Yang, S, Huang, C, Hao, J & Liu, J 2023, 'Irbesartan overcomes gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer by suppressing stemness and iron metabolism via inhibition of the Hippo/YAP1/c-Jun axis', Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 42, no. 1, 111.
Qi, YL, Li, YZ, Tan, MJ, Yuan, FF, Murthy, N, Duan, YT, Zhu, HL & Yang, SY 2023, 'Recent advances in organic near-infrared ratiometric small-molecule fluorescent probes', Coordination Chemistry Reviews, vol. 486, 215130.
Liu, J, Bai, W, Zhou, T, Xie, Y, Yang, B, Sun, J, Wang, Y, Li, X, Hou, X, Liu, Z, Fu, D, Yan, J, Jiang, W, Zhao, K, Zhou, B, Yuan, S, Guo, Y, Wang, H, Chang, A, Gao, S, Shi, L, Huang, C, Yang, S & Hao, J 2023, 'SDCBP promotes pancreatic cancer progression by preventing YAP1 from β-TrCP-mediated proteasomal degradation', Gut, vol. 72, no. 9, pp. 1722-1737.


Li, Z, Ge, Y, Dong, J, Wang, H, Zhao, T, Wang, X, Liu, J, Gao, S, Shi, L, Yang, S, Huang, C & Hao, J 2022, 'BZW1 Facilitates Glycolysis and Promotes Tumor Growth in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Through Potentiating eIF2α Phosphorylation', Gastroenterology, vol. 162, no. 4, pp. 1256-1271.e14.
Zhao, T, Xiao, D, Jin, F, Sun, X, Yu, J, Wang, H, Liu, J, Cai, W, Huang, C, Wang, X, Gao, S, Liu, Z, Yang, S, Gao, C & Hao, J 2022, 'ESE3-positive PSCs drive pancreatic cancer fibrosis, chemoresistance and poor prognosis via tumour–stromal IL-1β/NF–κB/ESE3 signalling axis', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 127, no. 8, pp. 1461-1472.
Wang, X, Li, Y, Li, Z, Lin, S, Wang, H, Sun, J, Lan, C, Wu, L, Sun, D, Huang, C, Singh, PK, Hempel, N, Trebak, M, DeNicola, GM, Hao, J & Yang, S 2022, 'Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Drives Metastasis and Confers a Targetable Cystine Dependency in Pancreatic Cancer', Cancer Research, vol. 82, no. 12, pp. 2254-2268.
Qi, YL, Wang, HR, Chen, LL, Duan, YT, Yang, SY & Zhu, HL 2022, 'Recent advances in small-molecule fluorescent probes for studying ferroptosis', Chemical Society Reviews, vol. 51, no. 18, pp. 7752-7778.
Gao, S, Hao, J, Yuan, S, Xu, J, Zhou, B, Zhou, Y, Lang, M, Cao, J, Liu, Z & Yang, S 2022, 'SOX8 Affects Tumoral SPARC Expression by Regulating EZH2 to Attenuate Effectiveness of albumin-bound paclitaxel in PDAC', International Journal of Biological Sciences, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 911-922.


Yu, X, Liu, W, Wang, Z, Wang, H, Liu, J, Huang, C, Zhao, T, Wang, X, Gao, S, Ma, Y, Wu, L, Li, X, Yang, S & Hao, J 2021, 'CD73 induces gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: A promising target with non-canonical mechanisms', Cancer Letters, vol. 519, pp. 289-303.
Lin, S, Li, Y, Wang, D, Huang, C, Marino, D, Bollt, O, Wu, C, Taylor, MD, Li, W, DeNicola, GM, Hao, J, Singh, PK & Yang, S 2021, 'Fascin promotes lung cancer growth and metastasis by enhancing glycolysis and PFKFB3 expression', Cancer Letters, vol. 518, pp. 230-242.
Dong, J, Yu, J, Li, Z, Gao, S, Wang, H, Yang, S, Wu, L, Lan, C, Zhao, T, Gao, C, Liu, Z, Wang, X & Hao, J 2021, 'Serum insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 levels as biomarker for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma-associated malnutrition and muscle wasting', Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 704-716.
Lu, F, Li, Y, Lin, S, Cheng, H & Yang, S 2021, 'Spatiotemporal regulation of store-operated calcium entry in cancer metastasis', Biochemical Society transactions, vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 2581-2589.


Zhou, T, Liu, J, Xie, Y, Yuan, S, Guo, Y, Bai, W, Zhao, K, Jiang, W, Wang, H, Wang, H, Zhao, T, Huang, C, Gao, S, Wang, X, Yang, S & Hao, J 2022, 'ESE3/EHF, a promising target of rosiglitazone, suppresses pancreatic cancer stemness by downregulating CXCR4', Gut, vol. 71, no. 2, pp. 357-371.
Lin, S, Taylor, MD, Singh, PK & Yang, S 2021, 'How does fascin promote cancer metastasis?', FEBS Journal, vol. 288, no. 5, pp. 1434-1446.
Zhao, T, Jin, F, Xiao, D, Wang, H, Huang, C, Wang, X, Gao, S, Liu, J, Yang, S & Hao, J 2020, 'IL-37/ STAT3/ HIF-1α negative feedback signaling drives gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer', Theranostics, vol. 10, no. 9, pp. 4088-4100.
Jiao, D & Yang, S 2020, 'Overcoming Resistance to Drugs Targeting KRASG12C Mutation', The Innovation, vol. 1, no. 2, 100035.
Wang, X, Li, X, Wei, X, Jiang, H, Lan, C, Yang, S, Wang, H, Yang, Y, Tian, C, Xu, Z, Zhang, J, Hao, J & Ren, H 2020, 'PD-L1 is a direct target of cancer-FOXP3 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and combined immunotherapy with antibodies against PD-L1 and CCL5 is effective in the treatment of PDAC', Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, vol. 5, no. 1, 38.


Lin, S, Huang, C, Gunda, V, Sun, J, Chellappan, SP, Li, Z, Izumi, V, Fang, B, Koomen, J, Singh, PK, Hao, J & Yang, S 2019, 'Fascin Controls Metastatic Colonization and Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation by Remodeling Mitochondrial Actin Filaments', Cell Reports, vol. 28, no. 11, pp. 2824-2836.e8.
Alhothali, M, Mathew, M, Iyer, G, Lawrence, HR, Yang, S, Chellappan, S & Padmanabhan, J 2019, 'Fendiline Enhances the Cytotoxic Effects of Therapeutic Agents on PDAC Cells by Inhibiting Tumor-Promoting Signaling Events: A Potential Strategy to Combat PDAC', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, no. 10.
Lu, F, Sun, J, Zheng, Q, Li, J, Hu, Y, Yu, P, He, H, Zhao, Y, Wang, X, Yang, S & Cheng, H 2019, 'Imaging elemental events of store-operated Ca2+ entry in invading cancer cells with plasmalemmal targeted sensors', Journal of Cell Science, vol. 132, no. 6, 224923.
Huang, C, Li, Y, Li, Z, Xu, Y, Li, N, Ge, Y, Dong, J, Chang, A, Zhao, T, Wang, X, Wang, H, Yang, S, Xie, K, Hao, J & Ren, H 2019, 'LIMS1 promotes pancreatic cancer cell survival under oxygen-glucose deprivation conditions by enhancing HIF1A protein translation', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 25, no. 13, pp. 4091-4103.
Keeley, TS, Yang, S & Lau, E 2019, 'The diverse contributions of fucose linkages in cancer', Cancers, vol. 11, no. 9, 1241.
Lin, S, Huang, C, Sun, J, Bollt, O, Wang, X, Martine, E, Kang, J, Taylor, MD, Fang, B, Singh, PK, Koomen, J, Hao, J & Yang, S 2019, 'The mitochondrial deoxyguanosine kinase is required for cancer cell stemness in lung adenocarcinoma', EMBO Molecular Medicine, vol. 11, no. 12, e10849.
Liu, J, Jiang, W, Zhao, K, Wang, H, Zhou, T, Bai, W, Wang, X, Zhao, T, Huang, C, Gao, S, Qin, T, Yu, W, Yang, B, Li, X, Fu, D, Tan, W, Yang, S, Ren, H & Hao, J 2019, 'Tumoral EHF predicts the efficacy of anti-PD1 therapy in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma', Journal of Experimental Medicine, vol. 216, no. 3, pp. 656-673.