Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Huacheng Luo, PhD

Huacheng Luo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Huacheng Luo’s current studies are focused on cancer/tumor genetics and epigenetics research fields. One of his current projects involves targeting CTCF boundary remodels chromatin domain and reprograms HOX gene transcription in acute myeloid leukemia. In this research, he employed a pooled CRISPR-Cas9 genetic knockout (KO) library screening to interrogate CTCF binding motifs in all HOX loci and identified a critical CTCF boundary (CBS7/9) located at the edge of TAD encompassing the posterior HOXA genes. He found that CBS7/9 chromatin boundary is critical for initiating and maintaining aberrant expression of posterior HOXA genes (HOXA9-HOXA13).

To further investigate the role of CBS7/9 chromatin boundary in HOX gene organization and regulation, he then carried out genome wide ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, 4C-seq and RNA-seq analysis to examine the global changes in chromatin domain organization and corresponding gene expression patterns between control and CBS7/9 knockout AML cells. Depletion of the CBS7/9 boundary function leads to expansion of repressive chromatin structure into posterior HOXA domain, blocking enhancer/promoter chromatin accessibility and their associated regulatory networks, decreases in HOXA9 associated oncogenic transcription program and eventually prolonged survival of transplanted AML mouse models. The CTCF boundaries in the oncogene loci such as CBS7/9 may serve as novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of myeloid malignancies.

Dr. Luo is also focused on the studies of the HOX loc lncRNAs function in human normal and malignant hematopoiesis, including HOTTIP and HoxBlinc lncRNAs. He found that HOTTIP/HoxBlinc lncRNA preferentially recognizes and binds to noncoding regulatory regions in the AML genome and specifically regulates genes important for hematopoietic and myeloid lineage differentiation.

  • Chromatin
  • Genes
  • Neoplasms
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Stem Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Cell Line
  • Genome
  • Leukemia
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Recent Publications


Zeisig, BB, Fung, TK, Zarowiecki, M, Tsai, CT, Luo, H, Stanojevic, B, Lynn, C, Leung, AYH, Zuna, J, Zaliova, M, Bornhauser, M, von Bonin, M, Lenhard, B, Huang, S, Mufti, GJ & Eric So, CW 2021, 'Functional reconstruction of human AML reveals stem cell origin and vulnerability of treatment-resistant MLL-rearranged leukemia', Science Translational Medicine, vol. 13, no. 582, eabc4822.
Zhu, G, Luo, H, Feng, Y, Guryanova, OA, Xu, J, Chen, S, Lai, Q, Sharma, A, Xu, B, Zhao, Z, Feng, R, Ni, H, Claxton, D, Guo, Y, Mesa, RA, Qiu, Y, Yang, FC, Li, W, Nimer, SD, Huang, S & Xu, M 2021, 'HOXBLINC long non-coding RNA activation promotes leukemogenesis in NPM1-mutant acute myeloid leukemia', Nature communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 1956.
Luo, H, Li, X, Tian, GG, Li, D, Hou, C, Ding, X, Hou, L, Lyu, Q, Yang, Y, Cooney, AJ, Xie, W, Xiong, J, Wang, H, Zhao, X & Wu, J 2021, 'Offspring production of ovarian organoids derived from spermatogonial stem cells by defined factors with chromatin reorganization', Journal of Advanced Research.


Li, Y, Liao, Z, Luo, H, Benyoucef, A, Kang, Y, Lai, Q, Dovat, S, Miller, B, Chepelev, I, Li, Y, Zhao, K, Brand, M & Huang, S 2020, 'Alteration of CTCF-associated chromatin neighborhood inhibits TAL1-driven oncogenic transcription program and leukemogenesis', Nucleic acids research, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 3119-3133.
FAN, ZHUOYI, LUO, HUACHENG, ZHOU, JIE, WANG, FANGCE, ZHANG, WENJUN, WANG, JIAN, LI, SHUO, LAI, QIAN, XU, YUESHUANG, WANG, GUANGMING, LIANG, AIBIN & XU, JUN 2020, 'Checkpoint kinase-1 inhibition and etoposide exhibit a strong synergistic anticancer effect on chronic myeloid leukemia cell line K562 by impairing homologous recombination DNA damage repair', Oncology reports, vol. 44, no. 5, pp. 2152-2164.
Luo, H, Yu, Q, Liu, Y, Tang, M, Liang, M, Zhang, D, Xiao, TS, Wu, L, Tan, M, Ruan, Y, Bungert, J & Lu, J 2020, 'LATS kinase–mediated CTCF phosphorylation and selective loss of genomic binding', Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 8, eaaw4651.


Luo, H, Zhu, G, Xu, J, Lai, Q, Yan, B, Guo, Y, Fung, TK, Zeisig, BB, Cui, Y, Zha, J, Cogle, C, Wang, F, Xu, B, Yang, FC, Li, W, So, CWE, Qiu, Y, Xu, M & Huang, S 2019, 'HOTTIP lncRNA Promotes Hematopoietic Stem Cell Self-Renewal Leading to AML-like Disease in Mice', Cancer Cell, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 645-659.e8.
Luo, H, Sobh, A, Vulpe, CD, Brewer, E, Dovat, S, Qiu, Y & Huang, S 2019, 'HOX Loci Focused CRISPR/sgRNA Library Screening Identifying Critical CTCF Boundaries', Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, no. 145.


Luo, H, Wang, F, Zha, J, Li, H, Yan, B, Du, Q, Yang, F, Sobh, A, Vulpe, C, Drusbosky, L, Cogle, C, Chepelev, I, Xu, B, Nimer, SD, Licht, J, Qiu, Y, Chen, B, Xu, M & Huang, S 2018, 'CTCF boundary remodels chromatin domain and drives aberrant HOX gene transcription in acute myeloid leukemia', Blood, vol. 132, no. 8, pp. 837-848.

Clinical Trials Search

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Adults (age >= 18 years)