The major goal of my laboratory is to understand how critical transcription factors mediate prostate cancer oncogenesis. Prostate cancers uniquely harbor very few mutations in well-known driver oncogenes (e.g., RAS, BRAF, etc.). Instead, they are characterized by aberrations in transcription factors, including the androgen receptor (AR) and ETS family transcription factors. These oncogenic transcription factors regulate a transcriptional program that determines cellular lineage, specifies the responses to external stimuli, and contributes to the oncogenic cellular context in prostate cancer. Our long-term goal is to generate an integrative understanding of how transcription factors normally guide the prostate lineage determination and how their deregulation leads to cancer. In addition, using biochemistry and genetic screens, we are pursuing ways to target the activity of these transcription factors that can lead to drug discovery.

Publications

Welsbie DS, Xu J, Chen Y, Borsu L, Scher HI, Rosen N, Sawyers CL. Histone deacetylases are required for androgen receptor function in hormone-sensitive and castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 1;69(3):958-66. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2216. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Tran C, Ouk S, Clegg NJ, Chen Y, Watson PA, Arora V, Wongvipat J, Smith-Jones PM, Yoo D, Kwon A, Wasielewska T, Welsbie D, Chen CD, Higano CS, Beer TM, Hung DT, Scher HI, Jung ME, Sawyers CL. Development of a second-generation antiandrogen for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Science. 2009 May 8;324(5928):787-90. doi: 10.1126/science.1168175. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Chi P, Chen Y, Zhang L, Guo X, Wongvipat J, Shamu T, Fletcher JA, Dewell S, Maki RG, Zheng D, Antonescu CR, Allis CD, Sawyers CL. ETV1 is a lineage survival factor that cooperates with KIT in gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Nature. 2010 Oct 14;467(7317):849-53. doi: 10.1038/nature09409. Epub 2010 Oct 3.

Yoshioka T, Otero J, Chen Y, Kim YM, Koutcher JA, Satagopan J, Reuter V, Carver B, de Stanchina E, Enomoto K, Greenberg NM, Scardino PT, Scher HI, Sawyers CL, Giancotti FG. β4 Integrin signaling induces expansion of prostate tumor progenitors. J Clin Invest. 2013 Feb 1;123(2):682-99. doi: 10.1172/JCI60720. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Chen Y, Chi P, Rockowitz S, Iaquinta PJ, Shamu T, Shukla S, Gao D, Sirota I, Carver BS, Wongvipat J, Scher HI, Zheng D, Sawyers CL. ETS factors reprogram the androgen receptor cistrome and prime prostate tumorigenesis in response to PTEN loss. Nature Medicine. In press.

Laboratory phone:
646-888-3350
View Yu Chen’s physician profile.
Selected Achievements

Louis V. Gerstner Young Investigator Award, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2011)

Young Investigator Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation (2011)

Physician Research Training Award, Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (2010)

Advanced Fellowship Award, Charles H. Revson Foundation (2009)

K08 Clinical Scientist Development Award, National Institutes of Health (2009)

Clinical Scholars Award, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2008)

Young Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2007)

Clinical Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research/Bristol-Myers Squibb (2007)