Faculty Directory

Wenge Zhu

Wenge Zhu

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Office Phone: 202-994-3125
Email: Email
Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


  • BS, Nankai University, 1990
  • PhD, University of Vermont, 2003


Research Interests

DNA replication, DNA damage checkpoint and repair, histone modification, and identification of small molecules for cancer therapy.

Research Program

Maintenance of genome stability is extremely important in the cell cycle because instable genome is the primary contribution to cancer formation. Cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to prevent genomic instability during genome duplication, including DNA damage checkpoint, DNA damage repair, regulation of DNA replication, etc. The objective of our research is to investigate the mechanisms of how our cells maintain the stability of their genome and to utilize this information to identify new drugs for cancer treatment.

To accomplish this goal, we are conducting following research work. (1) Investigate the mechanisms of how cells response to DNA damage and repair damaged DNA. (2) Identify new compounds targeting DNA replication apparatus through high throughput screening (HTS) assays, and investigate the mechanisms of anti-cancer drug resistance to improve cancer treatment. (3) Investigate how cells prevent DNA re-replication (one type of genomic stability) in both normal and cancer cells. (4) Identify small molecules that selectively kill cancer cells by inducing DNA re-replication via HTS. 



View publications by this faculty member from January 1, 2013 - present

Gao L, D Li, C Jing, X Jia, T Xu, X Sun, W Zhang, S Wu, M Dong, M Deng, Y Chen, W Zhu, J Peng, F Wan, Y Zhou, L Zon, W Pan. TopBP1 Governs Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells Survival in Zebrafish Definitive Hematopoiesis. PLoS Genet. In press. 2015

Hao J., C. de Renty, Y. Li, H. Xiao, M.Kemp, Z.Han, M. DePamphilis, W. Zhu. And-1 coordinates with Claspin for efficient Chk1 activation in response to replication stress. EMBO J. Jun 16. pii: e201488016. [Epub ahead of print]. 2015

Jaramillo-Lambert A, Hao J, Xiao H, Li Y, Han Z, Zhu W. (2012). Acidic nucleoplasmic DNA-binding protein (And-1) controls chromosome congression by regulating the assembly of CENP-A at centromeres. J Biol Chem. 288(3): 1480-8, 2013.

Li, Y, Xiao H, de Renty C, Jaramillo-Lambert A, Han Z, Depamphilis ML, Brown CJ, W. Zhu. The involvement of acidic nucleoplasmic DNA-binding protein (And-1) in the regulation of pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) assembly in human Cells. J Biol Chem. 287(51):42469-79, 2012

Li, Y., A. N. Jaramillo-Lambert, Y. Yang, R. Williams, N. H. Lee, and W. Zhu. And-1 is required for the stability of histone acetyltransferase Gcn5. Oncogene. 31: 643-52, 2012.

Lee, C., R. L. Johnson, J. Wichterman-Kouznetsova, R. Guha, M. Ferrer, P.Tuzmen, S. E. Martin, W. Zhu (co-corresponding), M. L. DePamphilis. High-throughput screening for genes that prevent excess DNA replication in human cells and for molecules that inhibit them. Methods. 57: 234-78, 2012.

Li, Y., A. N. Jaramillo-Lambert, J. Hao, Y. Yang, and W. Zhu. (2011). The stability of histone acetyltransferase Generalcontrol non-derepressible (Gcn) 5 is regulated by Cullin4-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase. J Biol Chem. 286: 41344-52, 2011.

Zhu W, Lee C, Johnson R, Wichterman J, Huang R, DePamphilis M. An image-based, high-throughput screening assay for molecules that induce excess DNA replication in human cancer cells. Mol Cancer Res. 9: 294-310, 2011.

Zhu W and DePamphilis M. Selective killing of cancer cells by suppression of geminin activity. Cancer Research 69: 4870-4877, 2009.

Zhu W, Ukomadu C, Senga S, Dhar D., Wohlschlegel J., Kornbluth S. and Dutta A. Mcm10 and And-1/CTF4 recruit DNA polymerase a to chromatin for initiation of DNA Replication. Genes & Development. 21: 2288-2299, 2007.

Zhu W, and Dutta A. An ATR, BRCA1 mediated FA pathway is required for activating the G2/M checkpoint and DNA damage repair upon rereplication. Mol. Cell. Biol. 26: 4601-4611, 2006.

Zhu, W., and A. Dutta. Activation of fanconi anemia pathway in cells with re- replicated DNA. Cell Cycle 5:2306-2309, 2006.

Zhu, W., T. Abbas, and A. Dutta. DNA replication and genomic instability. Adv Exp Med Biol 570:249-279, 2005.

Zhu W, Chen Y and Anindya D. Re-replication by depletion of geminin is seen regardless of p53 status and activates a G2/M checkpoint. Mol. Cell. Biol. 24: 7140-7150, 2004.

Additional publications published before January 1, 2013 may be available within Himmelfarb Library's database.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the healthcare related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None