Yibin Deng - The Hormel Institute


Yibin Deng, M.D. Ph.D.

Cell Death & Cancer Genetics


Yibin Deng is an Associate Professor and Program Leader of Laboratory of Cell Death and Cancer Genetics in the University of Minnesota Hormel Institute. After completion of his M.D., and Ph.D. training in P. R. China, Dr. Deng did his postdoctoral works at both New York University in New York and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Before joining the University of Minnesota Hormel Institute, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center In Houston.


North Sichuan Medical College
P. R. China Major in Clinical Medicine
Norman Bethune College of Medicine Jilin University
P.R. China Major in Pathology
Norman Bethune College of Medicine
Jilin University, P.R. China Major in Pathology

Personal interests and hobbies

Travelling with family; Watching NBA and Academy Awards Ceremony (Oscars); Reading scientific magazines.

Professional memberships

American Associate for Cancer Research
Masonic Cancer Center of the University of Minnesota

Honors and Awards

2002 – Scholar Awards of 94th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting
2007-2013 – Grantee, Howard Temin Award (National Cancer Institute K01)
Since 2012 – NIH grant reviewers, including R01, R03, R21, P01, K awards, and F fellowships.

Research Interests

We have established a strong collaborative team that brings together expertise from the areas of cancer biology, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, preclinical genetic mouse models, and clinical pathology to practical therapeutic studies aiming to identify the Achilles’ heel of cancers that can serve as a means to selectively and effectively kill tumor cells. My research laboratory has been utilizing multiple approaches including genome editing technology (Inducible CRISPR-Cas9), X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM to functionally and structurally understand how oncogenes are selectively activated in situ in tumorigenesis. Interesting research projects include:

1. Understanding whether and how the genetic changes identified in cancer patients (prostate, breast and lung) contribute to tumor initiation, progression and metastasis using genetically engineered mouse models.

2. Discovering novel small molecular compounds that selectively target human cancer cells while sparing normal cells.

3. Mechanism-based repurposing drugs targeting cancer cell metabolism for prostate/breast/lung cancer prevention and treatment.


1. Somaira Nowsheen, Khaled Aziz, Asef Aziz, Min Deng, Bo Qin, Kuntian Luo Karthik Jeganathan, Henan Zhang, Tongzheng Liu, Jia Yu, Yibin Deng, Jian Yuan, Wei Ding, Jan van Deursen, and Zhenkun Lou. L3MBTL2 orchestrates ubiquitin signaling by dictating the sequential recruitment of RNF8 and RNF168 after DNA damage. Nature Cell Biology (2018), doi:10.1038/s41556-018-0071-x

2. Mishra SK, Gao YG, Deng Y, Chalfant CE, Hinchcliffe EH, Brown RE. CPTP: A sphingolipid transfer protein that regulates autophagy and inflammasome activation. Autophagy. 2017 Nov 22:1-46. PMID: 29164996

3. Wang L, Wang J, Xiong H, Wu F, Lan T, Zhang Y, Guo X, Wang H, Saleem M, Jiang C, Lu J, Deng Y. Co-targeting hexokinase 2-mediated Warburg effect and ULK1-dependent autophagy suppresses tumor growth of PTEN- and TP53-deficiency-driven castration-resistant prostate cancer. EBioMedicine. 2016 May;7:50-61. PMID: 27322458

4.Wang L, Guo X, Wang J, Jiang C, Bosland MC, Lü J, Deng Y. Methylseleninic Acid Superactivates p53-Senescence Cancer Progression Barrier in Prostate Lesions of Pten-Knockout Mouse. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2016; 9(1):35-42. PMID: 26511486

5. Lei Wang Hua Xiong, Fengxia Wu, Yingjie Zhang, Ji Wang, Liyan Zhao, Xiaolan Guo, Li-Ju Chang, Yong Zhang, M. James You, Shahriar Koochekpour, Mohammad Saleem, Haojie Huang, Junxuan Lu, Yibin Deng. Hexokinase 2-Mediated Warburg Effect Is Required for PTEN and p53-Deficiency Driven Prostate Cancer Growth. Cell Reports 2014; 8(5):1461-74. PMID: 25176644

6. An J, Wang C, Deng Y, Yu L, Huang H. Destruction of Full-Length Androgen Receptor by Wild-Type SPOP, but Not Prostate-Cancer-Associated Mutants. Cell Reports 2014;6(4):657-69. PMID: 24508459. Please also see the news: SPOP that AR! Misregulated degradation of androgen receptor in prostate cancer.

7. Deng Y*, Guo X*, Ferguson DO, Chang S. Multiple roles of MRE11 at uncapped telomeres. Nature 2009; 460:914-8. Epub 2009 Jul 26. * contributed equally to this work. PMCID: PMC2760383 See also Alt’s review “Mre11: roles in DNA repair beyond homologous recombination” in Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009 Aug;16 (8):798-800 and Wu’s review “Identify crisis when telomeres left unprotected” in J Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb; 2(1): 14-6).

8. Jeffrey Buis, Yipin Wu, Yibin Deng, Jennifer Leddon1, Alyson Bryson, Sandy Chang, and David O. Ferguson*. Mre11 Nuclease Activity has Essential Roles in DNA Repair and Genomic Stability Distinct from ATM Activation. Cell 2008;135:85-96. PMCID: PMC2645868 See also accompanying review by Kanaar “DNA repair by the MRN complex: break it to make it” in Cell 2008 135:14-6.

9. Xiaolan Guo*, Yibin Deng *@, Yahong Lin, Wilfredo Cosme-Blanco, Suzanne Chan, Hua He, Guohua Yuan, Eric J. Brown, and Sandy Chang @ . Dysfunctional Telomeres Activate an ATM-ATR-Dependent DNA Damage Response to Suppress Tumorigenesis. EMBO J 2007; 26:4709-19 *contributed equally to this work @Correspondence author. PMCID: PMC2080807

10. Hua He, Asha S. Multani, Wilfredo Cosme-Blanco, Hedioshi Tahara, Jin Ma, Sen Pathak, Yibin Deng, and Sandy Chang. Pot2 Protects Telomeres From End-to-End Chromosomal Fusions and Aberrant Homologous Recombination. EMBO J 2006;25:5180-90 PMCID: PMC1630418

11. Ling Wu, Asha S. Multani, Hua He, Wilfredo Cosme-Blanco, Yu Deng, Jian Min Deng, Olga Bachilo, Sen Pathak, Peter Baumann, Hedioshi Tahara, Susan M. Bailey, Yibin Deng, Richard R. Behringer, and Sandy Chang. Pot1 Deficiency Initiates DNA Damage Checkpoint Activation and Aberrant Homologous Recombination at Telomeres. Cell 2006;126: 49-62 See also accompanying review by Peter Baumann “Are mouse telomeres going to Pot?” in Cell 2006 126:33-6 and Carolyn Price’s review “Stirring the POT1: surprises in telomere protection” in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology 2006 13:673-4.

12. Yibin Deng and Sandy Chang. Telomere dysfunction and tumor suppression-the Senescence Connection. Nature Reviews Cancer 2008; 8(6):450-458;

13. Deng YB, Wu XW. Peg3/Pw1 promotes p53-Mediated apoptosis by inducing Bax translocation from cytosol to mitochondria. Proc. Nat. Acd. Sci USA 2000, 97:2050-2055;

14. Deng YB, Lin YH, Wu XW. TRAIL-induced apoptosis requires Bax-dependent mitochondria release of Smac/DIABLO. Genes & Development 2002, 16:33-45; See Research Highlight “Apoptosis: Death TRAIL” In Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 2002; 3: 81 and review by John Reed “apoptosis and cancer: when Bax is TRAILing away” in Nature Medicine 2002; 8: 216-218 and by W. A. Wells ”Crossed TRAILs” in J. Cell Biol. 2002; 156: 413 – 413

15. Deng YB, Ren X, Yang L, Lin YH and Wu XW. A JNK-dependent pathway is required for TNF-induced apoptosis. Cell 2003, 115:61-70; See review by Liu ZG “Adding facets to TNF signaling: The JNK angle” in Mol Cell. 2003; 12(4):795-6

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