Yubin Zhou

Yubin Zhou

Associate Professor

Center for Translational Cancer Research
2121 W. Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX   77030

Phone: 713-677-7483
Fax: 713-677-7779

Education and Training


Bachelor of Medicine (M.D. Equivalent), Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 2003

M.S. Chemistry, Georgia State University, 2007

Ph.D. Biochemistry, Georgia State University, 2008

Clinical/Postdoctoral Training

Clinical Internship, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, 2000-2003

Research Fellow, Immune Disease Institute, Harvard Medical School 2008-2010

Instructor, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, 2010-2012

Research Interests

The Zhou Lab is exploring the frontiers of calcium signaling, optogenetics, immunoengineering and molecular therapy research by combining biophysics, immunology, chemical biology, drug screening, computational biology and mouse genetics. We are focused on elucidating the role of calcium channels and DNA modifications in health and diseases and designing better treatment and prevention strategies for cardiovascular disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Ongoing research activities include: i) discovering novel ion channels that govern intracellular calcium homeostasis and T cell activities; ii) devising innovative optical actuators for remote control of cell signaling, (epi)genome editing and immunomodulation; and iii) designing better treatment and prevention strategies for immunoinflammatory diseases and tumors. 

Highlighted Work

"Optogenetics Sparks Research Tools", NIH Biomedical Beat, April 2018

News coverage available here.

Recent Publications

Selected Publications (from a total of 100+ research papers)

Ma G, He L, Liu S, Xie J, Huang Z, Jing J, Lee, YT, Wang R, Luo H, Han W, Huang Y and Zhou Y. Optogenetic engineering to probe the molecular choreography of STIM1-mediated cell signaling. Nature Communications. 2020 (in press)

Guo L, Li J, Zeng H, Guzman A, Li T, Lee M, Zhou Y, Stefan C, Goodell MA, Stephan C, Davies PJA, Dawson M, Sun D, and Huang Y.A combination strategy targeting enhancer plasticity exerts synergistic lethality against BETi resistant leukemia cells. Nature Communications. 2020,11(1):740. (PMID: 32029739)

Fang S, Li J, Xiao Y, Lee M, Guo L, Han W, Li T, Hill MC, Mo W, Xu R, Wang F, Chang J, Zhou Y, Sun D, Martin JF, and Huang Y. Tet inactivation disrupts YY1 binding and long-range chromatin interactions to cause developmental defects in embryonic heart. Nature Communications. 2019,10(1):4297. (PMID: 31541101)

Tan P, He L, Xing C, Mao J, Yu X, Zhu M, Diao L, Han L, Zhou Y, You JM, Wang HY, and Wang RF. Myeloid loss of Beclin 1 promotes PD-L1hi precursor B cell lymphoma development. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2019,129(12):5261-77. (PMID: 31503548).

Tang J, Robichaux M, Wu KL, Pei J, Nguyen NT, Zhou Y, Wensel TG, and Xiao H. Single-atom fluorescence switch: a general approach towards visible light-activated dyes for biological imaging. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2019,141(37):14699-706. (PMID: 31450884)

Liu Z, Li H, He L, Yu X, Tian C, Tan P, Li C, Jing J, Tian Y, Du L, Huang Y, Han L, Li M, and Zhou Y. Discovery of small molecule inhibitors of the HSP90-Calcineurin-NFAT pathway against glioblastoma. Cell Chemical Biology. 2019,26(3):352-65. (PMID: 30639261) *Highlighted as Cover Story; Featured in Vital Record and The Battalion.

Li A, Cho JH, Reid B, Tseng CC, He L, Tan P, Yeh CY, Wu P, Li Y, Widelitz R, Zhou Y, Zhao M, Chow R, Chuong CM. Calcium oscillations coordinate feather mesenchymal cell movement by SHH dependent modulation of gap junction networks. Nature Communications. 2018, 9(1):5377. (PMID: 30560870)

Tan P, Ye Y, He L, Xie J, Jing J, Ma G, Pan H, Han L, Han W, and Zhou Y. TRIM59 promotes breast cancer motility by suppressing p62-selective autophagic degradation of PDCD10. PLOS Biology. 2018,16(11):e3000051. (PMID: 30408026) *Highlighted as Editor’s Picks in cancer cell signaling; Featured in “Vital Record”.

Zheng S, Ma G, He L, Zhang T, Li J, Yuan X, Nguyen NT, Huang Y, Zhang X, Gao P, Nwokonko RM, Gill DL, Dong H, Zhou Y#, and Wang Y#. Identification of molecular determinants that govern distinct STIM2 activation dynamics. PLOS Biology. 2018,16(11):e2006898. (PMID: 30444880; #: senior authors)

Sang L, Hu H, Liu G, Tian T, Ma G, Lu Y, Liu Z, Pan R, Li R, Piao H, Marks JR, Yang L, Yan Q, Wang W, Shao J, Zhou Y, Zhou T, and Liu A. LncRNA CamK-A regulates Ca2+-signaling-mediated tumor microenvironment remodeling. Molecular Cell. 2018,71(1):71-83. (PMID: 30220516)

Zhang J, Tan P, Guo L, Gong J, Ma J, Li J, Lee M, Fang S, Jing J, Johnson G, Sun D, Cao WM, Dashwood R, Han L, Dong WG, Zhou Y#, Wei-Guo Dong#, and Huang Y#. p53-dependent autophagic degradation of TET2 modulates cancer therapeutic resistance. Oncogene2018 (PMID: 30390073; #: senior authors)

Gudlur A, Zeraik AE, Hirve N, Rajanikanth V, Bobkov AA, Ma G, Zheng S, Wang Y, Zhou Y, Komvies EA, Hogan PG. Calcium sensing by the STIM1 ER-luminal domain. Nature Communications. 2018,9(1):4536. (PMID: 30382093)

Ma G, Zhang Q, He L, Nguyen NT, Liu S, Gong Z, Huang Y and Zhou Y. Genetically encoded tags for real time dissection of protein assembly in living cells. Chemical Science. 2018, 9(25):5551-9. (PMID:30061986). *Highlighted in theme collection of 2018 Chemical Science Hot Articles and Chem Sci Pick of the week by Royal Society of Chemistry. Feature by Clinical Lab ProductsFront Line Genomics, and Futurity.

Ma G, Liu J, Ke Y, Liu X, Li M, Wang F, Han G, Huang Y, Wang Y and Zhou Y. Optogenetic control of voltage gated calcium channels. Angewandte Chemie. 2018 (PMID: 29569306). *Highlighted as Cover story; Feature by BioOptics World and Photonics Media.

Nguyen NT, He L, Martinze-Moczygemba M, Huang Y and Zhou Y. Rewiring calcium signaling for precise transcriptional reprogramming. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2018,7(3):814-21. (PMID: 29489336). *Feature by The BattalionPhotonics MediaBioOptics World and Futurity.

Lee M, Li J, Liang Y, Ma G, Zhang J, He L, Liu Y, Li M, Sun D, Zhou Y# and Huang Y#. Engineered split-TET2 enzyme for inducible epigenetic remodeling. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2017,139(13):4659-62. (PMID: 28294608; # lead contact) *Highlighted in ACS Editor’s Choice; Featured in JACS Spotlights and Vital Records.

Lei Y, Zhang X, Su J, Jeong M, Gundry MC, Huang YH, Zhou Y, Li W and Goodell MA. Targeted DNA methylation in vivo using an engineered dCas9-MQ1 fusion protein. Nature Communications. 2017,8:16026 (PMID: 28695892).

Lin A, Hu Q, Li C, Xing Z, Ma G, Wang C, Li J, Yao J, Ke L, Wang S, Park P, Marks J, Zhou Y, Zhou J, Heung MC, Liang H, Hu Z, Shen H, Hawke DH, Han LZhou Y, Lin C, and Yang L. The LINK-A lncRNA interacts with PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 to hyperactivate AKT and confer resistance to AKT inhibitors. Nature Cell Biology. 2017, 19(3):238-51. (PMID: 28218907) *Highlighted in Nat Rev Mol Cel Bio.

He L, Jing J, Zhu L, Tan P, Ma G, Nhung NT, Wang J, Zhou Y#. and Huang Y#. Optogenetic control of membrane tethering and interorganellar communication at nanoscales. Chemical Science. 2017 (DOI: 10.1039/c7sc01115f; # lead contact). *Highlighted as Cover Story; Featured in Vital Records and BioTechniques.

Zang S, Li J, Yang H, Zeng H, Han W, Zhang J, Lee M, Moczygemba M, Isgandarova S, Zhou Y, Rao A, Sun D, You J, and Huang Y. Mutations in 5-methylcytosine oxidase TET2 and RHOA cooperatively disrupt T-cell homeostasis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2017,127(8):2990-3012 (PMID:28691982). *Featured in Vital Records.

Chen M, Meng Q, Qin Y, Liang P, Tan P, He L, Zhou Y, Chen Y, Huang J Wang RF and Cui J. TRIM14 inhibits cGAS degradation mediated by selective autophagy receptor p62 to promote innate immune response. Molecular Cell. 2016,64:1-15. (PMID: 27666593)

Lin A, Li C, Xing Z, Hu Q, Liang K, Han L, Wang C, Hawke DH, Wang S, Zhang Y, Wei Y, Ma G, Par PK, Zhou J, Zhou Y, Hu ZZhou Y, Mark JR, Liang H, Hung MC, Lin C, Yang L. The LINK-A lncRNA activates normoixc HIF1α signaling in triple-negative breast cancer. Nature Cell Biology. 2016,18(2):213-24. (PMID: 26751287).

Jing J, He L, Sun A, Quintana A, Ding Y, Ma G, Tan P, Liang X, Zheng X, Chen L, Zhang SL, Shi X, Zhong L, Huang Y, Dong MQ, Walker CL, Hogan PG, Wang Y, and Zhou Y. Proteomic mapping of ER-PM junctions identifies STIMATE as a novel regulator of Ca2+ influx. Nature Cell Biology. 2015,17(10):1339-47. (PMID: 26322679). *Featured in NCB “News and Views”.

Ma G, Wei M, He L, Liu C, Wu B, Zhang SL, Jing J, Liang X, Senes A, Tan P, Li S, Sun A, Bi Y, Zhong L, Si H, Shen Y, Lee MS, Zhou W, Wang J, Wang Y, and Zhou Y. Inside-out Ca2+ signaling prompted by STIM1 conformational switch. Nature Communications. 2015,6:7826. (PMID: 26184105) *Featured in eBioTrade as Highlighted News.

He L, Zhang Y, Ma G, Tan P, Li Z, Zang S, Wu X, Jing J, Fang S, Zhou L, Wang Y, Huang Y, Han G, and Zhou Y. Near Infrared photoactivatable control of Ca2+ signaling and optogenetic immunomodulation. eLife. 2015,pii:e10024. (PMID: 26646180). *Highlighted in Biophotonics Magazine; Optics & Photonics News; ALN Magazine; The BattalionVital Records and Immuno-Oncology News.

Quintana A, Rajanikanth V, Farber-Katz S, Gudlur A, Zhang C, Jing J, Zhou Y, Rao A & Hogan PG. TMEM110 regulates the maintenance and remodeling of mammalian ER-Plasma membrane junctions competent for STIM-ORAI signaling. PNAS. 2015, 112(51):E7083-92. (PMID: 26644574).

Gudlur A*, Quintana A*, Zhou Y, Hirve N, Mahapatra S, Hogan PG. STIM1 triggers a gating rearrangement at the extracellular mouth of the ORAI1 channel. Nature Communications. 2014,5:5164 (PMID: 25296861).

Zhou Y, Srinivasan P, Razavi S, Seymour S, Meraner P, Stathopulos PB, Ikura M, Rao A, Hogan PG. Initial activation of STIM1, the regulator of store-operated calcium entry. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 2013,20(8):973-81. (PMID: 23851458). *Featured in NSMB “News and Views.

Zhou Y, Meraner P, Kwon, HT, Machnes D, Oh-hora Masatsugu, Zimmer Jochen, Huang Y, Stura A, Rao A and Hogan PG. STIM1 gates the store-operated calcium channel ORAI1 in vitro. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 2010,17(1):112-116. (PMID: 20037597). *Highlighted on the cover of NSMB; “Featured Article” on Nature Signaling Gateway; Rated as “Must Read [F1000 article factor: 8]”.

Zhou Y, Ramachandran S, Oh-hora M, Rao A and Hogan PG. Pore architecture of the ORAI1 store-operated calcium channel. PNAS. 2010,107(11):4896-901. (PMID: 20194792)

Selected Reviews and Book Chapters (from a total of 34 publications)

Tan P, Han G, Huang Y and Zhou Y. Illuminating cell physiology with optogenetics. Physiological Reviews. 2020 (commissioned)

Haruehanroengra P, Zheng YY, Zhou Y, Huang Y and Sheng J. RNA modifications and cancer. RNA Biology. 2020:1-16. (PMID: 31994439)

Jing J, Liu G, Huang Y, and Zhou Y. A molecular toolbox for interrogation of membrane contact sites. Journal of Physiology. 2019 (PMID: 31119749)

Tan P, He L and Zhou Y. TRIM59 deficiency curtails breast cancer metastasis through SQSTM1-selective autophagic degradation of PDCD10. Autophagy. 2019,15(4):747-9. (PMID: 30653426)

Yu N, Huang L, Zhou Y#, Xue T#, Chen Z#, and Han G#. Near-infrared-light activatable nanoparticles for deep-tissue-penetrating wireless optogenetics. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2019:31801132. (PMID: 30633858)

Mao J, Lin E, He L, Yu J, Tan P and Zhou Y. Autophagy and viral infection. Autophagy regulation of Innate Immunity. 2019,1209:55-78. (PMID: 31728865)

He L, Zhang Q, Zhou Y# and Hang Y#.Optogenetic approaches to control calcium entry in non-excitable cells. Calcium Entry Channels in Non-Excitable Cells. CRC Press, 2018. (PMID: 30299659)

Nguyen NT, Ma G, Lin E, O’Souza B, He L, Jing J, Huang Y and Zhou Y. CRAC channel-based optogenetics. Cell Calcium. 2018,75:79-88. (PMID: 30199756)

Tan P, He L, Han G, and Zhou Y. Optogenetic immunomodulation: shedding light on the immune system. Trends in Biotechnology. 2017,35(3):215-26. (PMID: 27692897)  

Ma G, Wen S, Huang Y, Wang Y and Zhou Y. Optogenetic toolkit for precise control of calcium signaling. Cell Calcium. 2017 (PMID: 28104276).

Ma G, Wen S, Huang Y and Zhou Y. The STIM-Orai pathway: Light-operated calcium entry through engineered CRAC channels. Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) pathways. 2017,993:117-38. (PMID: 28900912)

Zhang Y, Huang L, Li Z, Ma G, Zhou Y# and Han G#. Illuminating cell signaling with near-infrared light-responsive nanomaterials. ACS Nano. 2016,10(4):3881-5 (PMID: 27077481; #senior authors) 

Gudlur A, Zhou Y, and Hogan PG. STIM-ORAI interactions that control the CRAC channel. Current Topics in Membranes. 2013,71:33-58. (PMID: 23890110)

Full list available here.

Citations available here.