University of Wisconsin–Madison

Tony T. Huang, Phd

Associate Professor, Co–Course Director, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, New York University

Advisor: Dr. Shigeki Miyamoto

Graduation: 06/2003
Research Interest: Regulation of ubiquitination and deubiquitination in DNA repair and cancer susceptibility pathways

Tony Huang

Alumni News

  • Go to Tony’s NYU webpage.
  • Research Summary: Monoubiquitination is a highly regulated process conserved in all eukaryotes that controls a broad range of cellular functions, from signal transduction, vesicle trafficking, to DNA repair. Like phosphorylation, monoubiquitination is a dynamic and reversible post-translational process whereby an enzyme cascade conjugates ubiquitin to a target protein, and a family of enzymes, the deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), are potent at removing this modification. Two important DNA damage response pathways are ?switched on? by protein monoubiquitination: the downstream Fanconi Anemia (FA) effector protein, FANCD2, in DNA cross-link repair and the replication processivity factor, PCNA, in translesion DNA synthesis (TLS). While the elucidation of upstream activators of diverse DNA damage response pathways remains to be the focus of the field, signal transduction events that ?switch off? DNA repair have been largely ignored. To begin addressing this issue, a major focus of my lab will be to study the action of DUBs in the context of DNA repair pathways. In humans, protein deubiquitination is controlled by a family of over 90 distinct DUB enzymes, of which the majority has not been functionally characterized. In collaboration with the Rene Bernards? group, we utilized a gene family-specific siRNA library to identify DUBs that negatively regulated both FANCD2 and PCNA monoubiquitination. From this screen, the DUB, USP1, was discovered to have important roles in modulating two distinct DNA damage response pathways (see Fig. 1). Research projects in my lab will include the characterization and elucidation of signaling mechanisms surrounding DUB activation and inactivation and how these molecular events determine the status of genome stability and DNA damage tolerance pathways. Disruption of these pathways will ultimately lead to failed DNA repair, genome instability and cancer.


  • Cotto-Rios XM; Bekes M, Chapman J, Ueberheide B, Huang TT (2012).Deubiquitinases as a Signaling Target of Oxidative Stress. Cell Reports. 1475-1484. PMCID: PMC3534866
  • Jones MJK, Colnaghi L, Huang TT (2012). Dysregulation of DNA polymerase recruitment to replication forks results in genomic instability. EMBO journal. 31:908-918.
  • Jones MJK and Huang TT (2012). The Fanconi anemia pathway in replication stress and DNA crosslink repair. Cellular & molecular life sciences. 69:3963-3974. PMID:22744751
  • Piatkov KI, Colnaghi L, Bekes M, Varshavsky A, and Huang TT (2012). The Auto-Generated Fragment of the Usp1 Deubiquitylase Is a Physiological Substrate of the N-End Rule Pathway. Molecular cell. 48:926-933. PMID:23159736
  • Colnaghi L, Jones MJK, Cotto-Rios XM, Schindler D, Hanenberg H, and Huang TT (2011). Patient-derived C-terminal mutation of FANCI causes protein mislocalization and reveals putative EDGE motif function in DNA repair. Blood. 117:2247-2256. PMCID: PMC3062332
  • Cotto Rios XM, Jones MJK, and Huang TT (2011). Insights into phosphorylation-dependent mechanisms regulating USP1 protein stability during the cell cycle. Cell cycle. 10:4009-4016
  • Cotto-Rios XM, Jones MJK, Busino L, Pagano M, and Huang TT (2011).APC/CCdh1-dependent proteolysis of USP1 regulates the response to UV-mediated DNA damage. Journal of cell biology. 194:177-186
  • Wuerzberger-Davis SM, Chen Y, Yang DT, Kearns JD, Bates PW, Lynch C, Ladell NC, Yu M, Podd A, Zeng H, Huang TT, Wen R, Hoffmann A, Wang D, and Miyamoto S (2011). Nuclear export of the NF-kappaB inhibitor IkappaBalpha is required for proper B cell and secondary lymphoid tissue formation. Immunity. 34:188-200. PMCID: PMC3111750