Faculty : Gaofeng Wang, Ph.D

Gaofeng Wang, Ph.D

Associate Professor, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics and Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Director, Division for Functional Genomics in the Center for Molecular Genetics, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics

Gaofeng Wang is an Associate Professor with tenue in the Department of Human Genetics, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is also a member of Cancer Epigenetics Program in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research has identified the S-nitrosylation of large GTPase dynamin and its regulatory role in receptor-mediated endocytosis and bacterial invasion. He has also studied the functions of genetic variants in hereditary diseases, especially the discovery of miRNA polymorphic binding on FGF20 gene which confers risk of Parkinson’s disease and the identification of mutations in gene REEP1 causing spastic paraplegia when he was a trainee. In 2007, Dr. Wang joined the University of Miami as an Assistant Professor. His lab was initially focused on the role of chromosome 10q26 locus in age-related macular degeneration. In 2013, his lab published first that vitamin C, acting as a cofactor, promotes TET-mediated DNA demethylation. This discovery has been confirmed by later reports from other groups and is now widely accepted in the field. One research area currently being pursued by his team is to evaluate the effectiveness of vitamin C in cancer prevention and treatment principally by restoring 5-hydroxumethylcytosine (5hmC) in cancer cells and by other mechanisms. Vitamin C is also used to sensitize cancer, especially melanoma and triple negative breast cancer, to certain chemotherapies. Recently, research in his lab revealed that Gs- coupled receptors promote, while Gi-coupled receptor inhibit, the demethylation of both DNA and histones by a previously unrecognized cAMP signaling pathway to modulate the intracellular labile Fe(II) pool. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) thus can be considered to sense and transduce environmental signals into the second messenger cAMP and further to alterations in the epigenome, which might be implicated in health and disease.

MyNCBI Link:


Top Publications:

  • Huff TC, Camarena V, Sant DW, Wilkes Z, Van Booven D, Aron AT, Muir RK, Renslo AR, Chang CJ, Monje PV, Wang G. Oscillatory cAMP signaling rapidly alters H3K4 methylation. Life Sci Alliance. 2020 Jan;3(1):e201900529. PMCID: PMC6935296.
  • Mustafi S, Camarena V, Volmar CH, Huff TC, Sant DW, Brothers SP, Liu ZJ, Wahlestedt C, Wang G. Vitamin C Sensitizes Melanoma to BET Inhibitors. Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 15;78(2):572-583. PMCID: PMC5771981.
  • Sant DW, Camarena V, Mustafi S, Li Y, Wilkes Z, Van Booven D, Wen R, Wang G. Ascorbate Suppresses VEGF expression in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Jul 2; 59(8):3608-3618. PMCID: PMC6049987.
  • Camarena V, Sant DW, Huff TC, Mustafi S, Muir RK, Aron AT, Chang CJ, Renslo AR, Monje PV, Wang G. cAMP signaling regulates DNA hydroxymethylation by augmenting the intracellular labile ferrous iron pool. Elife. 2017 Dec 14;6:e29750. PMCID: PMC5745079.
  • Minor EA, Court BL, Young JI, Wang G. Ascorbate induces Ten-Eleven Translocation (Tet) methylcytosine dioxygenase-mediated generation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. J Biol Chem 2013 May 10;288(19):13669-13674. PMCID: PMC3650403.