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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address KAUL 402A Zip 0024
Phone 205-934-5286
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Associate Professor
Center  Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases Center  Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases Center Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Program 
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Hengbin Wang (b.1969) is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Wang received his B.S. degree from Hebei Normal University (1991) and Ph.D. degree from China Agricultural University (1997) in China. He began his first postdoctoral training in Kyushu University, Japan. Then he moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joining Dr. Yi Zhang’s laboratory to study the roles of histone modifications in regulating chromatin functions. He joined UAB in 2004.

Research/Clinical Interest
Role of Histone Modification in Chromatin Function
In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged with histones to form chromatin. Once thought merely as a static structure for DNA compaction, chromatin has now been recognized as being highly dynamic and plays vital regulatory roles in almost all nuclear processes including transcription, replication, repair, recombination, and chromosome segregation. Research during the last ten years revealed that two kinds of activities contribute to chromatin fluidity. One is ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling; the other is covalent modifications of histone tails. Our lab is particularly interested in how covalent modifications of histone tails regulates chromatin function. Mostly on its N- and C- terminal tails, histones can be covalently modified by acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation, ubiquitination and ADP-ribosylation. Different modifications control different physiological processes. Acetylation plays fundamental roles in transcription regulation. Methylation, depending on the methylation sites and status, modulates a variety of biological processes including transcription, heterochromatin formation, DNA methylation, Gene imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation. The role of histone ubiquitination has just been revealed. We have been focusing our research on two of those modifications: methylation and ubiquitination. We will take a series of steps to elucidate the functions of these modifications. First, we will identify novel enzymes responsible for those modifications; second, we will explore functions of those modifications on chromatin-based processes such as transcription; finally we will try to understand the mechanism of those modifications on transcription and further investigate the biological consequences of these modifications. Our long-term goal is to apply this basic research for human diseases. When I was a postdoc in Dr. Yi Zhang’s lab, my colleagues and I used unique biochemical approaches to address these questions. We have successfully identified six novel HMTases (PRMT1, SET7, SET8, ESET, EZH2, and hDOT1), and more recently, one histone H2A ubiquitin ligase (hPRC1L). I will continue to investigate the biological roles of these enzymes in vivo to gain a better understanding of how the deregulation of these enzymes relates to dysfunction of cell proliferation and human diseases such as cancer. Our preliminary studies show that several of these HMTases play important roles in cancer development.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Wang HB, Wang QG, Li H. [CDNA microarray on differentially expressed genes of adipose tissue in two breeds chicken] Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2005 Nov;21(6):979-82. Chinese.    
Wang HB, Feng HY, Fan ZM, Xu L, Wang LJ. [Experimental study of the facial nerve paralysis induced by herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in mice] Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2006 Jan;41(1):13-6. Chinese.    
Wang HB, Ye ZH, Shu WS, Li WC, Wong MH, Lan CY. Arsenic uptake and accumulation in fern species growing at arsenic-contaminated sites of southern China: field surveys. Int J Phytoremediation. 2006 Mar;8(1):1-11.    
Wang HB, Laverghetta AV, Foehring R, Deng YP, Sun Z, Yamamoto K, Lei WL, Jiao Y, Reiner A. Single-cell RT-PCR, in situ hybridization histochemical, and immunohistochemical studies of substance P and enkephalin co-occurrence in striatal projection neurons in rats. J Chem Neuroanat. 2006 Apr;31(3):178-99. Epub 2006 Feb 28.    
Wang HB, Wong MH, Lan CY, Baker AJ, Qin YR, Shu WS, Chen GZ, Ye ZH. Uptake and accumulation of arsenic by 11 Pteris taxa from southern China.
Environ Pollut. 2006 Jun 12; [Epub ahead of print]