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Department of Orthopaedics

Elizabeth Moran, Ph.D.

Director , Orthopaedic Research

Fred F. Buechel Professor for Orthopaedic Research
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Department of Orthopaedics

Cancer Research Center (CANCT)
195 South Orange Avenue Room G-1200

Phone: (973) 972-5854



Lab Members

Elizabeth Moran, Ph.D.

Research: We study the molecular mechanisms that regulate lineage determination, growth arrest and carcinogenesis in mesenchymal stem cell and epithelial cell models.

Stephen Flowers, PhD

Shruti Goel, PhD

Kevin Nguyen

Fuhua Xu

Maggie Yau



Ph.D., 1983, New York Medical School




Relevant Publications:

Wang, X. N. G. Nagl, Jr., D. Wilsker, M. Van Scoy, S. Pacchione, P. Yaciuk, P. B. Dallas, and E. Moran. 2004. Two related ARID family proteins are alternative subunits of human SWI/SNF complexes. Biochem. J.: 383(2): 319-325.
Wang, X., N. G. Nagl, Jr., S. Flowers, D. Zweitzig, P. B. Dallas, and E. Moran. 2004. Expression of p270 (ARID1A), a component of human SWI/SNF complexes, in human tumors. Int. J. Cancer: 112(4): 636-642.
Wilsker, D., L. Probst, H. M. Wain, L. Maltais, P. W. Tucker, and E. Moran. 2005. Nomenclature of the ARID family of DNA binding proteins. Genomics: 86:242-251.
Nagl, N. G. Jr., D. R. Zweitzig, B. Thimmapaya, G. R. Beck, Jr., and E. Moran. 2006. The c-myc gene is a direct target of mammalian SWI/SNF-related complexes during differentiation-associated cell cycle arrest. Cancer Res. Priority Report: 66(3):1289-93.
Nagl, NG Jr., Wang X, Patsialou A, Van Scoy M, and Moran E. 2007. Distinct Mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes with opposing roles in cell cycle control. EMBO J. 26(3):752-63.
Flowers, S. N. G. Nagl Jr, G. R. Beck, Jr., and E. Moran. 2009. Antagonistic roles for BRM and BRG1 SWI/SNF complexes in differentiation. J. Biol. Chem. 284(15):10067-75.
Flowers S, GR Beck Jr., and E. Moran. 2010. Transcriptional activation by pRB, and its coordination with SWI/SNF recruitment. Cancer Res. Priority Report: 70 (21): 8282-8287. PMID: 20851996
Flowers S, Beck GR, Jr., and Moran E. 2011. Tissue-specific gene targeting by the multiprotein mammalian DREAM complex. J. Biol. Chem. (Report). 286: 27867-27871. ¿
Xu F, Flowers S, and Moran E. 2012. Essential role of ARID2 protein-containing SWI/SNF complex in tissue-specific gene expression. J. Biol. Chem. 287(7): 5033-41.
Flowers S, Xu F, and Moran E. 2013. Cooperative activation of tissue specific genes by pRB and E2F1. Cancer Res. In press. Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23341573


Current Research

Control of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and tumor suppression by chromatin remodeling.

This lab studies the cross-talk between chromatin remodeling complexes and key factors that control gene expression during cell cycle arrest, lineage determination, and differentiation.

Our studies focus on mesenchymal stem cells. We are interested in the mechanisms by which committed precursor cells proceed to terminal differentiation, failure of which is associated with cancers such as osteosarcoma. We are also interested in control of lineage choice, particularly between osteoblasts and adipocytes, an imbalance of which is an underlying cause of age-related osteoporosis.

Many aspects of these studies focus on the controls enacted by the retinoblastoma protein (pRB) family and their relationships with the E2F family of transcriptional regulators. We also emphasize pRB/E2F family interactions with the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, which plays a fundamental role in epigenetic control of programmatic gene expression. Our particular focus is on the SWI/SNF subunits that are recognized as tumor suppressors: the alternative ATPase subunits BRM and BRG1, and the ARID family subunits.



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