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Du Quan


Du Quan

Research Areas

Chemical Biology

Molecular Biology


Education & Positions

Wuhan University, B.S., 1986-1990.
Peking Union Medical College, Ph.D., 1994-1998.
Karolinska Institutet of Sweden, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1999-2006.
Peking University, Associate Professor 2006-2015, Professor 2015-.


Faculty Accolades

National Development and Reform Commission of China, Drug price assessment expert, 2013-.

Chinese Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Fellow, 20106-.

Award of New Century Excellent Talents in University, Education Ministry of China, 2008.


Research Interests

Our research programs span a broad range of chemical biology, molecular and cellular biology, epigenetics and siRNA-based drug development. We established the first systematic system to profile the off-targeting effects of siRNA, and recently extended this system to off-targeting profiling of sgRNA. We developed a serial carrier for in vitroand in vivosiRNA delivery. LncRNA biology and their roles in epigenetic regulation are also the focuses of our lab. Using adipocyte and myocyte differentiation models, we systematically profiled the regulation of lncRNA in the process of cell differentiation, and identified a novel lncRNA- slincRAD. By means of transgenic mouse model, we found that knockdown of slincRADexpression compromised the development of adipose tissue in vivo. Mechanism study showed that slincRADis involved in epigenetic regulation of adipocyte differentiation, via interacting with DNMT1.


Grants and fundings

National Natural Science Foundation of China(30771085, RMB 80,000; 5092011, RMB 290,000; 31571403, RMB 770,000)

The National Basic Research Program of China (2007CB512100, RMB 630,000; 2011CBA01100, RMB 2,400,000)

The National High-tech R&D Program of China (2007AA02Z165, RMB 3,000,000; 2012AA022501, RMB 1,000,000; 2014AA021103, RMB 950,000)

The National Drug Program (the National Drug Program, RMB 920,000; 2011ZX09102-011-12, RMB 1,000,000)

Beijing Natural Science Foundation (5092011, RMB 120,000; 5132015, RMB 140,000; 2171001, RMB 800,000)

Funding from Education Ministry of China (20070001011, RMB 50,000)



1. Yang Q, Wan Q, Zhang L, Li Y, Zhang P, Li D, Feng C, Yi F, Zhang L, Ding X*, Li H*, Du Q*. Analysis of LncRNA expression in cell differentiation. RNA Biology 2018, 6:1-10.

2. Yu Q, Zhang Z, Sun J, Xia Y, Du Q, Liang D*. Effects of chain length and hydrophobicity/charge ratio of AMP on its antimicrobial activity. SCIENCE CHINA Chemistry 2017, 10.1007/s11426-016-0415-6.

3. Zheng T, Hou Y, Zhang P, Zhang Z, Xu Y, Zhang L, Niu L, Yang Y, Liang D, Yi F, Peng W, Feng W, Yang Y, Chen J, Zhu YY, Zhang LH, Du Q*. Profiling single-guide RNA specificity reveals a mismatch sensitive core sequence. Scientific Reports 2017, 7:40638.

4. Huang Y, Cheng Q, Jin X, Ji J.-L., Guo S, Zheng S, Wang X, Cao H, Gao S, Liang X, Du Q*; Liang Z*. Systemic and tumor-targeted delivery of siRNA by cyclic NGR and isoDGR motif-containing peptides. Biomaterials Science 2016, 4:494-510.

5. Liang D, Wang H, Song W, Xiong X, Zhang X, Hu Z, Guo H, Yang Z, Zhai S, Zhang LH, Ye M*, Du Q*. The decreased N6-methyladenine DNA modification in cancer cells. BBRC 2016, 480:120-125.

6. Tang T*, Deng Y, Chen J, Zhao Y, Yue R, Choy KW, Wang CC, Du Q, Xu Y, Han L, Chung TK. Local administration of siRNA through Microneedle: Optimization, Bio-distribution, Tumor Suppression and Toxicity. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:30430.

7. Dong C, Niu L, Song W, Xiong X, Zhang X, Zhang Z, Yang Y, Yi F, Zhan J, Zhang H, Yang Z, Zhang LH, Zhai S, Li H, Ye M*, Du Q*. tRNA modification profiles of the fast-proliferating cancer cells. BBRC 2016, 476:340-345,.

8. Zhou J, Li D, Wen H, Zheng S, Su C, Yi F, Wang J, Liang Z, Tang T, Zhou D, Zhang LH, Liang D*, Du Q*. Inter-molecular β-sheet structure facilitates lung-targeting siRNA delivery. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:22731.

9. Yang Y, Peng L, Ma W, Yi F, Zhang Z, Chen H, Guo Y, Wang L, Zhao LD, Zheng W, Li J, Zhang F*, Du Q*. Autoantigen-targeting microRNAs in Sj?gren's syndrome. Clinical Rheumatology 2016, 35:911-7.

10. Huang Y*, Wang X, Huang W, Cheng Q, Zheng S, Guo S, Cao H, Liang XJ, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Systemic Administration of siRNA via cRGD-containing Peptide. Scientific Reports 2015, 5:12458.

11. Zhou J, Li D, Su C, Wen H, Du Q*, Liang D*. Peptides containing blocks of different charge densities facilitate cell uptake of oligonucleotides. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2015, 17:8653-9.

12. Sun J, Xia Y, Li D, Du Q*, Liang D*. Relationship between peptide structure and antimicrobial activity as studied by de novo designed peptides. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta- Biomembranes 2014, 1838:2985-2993.

13. Peng L, Ma W, Yi F, Yang YJ, Lin W, Chen H, Zhang X, Zhang LH, Zhang F*, Du Q*. MicroRNA Profiling in Chinese Patients with Primary Sj?gren Syndrome Reveals Elevated miRNA-181a in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells. Journal of Rheumatology 2014, 41:2208-13.

14. Deng Y, Wang CC, Choy KW, Du Q, Chen J, Wang Q, Li L, Chung TK, Tang T*. Therapeutic potentials of gene silencing by RNA interference: Principles, challenges, and new strategies. Gene 2014, 538:217-227.

15. Huang W, Zhao M, Wei N, Wang X, Cao H, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Site-Specific RNase A Activity Was Dramatically Reduced in Serum from Multiple Types of Cancer Patients. PLoS One 2014, 9:e96490.

16. Yang F, Yi F, Han X, Du Q*, Liang Z*.  MALAT-1 interacts with hnRNP C in cell cycle regulation. FEBS Letters 2013, 587:3175-3181.

17. Zheng J, Zhang L, Zhang J, Wang X, Ye K, Xi Z*, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Single modification at position 14 of siRNA strand abolishes its gene-silencing activity by decreasing both RISC loading and target degradation. FASEB Journal. 2013, 27:4017-26.

18. Yi F, Yang F, Liu X, Chen H, Ji T, Jiang L, Wang X, Yang Z, Zhang LH, Ding X*, Liang Z*, Du Q*. RNA-seq identified a super-long intergenic transcript functioning in adipogenesis. RNA Biology 2013, 10:991-1002.

19. Cheng Q, Huang Y*, Zheng H, Wei T, Zheng S, Huo S, Wang X, Du Q, Zhang X, Zhang HY, Liang XJ, Wang C, Tang R*, Liang Z*. The effect of guanidinylation of PEGylated poly(2-aminoethyl methacrylate) on the systemic delivery of siRNA. Biomaterials 2013, 34:3120-31.

20. Wei N, Zhang L, Huang H, Chen Y, Zheng J, Zhou X, Yi F, Du Q*, Liang Z*. siRNA Has Greatly Elevated Mismatch Tolerance at 3’-UTR Sites. Plos One 2012, 7:e49309.

21. Zhang J, Zheng J, Lu C, Du Q, Liang Z*, Xi Z*. Modification of the siRNA Passenger Strand by 5-Nitroindole Dramatically Reduces its Off-Target Effects. Chembiochem 2012, 13:1940-5.

22. Huang Y, Lin D, Jiang Q, Zhang W, Guo S, Xiao P, Zheng S, Wang X, Chen H, Zhang HY, Deng L, Xing J, Du Q*, Dong A*, Liang Z*. Binary and Ternary Complexes Based on Polycaprolactone-graft-Poly (N, N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) for Effective and Targeted siRNA Delivery in Vitro and in Vivo. Biomaterials 2012, 33:4653-64.

23. Ding X, Ding J, Ning J, Yi F, Chen J, Zhao D, Zheng J, Liang Z*, Hu Z*, Du Q*.  Circulating microRNA-122 as a potential biomarker for liver injury. Molecular Medicine Reports 2012, 5:1428-32.

24. Yang F, Yi F, Zheng Z, Ling Z, Ding J, Guo J, Mao W, Wang X, Ding X*, Liang Z*, Du Q*. Characterization of a carcinogenesis-associated long non-coding RNA. RNA Biology 2012, 9:110-6.

25, Zhou J, Neff CP, Liu X, Zhang J, Li H, Smith DD, Swiderski P, Aboellail T, Huang Y, Du Q, Liang Z, Peng L, Akkina R, Rossi JJ*. Systemic Administration of Combinatorial dsiRNAs via Nanoparticles Efficiently Suppresses HIV-1 Infection in Humanized Mice. Molecular Therapy 2011, 19:2228-38.

26. Lin D, Huang Y, Jiang Q, Zhang W, Yue X, Guo S, Xiao P, Du Q, Xing J, Deng L, Liang Z*, Dong A*. Structural contributions of blocked or grafted poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) on PEGylated polycaprolactone nanoparticles in siRNA delivery. Biomaterials 2011, 32:8730-42.

27. Wei Z, Zhao D, Li X, Wu M, Wang W, Huang H, Wang X, Du Q*, Liang Z*, Li Z*. A Laminar Flow Electroporation System for Efficient DNA and siRNA Delivery. Analytical Chemistry 2011, 83:5881-7.

28. Sun Z, Zhang J, Zhang J, Chen C, Du Q, Chang L, Cao C, Zheng MGarcia-Barrio MT, Chen YE, Xiao RP, Mao J, Zhu X*. Rad GTPase induces cardiomyocyte apoptosis through the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. BBRC 2011, 409:52-7.

29. Guo S, Huang Y, Zhang W, Wang W, Wei T, Lin D, Xing J, Deng L, Du Q, Liang Z*, Liang XJ*, Dong A*. Ternary complexes of amphiphilic polycaprolactone-graft-poly (N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), DNA and polyglutamic acid-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) for gene delivery. Biomaterials 2011, 32:4283-92.

30. Huang Y, Hong J, Zhen S, Ding Y, Guo S, Zhang H, Zhang X, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Elimination pathways of systemically delivered siRNA. Molecular Therapy 2011, 19:381-5.

31. Guo S, Huang Y, Wei T, Zhang W, Wang W, Lin D, Zhang X, Kumar A, Du Q, Xing J, Deng L, Liang Z, Wang PC, Dong A*, Liang XJ*. Amphiphilic and biodegradable methoxy polyethylene glycol-block-(polycaprolactone-graft-poly (2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)) as an effective gene carrier. Biomaterials 2011, 32:879-89.

32. Huang H, Wei Z, Huang Y, Zhao D, Zheng L, Cai T, Wu M, Wang W, Ding X, Zhou Z, Du Q*, Liang Z*. An efficient and high-throughput electroporation microchip applicable for siRNA delivery. Lab on a Chip 2011, 11:163-72.

33. Hong J, Huang Y, Li J, Yi F, Zheng J, Huang H, Wei N, Shan Y, An M, Zhang H, Ji J, Zhang P, Xi Z, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Comprehensive analysis of sequence-specific stability of siRNA. FASEB Journal 2010, 24:4844-55.

34. Guo S, Huang Y, Jiang Q, Sun Y, Deng L, Liang Z, Du Q, Xing J, Zhao Y, Wang P, Dong A*, Liang X*. Enhanced Gene Delivery and siRNA Silencing by Gold Nanoparticles Coated with Charge-Reversal Polyelectrolyte. ACS Nano 2010, 4:5505-11.

35. Xiong J, Du Q, Liang Z*. Tumor-suppressive microRNA-22 inhibits the transcription of E-box-containing c-Myc target genes by silencing c-Myc binding protein. Oncogene 2010, 29:4980-8.

36. Huang H, Wei N, Xiong Y, Yang F, Fang H, Xie W, Zhou Z, Cheng H, Liang Z*, Du Q*. Exogenous nucleic acids aggregate in non-P-body cytoplasmic granules when transfected into cultured cells. Frontiers in Biology 2010, 5:272-81.

37. Xiong J, Yu D, Wei N, Cai T, Huang Y, Zheng X, Du Q, Lin D*, Liang Z*. An estrogen receptor alpha suppressor, microRNA-22, is downregulated in estrogen receptor alpha-positive human breast cancer cell lines and clinical samples. FEBS Journal 2010, 277:1684-94.

38. Huang H, Qiao R, Zhao D, Zhang T, Li Y, Yi F, Lai F, Hong J, Ding X, Yang Z, Zhang L, Du Q*, Liang Z*. Profiling of mismatch discrimination in RNAi enabled rational design of allele-specific siRNAs. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009, 37:7560-9.

39. Dahlgren C, Zhang HY, Du Q, Grahn M, Norstedt G, Wahlestedt C, Liang Z*. Analysis of siRNA specificity on targets with double-nucleotide mismatches. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008, 36: e53.

40. Hong J, Wei N, Chalk A, Wang J, Song Y, Yi F, Qiao RP, Sonnhammer EL, Wahlestedt C, Liang Z*, Du Q*. Focusing on RISC assembly in mammalian cells. BBRC 2008, 368: 703-8.

41. Li ZS, Qiao RP, Du Q, Yang ZJ, Zhang LR, Zhang PZ, Liang Z, Zhang LH*. Studies on Aminoisonucleoside Modified siRNAs: Stability and Silencing Activity. BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY 2007, 18:1017-24.

42. Du Q*, Thonberg H, Wang J, Wahlestedt C, Liang Z*. A Systematic Analysis of the Silencing Effects of an Active siRNA at All Single-nucleotide Mismatched Target Sites. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005, 33:1671-7.

43. Chen MH, Zhang LS, Zhang HY, Xiong XH, Wang B, Du Q, Lu B, Wahlestedt C, Liang Z*. A Universal Plasmid Library Encoding All Permutations of siRNA. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2005, 120: 2356-61.