Yu Lan, PhD, is a developmental geneticist interested in understanding the genetic basis and developmental mechanisms of structural birth defects. Cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects in humans. To understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cleft palate pathogenesis, we have been investigating the molecular pathways governing normal palate development in the laboratory mice.
Through gene expression screening, we have identified several putative transcription factor genes with distinct and dynamic expression patterns in the developing mouse palate. Using the gene targeting technology, we have generated mice carrying null or conditional null mutations in some of these transcription factor genes. Analyses of the mutant mice revealed that several of these transcription factors, such as Osr1 and Osr2, play essential roles in palate development. Ongoing investigations focus on delineating the molecular pathways involving these factors in palate development using a combination of genetic, embryological, and biochemical approaches.
Education and Training
PhD: University of Maine, Orono, ME.
Post-doc training: Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME.
Lan Y, Liu H, Ovitt CE, Jiang R. Generation of Osr1 conditional mutant mice. Genesis. 2011 May;49(5):419-22.
Gao Y, Lan Y, Liu H, Jiang R. The zinc finger transcription factors Osr1 and Osr2 control synovial joint formation. Dev Biol. 2011 Apr 1;352(1):83-91.
Baek JA, Lan Y, Liu H, Maltby KM, Mishina Y, Jiang R. Bmpr1a signaling plays critical roles in palatal shelf growth and palatal bone formation. Dev Biol. 2011 Feb 15;350(2):520-31.
Chen J, Lan Y, Baek JA, Gao Y, Jiang R. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays an essential role in activation of odontogenic mesenchyme during early tooth development. Dev Biol. 2009 October 1; 334(1): 174–185.
Lan Y, Jiang R. Sonic hedgehog signaling regulates reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions controlling palatal outgrowth. Development. 2009 Apr;136(8):1387-96.
Zhang Z, Lan Y, Chai Y, Jiang R. Antagonistic actions of Msx1 and Osr2 pattern mammalian teeth into a single row. Science. 2009 Feb 27;323(5918):1232-4.
Gao Y, Lan Y, Ovitt CE, Jiang R. Functional equivalence of the zinc finger transcription factors Osr1 and Osr2 in mouse development. Dev Biol. 2009 Apr 15;328(2):200-9.
Liu W, Lan Y, Pauws E, Meester-Smoor MA, Stanier P, Zwarthoff EC, Jiang R. The Mn1 transcription factor acts upstream of Tbx22 and preferentially regulates posterior palate growth in mice. Development. 2008 Dec;135(23):3959-68.
Lan Y, Wang Q, Ovitt CE, Jiang R. A unique mouse strain expressing Cre recombinase for tissue-specific analysis of gene function in palate and kidney development. Genesis. 2007 Oct;45(10):618-24.
Lan Y, Ovitt CE, Cho ES, Maltby KM, Wang Q, Jiang R. Odd-skipped related 2 (Osr2) encodes a key intrinsic regulator of secondary palate growth and morphogenesis. Development. 2004 Jul;131(13):3207-16.
Genetic Basis of Cleft Lip and Palate. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2003 - Jan 2013. #R01 DE015207.
Molecular Genetic Analysis of Craniofacial Development. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2000 - Jun 2015. #R01 DE013681.