Gan Wang, Ph.D.

Gan Wang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and of Pharmacology

Gan Wang, Ph.D.

Office Address

Scott Hall
540 East Canfield Avenue, Room 7205/7207
Detroit, MI 48201

Office Phone

(313) 577-5583

Office Fax

(313) 577-0082


DNA repair plays an important role in maintaining genomic integrity and in preventing disease development such as cancer development. DNA repair also contributes to cancer cell drug resistance and to antidrug design and development. The research interests of my lab are to understand the mechanism of DNA repair, especially nucleotide excision repair (NER), and its role in environmental carcinogen-caused disease development. Our current research projects include (1) development of new drugs that can sensitize tumor cells to DNA-damaging anticancer drugs and (2) the role and mechanism of DNA repair in environmental carcinogen-caused DNA hypermethylation and cancer. We have already demonstrated the effect of triptolide, a bioactive gradient isolated from herbal plant Tripterygium wilfordii, in sensitizing cisplatin-resistant lung tumor cells to cisplatin. We are currently studying the mechanism by which triptolide sensitizes tumor cells to cisplatin. Our goal is to develop a new anticancer regimen that can dramatically enhance the efficacy of platinum-based anticancer drugs in cancer treatment.  In addition, we are also investigating the role and the mechanism of DNMT3A in cigarette smoke and air pollution-caused DNA hypermethylation and lung cancer. Our goal for this study is to understand the molecular mechanism of DNA hypermethylation and cancer and to harness that knowledge to prevent and treat cancer. Many state-of-the-art technologies, including microarray, Next-Gen Sequencing, protein-protein interacts, and Protein-DNA interactions, are applied to our studies.


B.S., 1983, Shandong University, Microbiology, Jinan, Shandong Province, P. R. China

Ph.D., 1989. Chniese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, P.R. China



1989-1993, Post-Doc Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Microbiology

1993-1996, Post-doc Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Molecular Biology


1993-1996, Post-Doc Fellow, Yale University Schollo of Medicine

Areas of Expertise

 Molecular biology; gene regulation; DNA repair; signal transduction; cancer; cancer cell drug resistance

Areas of Interest

DNA repair, signal transduction, epigenetic regulation, cancer, cancer drugs, cancer cell drug resistance

Areas of Research

DNA repair, signal transduction, DNA methylation, cancer drugs, cancer cell drug resistance

Prior Appointments

 1996-2001, Assistant Professor (Tenure-track), University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL


1.      Berg CM, Vartak NB, Wang G, Xu X, Liu L, MacNeil DJ, Gewain KM, Waiter LA, and Berg DE. 1992. The mgd-1 element, a small gd (Tn1000) derivative useful for plasmid mutagenesis, allele replacement and DNA sequencing. Gene 113:9-16.


2.            Berg CM, Wang G, Strausbaugh LD, and Berg DE. 1992. Transposon-facilitated sequencing of DNAs cloned in plasmids. Methods Enzymol. 218: 279-306.


3.        Wang G, Blaskley R, Berg DE, and Berg CM. 1993. pDUAL: a transposon-based cosmid cloning  vector for generating nested deletions and DNA sequencing templates in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 90:7874-7878. 


4.        Wang G, Berg CM, Young AC, Blakesley RW, Lee L-Y, and Berg DE. 1993. Creating nested deletions for sequencing cosmid DNAs.  Focus 15:47-49.


5.        Berg CM, Wang G, Isono K, Kasai H, and Berg DE. 1993. Transposon-facilitated large-scale DNA sequencing. "Automated DNA sequencing and Analysis Techniques". (C. Venter, ed.). pp. 51-58.     


6.        Wang G, Whittam TS, Berg CM, and Berg DE. 1993. RAPD (arbitrary primer) PCR is more sensitive than multilocus enzyme electrophoresis for distinguishing related bacterial strains. Nucleic Acids Res. 21:5930-5933.


7.        Wang G, Xu X, Chen J, Berg DE, and Berg CM. 1994. Inversions and deletions generated by a mini-gd (Tn1000) transposon. J. Bacteriol. 176:1332-1338.


8.        Geary SJ, Forsyth MH, Aboul Saoud S, Wang G, Berg DE, and Berg CM. 1994. Mycoplasma gallisepticum strain differentiation by arbitrary primer PCR (RAPD) fingerprinting. Mol. & Cellular Probes.  8:311-6. 


9.        Wang G, Levy DD, Seidman MM, and Glazer PM. 1995. Targeted Mutagenesis in Mammalian Cells Mediated by Intracellular Triple Helix Formation. Mol Cell  Biol., 15:1759-1768.


10.      Wang G and Glazer PM. 1995. Altered Repair of Targeted Psoralen Photoadducts in the Context of an Oligonucleotide-Mediated Triple Helix. J. Biol. Chem., 270:22595-22601.


11.      Glazer PM, Wang G, Havre PA, and Gunther EJ. 1995. Targeted Mutagenesis Mediated by Triple  Helix Formation. Methods in Molecular  Biology,  57:109-118.


12.      Wang G, Seidman MM, and Glazer PM. 1996. Mutagenesis in Mammalian Cells Induced by Triple Helix Formation and Transcription-Coupled Repair. Science, 271:802-805.


13.      Raha M, Wang G, and Glazer PM. 1996. Mutagenesis by Triple Helix-Directed Psoralen Adducts in Repair-Deficient Human Cells: High Frequency and Altered Mutation Spectrum in Xeroderma Pigmentosum Variant. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.  93:2941-2946.


14.     Faruqi AF, Wang G, Raha M, Chan P, Seidman MM, and Glazer PM. 1996. Gene Targeting using Triple-helix-Forming oligonucleotides. for "Artificial Self-Assembling Systems for Gene Delivery"  (Felgner et al. ed.)  American Chemistry Society. pp. 47-55.


15.      Wang G and Glazer PM. 1997. Gene Targeting via Triple helix formation.  in "Human Genome Methods" edited by K. W. Adolph, CRC Press, New York. p55-72.


15.     Vasquez KM, Wang G, Havre PA, and Glazer PM.  1999.  Chromosomal mutations induced by triplex-forming oligonucleotides in mammalian cells.  Nucleic Acids Res. 27:1176-1181.


17.     Wang G, Xu X, Pace B, Glazer PM, Chan P, Goodman SR, and Shokolenko I. 1999.  Induction of human g-globin gene expression via peptide nucleic acids (PNAs). Nucleic Acids Res. 27:2806-2813.


18.      Wilson GL, Dean BS, Wang G, and Dean DA. 1999. Nuclear import of plasmid DNA in digitonin-permeabilized cells requires both cytoplasmic factors and specific DNA sequences.  J. Biol. Chem. 274:22025-22032.


19.      Xu X, Glazer PM, and Wang G. 2000. Activation of the g-globin gene expression via triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO)-directed mutations in the g-globin gene 5' flanking region. Gene: 242:219-228. 


20.      Wang G, Chen Z, Zhang S, Wilson GL, and Jing K. 2001. Detection and determination of oligonucleotide triplex formation-mediated transcription-coupled DNA repair in HeLa nuclear extracts. Nucleic Acids Res. 29:1801-1807.


21.      Wang G, Jing K, Balczon R, and Xu X. 2001. Defining the Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA) Length Requirement for PNA Binding-Induced Transcription and Gene Expression. J. Mol. Biol. 313: 933-940.


22.         Wang G and Xu X. 2002. Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA) Binding-Mediated Target Gene Transcription. "Pharmaceutical Perspectives of Nucleic Acid-Based Therapeutics" (ed. R. I. Mahato and S.W. Kim) Taylor & Francis Publishers.  pp.73-88.


23.        Chen Z, Xu XS, Yang J, and Wang G.  2003. Defining the function of XPC protein in psoralen and cisplatin-mediated DNA repair and mutagenesis. Carcinogenesis. 24:1111-1121.


23.       Chen Z, Xu XS, Harrison J, and Wang G. 2004. Defining the function of XPF protein in psoralen interstrand cross-link mediated DNA repair and mutagenesis. Biochemical Journal, 379:71-78.


24.        Wang G. and Xu XS. 2004. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) binding-mediated gene regulation. Cell Research 2004. 14 (2):111-116.


25.        Wang G, Chuang L, Zhang X-H, Colton S, Dombkowski A, Diakiw A, and Xu XS. 2004. The initiative role of XPC protein in cisplatin DNA damaging treatment-mediated cell cycle regulation. Nucleic Acids Res. 32 (7):2231-2240.


26.        Wang G and Glazer PM. 2004. Peptide Nucleic Acids as Agents to Modify Target Gene Expression and Function.  Letters in Peptide Sciences. 10:335-345.


27.        Efferth T, Chen Z, Kaina B, and Wang G. 2005.  Molecular determinants of response of tumor cells to berberine.  Cancer Genomic & Proteomics. 2:115-124.


28.        Colton SL, XXu XS, Wang YA, and Wang G. 2006. The involvement of ATM activation in nucleotide excision repair-facilitated cell survival with cisplatin treatment. J. Biol. Chem.,281:27117-27125.



29.        Chen Z, Yang J, Wang G, Song B, Li J, and Xu Z. 2007. Attenuated expression of xeroderma pigmentosum group C is associated with critical events in human bladder cancer carcinogenesis and progression. Cancer Res. 67: 4578-4585.



30.        Konkimalla VS, Wang G, Kaina B, and Efferth T. 2008. Microarray-based expression of DNA repair genes does not correlate with growth inhibition of cancer cells by natural products derived from traditional Chinese medicine. Cancer Genomics & Proteomics. 5:79-84.

31.     Lomonaco SL, Xu XS, and Wang G. 2008 The role of Bcl-x(L) protein in nucleotide excision repair (NER)-facilitated cell protection against cisplatin-induced apoptosis. DNA & Cell Biology. 2009. 28(6):285-94.

32.        Xu XS, Hong X, and Wang G. Induction of human g-globin gene expression with decoy oligonucleotides targeting the Oct-1 transcription factor consensus sequence. Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2009. 2:15.



33.        Xu XS, Wang L, Abrams J, and Wang G. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) in XPC gene silencing and bladder cancer. Journal of Hematology and Oncology.  2011  4:17.



34.         Wang X, Morgan DM, Wang G, Mozier NM. Residual DNA analysis in biologics development: review of measurement and quantitation technologies and future directions. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2012;109:307-17.


35.         Wang G, Wang L, Bhoopalan V, Xi Y, Bhalla DK, Wang D, Xu XS. The role of XPC protein deficiency in tobacco smoke-induced DNA hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes. Open Journal of Genetics, 2013, 3, 285-293. ( 10.4236/ojgen.2013.34032).


36.         Wang G, Bhoopalan V, Wang D, Wang L, and Xu XS. The effect of caffeine on cisplatin-induced apoptosis of lung cancer cells. 2015. Experimental Hematology & Oncology. 4:5. PMID: 25937999. (Highly Accessed paper)


37.        Wang X, Sun Z,  Chen XF, Su X, Wang G, Kuruc M. Discovery of Functional Serum Biomarkers: Exploring Cancer’s Signature in the Sensitive Functional Domain of the Human Proteome. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 2015, Vol 35.  No. 1.


38.        Wang G, Wang X, Xu X. Triptolide potentiates lung cancer cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis by selectively inhibiting NER activity. Biomarker Res. 2015. 3:17. PMID: 26161259.


39.        Davies M, Wang G, Fu G-F, and Wang X. mAb Higher Order Structure Analysis with Protein Conformational Array ELISA. British Journal of Pharmaceutical Res. 2015. 7(6): 401-412.

40.      Sun Z, Chen X, Wang G, Li L, Fu G, Kuruc M, Wang XIdentification of functional metabolic biomarkers from lung cancer patient serum using PEP technology. Biomark Res. 2016 Jun 1;4:11. doi: 10.1186/s40364-016-0065-4.PMID:27252855



Research Interests

 DNA repair, signal transduction, DNA methylation, cancer drugs, cancer cell drug resistance

Faculty Status

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Department of Pharmacology