Hua Yan

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, 2010

511A Carr Hall
(352) 273-4983

Research Interests

Social animals develop more complex neural system to regulate their social behavior, but it is not clear how these neurons and neural circuits are established, maintained and even altered in response to social cues. We have developed genetic tools in the ant Harpegnathos saltator, which facilitate studies to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural development and behavioral plasticity.

In Harpegnathos, altered environment triggers caste switches between non-reproductive workers and reproductive pseudo-queens (gamergates), accompanied by a dramatic 5-fold change in lifespan. The features of aging plasticity foster studies to identify longevity genes and characterize their molecular functions in regulating aging and rejuvenation.

Representative Publications

Opachaloemphan, C., Yan, H. (co-first author), Leibholz, A., Desplan, C., Reinberg, D. (2018)
Recent advances in behavioral (epi)genetics in eusocial insects.
Annu Rev Genet 52, 489-510. PMID: 30208294

Yan, H., Opachaloemphan, C., Mancini, G., Yang, H., Gallitto, M., Mlejnek, J., Leibholz, A., Haight, K., Ghaninia, M., Huo, L., Perry, M., Slone, J., Zhou, X., Traficante, M., Penick, C.A., Dolezal, K., Gokhale, K., Stevens, K., Fetter-Pruneda, I., Bonasio, R., Zwiebel, L.J., Berger, S.L., Liebig, J., Reinberg, D., Desplan, C. (2017).
An engineered orco mutation produces aberrant social behavior and defective neural development in ants.
Cell 170(4), 736-747. PMID: 28802043

Gospocic, J., Shields, E.J., Glastad, K.M., Lin, Y., Penick, C.A., Yan, H., Mikheyev, A.S., Linksvayer, T.A., Garcia, B.A., Berger, S.L., Liebig, J., Reinberg, D., Bonasio, R. (2017).
The neuropeptide corazonin controls social behavior and caste identity in ants.
Cell 170(4), 748-759. PMID: 28802044

Yan H., Bonasio R., Simola D.F., Liebig J., Berger S.L., Reinberg D. (2015).
DNA methylation in social insects.
Annu Rev Entomol 60, 435-452. PMID: 25341091

Yan H., Simola D.F. (co-first author), Bonasio R., Liebig J., Berger S.L., Reinberg D. (2014).
Eusocial insects as emerging models for behavioural epigenetics.
Nat Rev Genet 15(10), 677-688. PMID: 25200663

Wu K., Yan H., Fang L., Wang X., Pfleger C.M., Jiang X., Huang L., Pan Z.Q. (2011).
Mono-ubiquitination drives nuclear export of the human Dcn1-like protein hDCNL1.
J Biol Chem 286(39), 34060-34070. PMID: 21813641

Yan H., Jahanshahi M., Horvath E.A., Liu H.Y., Pfleger C.M. (2010).
Rabex-5 ubiquitin ligase activity restricts Ras signaling to establish pathway homeostasis in Drosophila.
Curr Biol 20(15), 1378-1382. PMID: 20655224

Yan H., Chin M.L., Horvath E.A., Kane E.A., Pfleger C.M. (2009).
Impairment of ubiquitylation by mutation in Drosophila E1 promotes both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous Ras-ERK activation in vivo.
J Cell Sci 122(9), 1461-1470. PMID: 19366732

Pfleger C.M., Harvey K.F., Yan H., Hariharan I.K. (2007).
Mutation of the Gene Encoding the Ubiquitin Activating Enzyme Uba1 Causes Tissue Overgrowth in Drosophila.
Fly 1, 95-105. PMID: 18820468