Xu Wu

Associate Professor of Dermatology

Cutaneous Biology Research Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Building 149, 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Tel: 617-726-4438
Email: xwu@cbrc2.mgh.harvard.edu

Lab Size: Between 5 and 10


The Wu laboratory is interested in using chemical biology and functional genomics approaches to study lipid biology, developmental signaling networks and cellular processes in normal physiology and diseases.

We focus on studying developmental signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Hedgehog, Hippo and JAK-STAT signaling, and aim to discover novel chemical modulators of stem cell fate and cancers. In addition, we develop and utilize chemical probes to study protein fatty acylation (myristoylation, palmitoylation, stearoylation etc.), and to identify novel enzymes or enzyme-like activities involved in dynamic regulation of protein lipidations (fatty acyltransferases and deacylases). We aim to reveal the functions of protein lipidation, and to understand how deregulation of lipid metabolism leads to diseases.

The specific research projects in our lab include:

  1. Chemical approaches to study posttranslational protein lipidation and lipid metabolism in cellular processes

  2. Chemical approaches to dissect signal cross-talking and “rewiring” in degenerative diseases and cancers

  3. Chemical and functional genomic approaches to explore cellular senescence and terminal differentiation



Baoen Chen, Baohui Zheng, Micael DeRan, Gopala K. Jarugumilli, Jianjun Fu, Yang S. Brooks and Xu Wu* “ZDHHC7-Mediated S-Palmitoylation of Scribble Regulates Cell Polarity” Nature Chemical Biology, 2016, DOI:10.1038/nchembio.2119.

PuiYee Chan, Xiao Han, Baohui Zheng, Michael DeRan, Jianzhong Yu, Gopala K. Jarugumilli, Hua Deng, Duojia Pan, Xuelian Luo * and Xu Wu* “Autopalmitoylation of TEAD Proteins Regulates Transcriptional Output of the Hippo Pathway” Nature Chemical Biology, 2016, 12(4):282-9.

Michael DeRan, Jiayi Yang, Che-Hung Shen, Eric C. Peters, Julien Fitamant, Puiyee Chan, Mindy Hsieh, Shunying Zhu, John M. Asara, Bin Zheng, Nabeel Bardeesy, Jun Liu, Xu Wu* “Energy Stress Regulates Hippo-YAP Signaling Involving AMPK-Mediated Regulation of Angiomotin-like 1 Protein” Cell Reports 2014, 9(2), 495-503.

Baohui Zheng, Michael DeRan, Xinyan Li, Xuebin Liao, Masaki Fukata, and Xu Wu* “2-Bromopalmitate Analogues as Activity-Based Probes To Explore Palmitoyl Acyltransferases” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135(19), 7082-5.