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Qianwen Sun



QIANWEN SUN, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator


2014- Present   Principal Investigator, Tsinghua-Peking Centre for Life Sciences, Beijing, China

2014- Present   Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

2009-2014   Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

2004-2009   Ph.D.   Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

2000-2004   B.Sc.   Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

Research interests

We are interested in different aspects of genome regulation, and mainly focus on R-loop biology. R-loop is the three-stranded chromatin structure, comprising with one strand DNA single-stranded and another strand RNA:DNA hybrid, plays various and essential biological functions in many organisms. We use Arabidopsis and other organisms (such as E coli and yeast) as model systems to investigate the fundamental questions in R-loop biology, such as regulatory mechanisms of R-loops formation, stabilization and resolution, and how R-loops are able to affect transcription and genome maintenance.

Selected publications


l From 2015 (*corresponding or co-corresponding authors; #co-first authors)

20. Yan P#, Zunpeng Liu#, Song M#, Wu Z, Xu W, Li K, Ji Q, Wang S, Liu X, Yan K, Esteban R, Ci W, Xie W, Ren J, Belmonte J, Zhang W*, Sun Q*, Qu J*, Liu GH*. Genome-wide R-loop landscapes during cell differentiation and reprogramming. Cell Reports, 2020 Jul 7; 32(1):107870.

19. Li Y#, Song Y#, Xu W#, Li Q#, Wang X, Li K, Wang J, Liu Z, Velychko S, Ye R, Xia Q, Wang L, Guo R, Dong X, Zheng Z, Dai Y, Li H, Yao M, Xue Y, Schöler H, Sun Q*, Yao H*. R-loops Coordinate with SOX2 in Regulating Reprogramming to Pluripotency. Science Advances, 2020 Jun; 6(24), eaba0777.

18. Xu W#, Li K#, Li S#, Hou Q#, Zhang Y, Liu K and Sun Q*. The R-loop atlas of Arabidopsis development and responses to environmental stimuli. The Plant Cell. 2020 Apr; 32(4):888-903.

17. Yang Z, Li M, Sun Q*. RHON1 Co-transcriptionally Resolves R-Loops for Arabidopsis Chloroplast Genome Maintenance. Cell Reports. 2020 Jan; 30(1), 243–256.

16. Zhou J#, Liu L#, Li Q, Xu W, Li K, Wang ZW, Sun Q*. Intronic heterochromatin prevents cryptic transcription initiation in Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal. 2020 Mar;101(5):1185-1197.

15. Yang X#, Liu QL#, Xu W#, Zhang YC#, Yang Y, Ju LF, Chen J, Chen YS, Li K, Ren J*, Sun Q*, Yang YG*. m6A promotes R-loop formation to facilitate transcription termination. Cell Research. 2019 Dec; 29(12):1035-1038.

14. Yuan W#, Zhou J#, Tong J#, Zhuo W, Wang L, Li Y, Sun Q*, Qian W*, ALBA protein complex reads genic R-loops to maintain genome stability in Arabidopsis. Science Advances, 2019 May 15;5(5): eaav9040.

13. Zhao S#, Cheng L#, Gao Y#, Zhang B#, Zheng X, Wang L, Li P*, Sun Q*, Li H*. Plant HP1 protein ADCP1 links multivalent H3K9 methylation readout to heterochromatin formation. Cell Research. 2019 Jan;29(1):54-66.

12. Cheng L, Shafiq S, Xu W, Sun Q*. EARLY FLOWERING IN SHORT DAYS (EFS) regulates the seed size in Arabidopsis. Sci China Life Sci. 2018 Feb;61(2):214-224.

11. Yang Z#, Hou Q#, Cheng L#, Xu W, Hong Y, Li S, Sun Q*. RNase H1 Cooperates with DNA Gyrases to Restrict R-Loops and Maintain Genome Integrity in Arabidopsis Chloroplasts. The Plant Cell. 2017 Oct;29(10):2478-2497.

10. Xu W, Xu H, Li K, Fan Y, Liu Y, Yang X*, Sun Q*. The R-loop is a common chromatin feature of the Arabidopsis genome. Nature Plants. 2017 Sep;3(9):704-714.

9. Shafiq S#, Chen C#*, Yang J, Cheng L, Ma F, Widemann E, Sun Q*. DNA Topoisomerase 1 Prevents R-loop Accumulation to Modulate Auxin-Regulated Root Development in Rice. Molecular Plant. 2017 Jun;10(6):821-833.

8. Shafiq S, Li J, Sun Q*. Functions of plants long non-coding RNAs. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Jan;1859(1):155-62.


l Before 2015:

7. Csorba T#, Questa JI#, Sun Q# and Dean C. Antisense COOLAIR mediates the coordinated switching of chromatin states at FLC during vernalization. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014. 111:16160-5 (#contributed equally).

6. Wang ZW, Wu Z, Raitskin O, Sun Q and Dean C. Antisense-mediated FLC transcriptional repression requires the P-TEFb transcription elongation factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014. 111:7468-73.

5. Marquardt S, Raitskin O, Wu Z, Liu F, Sun Q and Dean C. Functional Consequences of Splicing of the Antisense Transcript COOLAIR on FLC Transcription. Molecular Cell. 2014. 54:156-65.

4. Sun Q, Csorba T, Skourti-Stathaki K, Proudfoot NJ and Dean C. R-Loop Stabilization Represses Antisense Transcription at the Arabidopsis FLC Locus. Science. 2013. 340:619-21.

3. Qin FJ, Sun QW, Huang LM, Chen XS and Zhou DX. Rice SUVH histone methyltransferase genes display specific functions in chromatin modification and retrotransposon repression. Molecular Plant. 2010. 3:773-82.

2. Sun Q and Zhou DX. Rice jmjC domain-containing gene JMJ706 encodes H3K9 demethylase required for floral organ development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008. 105:13679-84.

1. Huang L#, Sun Q#, Qin F, Li C, Zhao Y and Zhou DX. Down-regulation of a SILENT INFORMATION REGULATOR2-related histone deacetylase gene, OsSRT1, induces DNA fragmentation and cell death in rice. Plant Physiol. 2007. 144:1508-19. (#contributed equally).


Contact information

Location:Biotechnology Building Room 4-313 (Office), 4-309 (Lab)

Tel: +86-10-62784002 (Office); 62796360 (Lab)

E-mail: sunqianwen(a t)mail.tsinghua.edu.cn


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