Aimin Peng, PhD



University of Colorado School of Medicine (Postdoc in Pharmacology)
University of Texas health Science Center San Antionio (PhD in Molecular Medicine)
University of Science and Technology of China (BS in Biology)

Research Interests

Oral Cancer, DNA damage, radiation, chemotherapy, DNA repair, cell cycle regulation.

Research Summary

My primary research focuses are oral cancer and DNA repair. I have studied cell cycle regulation and the DNA damage response (DDR) since my graduate research. I am particularly interested in the connection between these pathways and human cancer, including cancer of oral cavity. Dysregulation of these pathways has been established as a causal factor in cancer progression, and therapeutic solutions to improve cancer treatment through manipulating the DDR or cell cycle machinery are dearly sought. It is, however, imperative to delineate the mechanistic basis of these pathways to fully translate these studies into clinical benefits. My ongoing research efforts are directed to characterize new mechanisms that confer oral cancer resistance to radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, and to develop new therapeutic strategies that potentially improve the treatment outcome of oral cancer.

Availability to Mentor

Graduate students, DDS or DH students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty members


  • Li Y, Wang W, Li X, Wang W, Oakley GG, Yang Z, You Z, and Peng A. (2023) The ATM-E6AP-MASTL axis mediates DNA damage checkpoint recovery. Elife, 12:RP86976. doi: 10.7554/eLife.86976.
  • Gouttia OG, Zhao J, Li Y, Zwiener MJ, Wang L, Oakley GG and Peng A. (2022) The MASTL-ENSA-PP2A/B55 axis modulates cisplatin resistance in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Front Cell Dev Biol. 10:904719. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.904719.
  • Wang F, Gouttia OG, Wang L, Peng A. (2022) PARP1 upregulation in recurrent oral cancer and treatment resistance. Front Cell Dev Biol. 9:804962. doi: 10.3389.
  • Xiao Y, Chen Y, Peng A, Dong J. (2022) CTDSPL2 is a novel mitotic phosphatase and a target for restraining tumor growth and motility in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Lett. 526:53-65. doi: 10.1016.
  • Li Y, Kardell MB, Wang F, Wang L, Zhu S, Bessho T, Peng A. (2021) The Sm core components of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins promote homologous recombination repair. DNA Repair. 108:103244. doi: 10.1016
  • Huwaimel BI, Bhakta M, Kulkarni CA, Milliken AS, Wang F, Peng A, Brookes PS, Trippier PC. (2020) Discovery of halogenated benzothiadiazine derivatives with anticancer activity. Chem Med Chem. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.202000729.
  • Zhu S, Paydar M, Wang F, Li Y, Wang L, Barrette B, Bessho T, Kwok BH, and Peng A. (2020) Kinesin Kif2C in Regulation of DNA Double Strand Break Dynamics and Repair. eLife. Jan 17;9. pii: e53402. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53402 PMID: 31951198.
  • Wang F, Zhu S, Fisher LA, Wang L, Eurek NJ, Wahl JK, Lan L, Peng A. (2019) Phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit mediates recruitment and function of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 in DNA repair. Cancer Res. 79:2526-2535. PMID: 30733193
  • Wang F, Wang L, Fisher LA, Li C, Wang W, Peng A. (2019) Phosphatase 1 Nuclear Targeting Subunit (PNUTS) Regulates Aurora Kinases and Mitotic Progression. Mol Cancer Res. 17:10-19. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786
  • Wang F, Zhu S, Fisher LA, Wang W, Oakley GG, Li C, Peng A. (2018) Protein interactomes of protein phosphatase 2A B55 regulatory subunits reveal B55-mediated regulation of replication protein A under replication stress. Sci Rep. 8:2683. PMCID: PMC5805732.
  • Ren D, Fisher LA, Wang L, Williams BC, Goldberg ML, and Peng A. (2017) Cell Cycle-dependent regulation of greatwall kinase by protein phosphatase 1 and regulatory subunit 3B. J Biol Chem 292:10026-10034. PMID: 28446604.
  • Zhu S, Fisher LA, Bessho T, and Peng, A. (2017) Protein phosphatase 1 and phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit-dependent regulation of DNA-dependent protein kinase and non-homologous end joining. Nucleic Acid Res doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx686.
  • Zhu S, Peng A. (2016) Non-homologous end joining repair in Xenopus egg extract. Sci Rep 21. PMID: 27324260.
  • Luong LV, Wang L, Roberts BJ, Wahl III JK, Peng A. (2016) Cell fate determination in Cisplatin resistance and chemosensitization. Oncotarget 8110. PMID: 26993599.
  • Wang, L., Guo, Q., Fisher, L.A., Liu, D., Peng, A. (2015) Regulation of polo-like kinase 1 by DNA damage and PP2A/B55α. Cell Cycle 10:4161.
  • Glanzer, J.G., Liu, S., Wang, L., Mosel, A., Peng, A., and Oakley, G.G. (2014) RPA inhibition increases replication stress and suppresses tumor growth. Cancer Res 2014 Sep 28; 74(18):5165-72.
  • Yamamoto, T.M., Wang, L., Fisher, L.A., Eckerdt, F.D., and Peng, A. (2014) Regulation of greatwall kinase by protein stabilization and nuclear localization. Cell Cycle 13(22):3565-75.
  • Wang, L., Luong, V.Q., Giannini, P.J., and Peng, A. (2014) Mastl kinase, a promising therapeutic target, promotes cancer recurrence, Oncotarget 5(22):11479-11489.
  • Fisher, L.A., Wang, L., Wu, L., and Peng, A. (2014) Phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit Is an essential regulator of M-phase entry, maintenance and exit. J Biol Chem 2014 Aug 7; 289(34):23745-52.
  • Peng A. (2013) Working Hard for Recovery: Mitotic kinases in the DNA damage checkpoint. Cell Biosci 3:20.
  • Wang L. Mosel AJ, Oakley GG, Peng A. (2012) Deficient DNA damage signaling leads to chemoresistance to Cisplatin in oral cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 11:2401-240.
  • Wang, L., Fisher, L.A., Wahl III, J.K., Peng, A. (2011) Generation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against xenopus greatwall kinase. Hybridoma 30:469-474.
  • Peng, A., Wang, L., and Fisher, L.A. (2011) Greatwall and polo-like kinase 1 coordinate to promote checkpoint recovery. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:28996-29004.
  • Peng A, Lweellyn AL, Schiemann WP, Maller JL. (2010) Repo-man controls a protein phosphatase 1-denpendent threshold for DNA damage checkpoint activation. Curr Biol 20:387-396.
  • Peng A, Maller JL. (2010) Serine/Threonine phosphatases in the DNA damage response and cancer. Oncogene 29: 5977-5988.
  • Peng A, Yamamoto TM, Goldberg ML, Maller JL. (2010) A novel role for greatwall kinase in recovery from DNA damage. Cell Cycle 9: 4364-4369.
  • Peng A, Lewellyn AL, Maller JL. (2008) DNA damage signaling in early xenopus embryos. Cell Cycle 7:3-6.
  • Peng A, Lewellyn AL, Maller JL. (2007) Undamaged DNA transmits and enhances DNA damage checkpoint signals in early embryos. Mol Cell Biol 27:6852-6862.
  • Peng A, Chen PL. (2005) NFBD1/MDC1 mediates ATM- and Rad3-related-dependent DNA damage response. Cancer Res.65:1158-1163.
  • Polci R, Peng A, Chen PL, Riley DJ, Chen Y. (2004) NIMA-related protein kinase 1 is involved early in the ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage response. Cancer Res 64:8800-8803.
  • Peng A, Chen PL. (2003) NFBD1, like 53BP1, is an early and redundant transducer mediating Chk2 phosphorylation in response to DNA damage. J Biol Chem 278:8873-8876.