YuXia Cao, M.D.

Faculty and Fellows

Research Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School: Wannan Medical College, Anhwei, China, MD
Graduate School: Tongji Medical University, China. M.S. in Biochemistry.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship: Boston University School of Medicine,

Special Interests:


  • Epigenetic modifications
  • Transcriptional regulation

Epigenetic modifications such as DNA CpG methylation, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling and histone modifications have been implicated in cell differentiation and transcriptional control of tissue-specific genes. Chromatin modification can repress or activate specific genes by changing the structure of the chromatin and altering the accessibility of the transcriptional machinery to specific loci. Dr. Cao’s research focuses on how DNA methylation and chromatin modifications cooperate with essential lung transcription factors, such as Titf1, to regulate lung development and lung-specific gene expression.

Selected Publications

  1. Y.X. Cao, T.Vo, G. Millien, M.I. Ramirez (2008). The ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling protein Brg1 interacts with the transcription factor Titf1and regulates expression of the lung-specific gene SP-B. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. A268.
  2. K.A. Sloan, Y.X. Cao, A. Hinds, S. Kathuria, M.C. Williams, H. Kathuria (2008). Transcriptional regulation of caveolin-1 by the EST protein NET/ELK-3 in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. A932.
  3. Y.X. Cao, G. Millien, D.N. Kotton, M.I. Ramirez (2007). Epigenetic Modifications of the Titf1 Proximal Promoter Are Similar in ES Cells and Embryonic Lung Epithelium but Differ in Lung Mesenchyme and Liver. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. A511.
  4. Kathuria, H., Cao, Y.X., Hinds, M.I., Ramirez, M.I. , Williams, M.C. (2007) The ETS protein ERM regulates caveolin-1 transcription in mouse lung epithelial, but not endothelial cell lines. J Cell Biochem. 102(1):13-27.
  5. Soylemez Wiener, R., Cao, Y.X., Millien , G., Hinds, A., Ramirez, M.I. , Williams, M.C. (2007) Murine pulmonary angiotensin converting enzyme 2 is primarily epithelial, developmentally regulated, and has two transcripts: identification of a novel 5′ exon J. Cell. Biochem. 101(5):1278-91.
  6. Pogach M.S., Cao, Y., Millien, G., Ramirez, M.I. , Williams, M.C. (2007) Key developmental regulators change during hyperoxia-induced injury and recovery in adult mouse lung. J. Cell. Biochem. 100(6):1415-29.
  7. Kathuria H, Cao YX, Ramirez MI, and Williams MC. Transcription of the caveolin-1 gene is differentially regulated in lung type I epithelial and endothelial cell lines. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279: 30028-30036, 2004.
  8. Ramirez MI, Millien G, Hinds A, Cao YX, Seldin DC and Williams MC. T1?, a lung type I cell differentiation gene, is required for normal lung cell proliferation and alveolus formation at birth. Developmental Biology. 256: 61-72, 2003.
  9. Cao YX, Ramirez MI, and Williams MC. Enhanced binding of Sp1/Sp3 transcription factors mediates the hyperoxia-induced increased expression of the lung type I cell gene T1?. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 9999: 1-15, 2003.
  10. Jyh-Chang Jean, Eruchalu I, Cao YX, and Joyce –Brady M. Dance in developing and injured lung. American journal of physiology Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 282: L75-L82, 2002.
  11. Remirez MI, Pollack L, Millien G, Cao YX, Hinds A and Williams MC. The ?-isoform of Caveolin-1 is a marker of vasculogenesis in early lung development. The Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry. 50: 33-42, 2002.
  12. Cao YX, Jean JC and Williams MC. Cytosine methylation of a Sp1 site contributes to organ – specific and cell-specific regulation of expression of the lung epithelial gene T1a. The Biochemical Journal. 350: 883-90, 2000.