Kan Cao

Associate Professor and Associate Chair



Email: kcao@umd.edu

Office Phone: (301)405-3016

Office Address: 2114 Bioscience Research Building

Website: https://caolabumd.com/

graduate program affiliations

  • BISI - BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)

research interests

Hutchinson Gilford progeria, telomere and cellular senescence, alternative splicing and human aging.


recent publications

Publications  (# Corresponding author, $ Graduate student, &Undergraduates) 



1.     Mao, X$, Xiong, ZM, Xue, H$, Brown, MA$, Gete, YG$, Yu, R$, Sun, L, and Cao, K# (2022). Impaired LEF1 Activation Accelerates iPSC-Derived Keratinocytes Differentiation in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 23, 5499. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105499



1.     Koblan LW, Erdos MR, Wilson G, Levy JM, Cabral W, Xiong ZM, Tavarez UL, Gete YG$, Mao XJ$, Newby GA, Doherty SP, Davison L, Lin CY, Gordon LB, Cao K, Brown JD, Collins FS, Liu DR (2021). In Vivo Adenine Base Editing Corrects Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.  Nature 589, 608–614. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-03086-7


2.     Erdos, MR, Cabral, WA, Tavarez, UL, Cao K et al. A targeted antisense therapeutic approach for Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome. Nature Medicine 27, 536–545.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01274-0


3.     Gete YG$, Koblan LW, MaoXJ$, Trappio M, Mahadik B, Fisher JP, Liu DR, Cao K# (2021). Mechanisms of angiogenic incompetence in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria via downregulation of endothelial NOS. Aging Cell 2021 Jun 4;e13388. doi: 10.1111/acel.13388


4.     Xiong ZM, Mao XJ$, Trappio M, Arya C, El Kordi J, Cao K# (2021). Ultraviolet radiation protection potentials of Methylene Blue for human skin and coral reef health. Sci Reps. 2021 May 28;11(1):10871. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-89970-2.


5.     Gemstone Team CHANGE, Xue HJ$, Cao K# (2021). Gene Targeting Techniques for Huntington’s Diseases. Ageing Research Reviews. Vol70.101385 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2021.101385


6.     Xue HJ$, Thaivalappil A&, Cao K (2021). The Potentials of Methylene Blue as an anti-aging drug. Cells. 2021 Dec 1;10(12):3379. doi: 10.3390/cells10123379.



1.     Atchison L, Abutaleb A, Synder E, Gene Y$, Ladha A, Ribar T, Cao K, Truskey GA (2020). iPSC-derived endothelial Cells Affect Vascular Function in a Tissue Engineered Blood Vessel Model of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.  Stem Cell Reports. 2020 Feb 11;14(2):325-337. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.01.005.


2.     Mao XJ$, Bharti P, Thaivalappil A&, and Cao K# (2020). Peroxisomal abnormalities and catalase deficiency in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Aging. 2020 Mar 31; 12(6): 5195–5208. PMC7138560



1.     Sun L, Chiang JY, Choi JY$, Xiong ZM, Mao XJ$, Collins FS#, Hodes RJ#, Cao K# (2019). Transient induction of telomerase expression mediates senescence and reduces tumorigenesis in primary fibroblasts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences September 17. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1907199116



1.     Choi JY$, Lai JK, Xiong ZM, Ren M&, Moorer M, Stains JP#, Cao K# (2018). Diminished Canonical βCatenin Signaling During Osteoblast Differentiation Contributes to Osteopenia in Progeria. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research July 12. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3549. PMID: 30001457


2.     Wang K$, Wu D$, Zhang H$, Das A, Basu M, Malin J, Cao K# and Hannenhalli S# (2018). Comprehensive map of age-associated splicing changes across human tissues and their contributions to age-associated disease. Scientific Reports. Jul 19;8(1):10929. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29086-2. PMID: 30026530



1.     Xiong ZM, O’Donovan M, Sun L, Choi JY$, Ren M&, and Cao K# (2017). Anti-aging potentials of methylene blue for human skin longevity. Scientific Reports.  May 30;7(1):2475. PMID: 28559565 (Collection: Journal Top 100 & Top 100 in cell Biology)


2.     Zhang H$ & Cao K# (2017). Mechanisms of genome instability in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria. Frontier Biology. 12: 49. doi:10.1007/s11515-016-1435-x


3.     Tariq Z&, Zhang H$, Liu A&, Shen Y$,  Gete Y$, Xiong ZM, Tocheny C, Campanello L, Wu D$, Losert W and Cao K# (2017). Lamin A and microtubules collaborate to maintain nuclear morphology. Nucleus. 2017 May 30:1-14. PMID: 8557611


4.     Atchison L, Zhang H$, Cao K, Truskey GA (2017). A tissue engineered blood vessel model of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome using Human iPSC-derived smooth muscle cells. Scientific Reports.  August 15;7(1):8168. PMID: 28811655 (Collection: Top 100 in Cell Biology)



1.     Xiong ZM, Choi JY$, Wang K$, Zhang H$, Tariq Z&, Wu D$, Ko E, LaDana C, Sesaki H and Cao K# (2016). Methylene blue alleviates nuclear and mitochondrial abnormalities in progeria Aging Cell Apr;15(2):279-90. PMID: 26663466


2.     Wu D$, Yates PA, Zhang H$ and Cao K# (2016). Comparing lamin proteins post-translational relative stability using a 2A peptide-based system reveals elevated resistance of progerin to cellular degradationNucleus Nov;7(6):585-596. PMID: 27929926


3.     Zhang H$, Sun L, Wang K$, Wu D$, Trappio M, Witting C& and Cao K# (2016). Loss of H3K9me3 Correlates with ATM Activation and Histone H2AX Phosphorylation Deficiencies in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 1;11(12):e0167454. PMID: 27907109



1.     Wang K$, Cao K and Hannenhalli S (2015). Chromatin and Genomic determinants of alternative splicing. BCB’15 Proceedings of the 6th ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Health Informatics Pages 345-354 doi>10.1145/2808719.2808755


2.     Wang K$, Sahu A, Xiong Z, Cao K# and Hannenhalli S# (2015). Phenotype-dependent coexpression gene clusters: application to normal and premature ageing. IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2015 Jan-Feb;12(1):30-9.  PMID: 26357076



1.     Wu D$, Flannery A, Cai H&, Ko E, and Cao K# (2014). Nuclear localization signal deletion mutants of lamin A and progerin reveal insights into lamin A processing and emerin targeting. Nucleus Feb 4; 5 (1).  (Highlighted on the cover) PMID: 24637396


2.     Zhang H$, Xiong Z and Cao K# (2014). Mechenisms controlling smooth mucle cell death in progeria via downregulation of Ploy (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(22) E2261-70. PMID: 24843141



1.     Candia J, Maunu R, Driscoll M, Biancotto A, Dagur P, McCoy JP, Sen HN,Wei L, Maritan A, Cao K, Nussenblatt RB, Banavar JR, Losert W (2013) From Cellular Characteristics to Disease Diagnosis: Uncovering Phenotyps with Supercells. PLOS Computational Biology  9(9): e1003215 PMID: 24039568


2. Wang K$, Sahu A, Xiong Z, Cao K# and Hannenhalli S# (2013). Identification of gene clusters with phenotype dependant expression with application to normal and premature aging. IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2015 Jan-Feb;12(1):30-9. PMID: 26357076


3.     Xiong Z, LaDana C, Wu D$, and Cao K# (2013). An inhibitory role of progerin in the gene induction network of adipocyte differentiation from iPS cells. Aging April 5(4): 288-303. PMID: 23596277


4.     McCord R, Nazario-Toole A$, Zhang H$, Chines P, Zhan Y, Erdos MR, Collins FS, Dekker J, and Cao K#. (2013) Correlated Alterations in Genome Organization, Histone Methylation, and DNA-Lamin A/C Interactions in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria SyndromeGenome Research Feb; 23(2): 260-9. PMID: 23152449 


5.     Zhang H$, Kieckhaefer JE, Cao K#. (2013) Mouse Models of Laminopathies. Aging Cell. pp1-9. PMID: 23095062



1.     Gordon LB, Cao K, and Collins FS. (2012) Progeria: Translational Insights from Cell Biology. The Journal of Cell Biology, 199(1):9-13.PMID: 23027899


2.     Cao K#. (2012) Cellular Basis of Laminopathies. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (eLS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0022533.


3.     Driscoll MK$, Albanese J&, Xiong ZM, Mailman M, Losert W#, and Cao K#. (2012). A novel automated image analysis of nuclear shape: What can we learn from a prematurely aged cell? Aging, Vol. 4, No 2. PMID: 22354768


4.     Graziotto J, Cao K, Collins FS, and Krainc D. (2012) Rapamycin activates autophagy in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome: Implications for normal aging and age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders. Autophagy, 8(1). PMID: 22170152



1.     Cao K, Blair CD, Faddah DA, Kieckhaefer JE, Olive M, Erdos MR, Nabel EG, and Collins FS. (2011) Lamin A and telomerase collaborate to trigger cellular senescence. Journal of Clinical Investigation121(7):2833-44. PMID: 21670498


2.     Cao K*, Graziotto J*, Blair CD, Mazzulli JR, Erdos MR, Krainc D, and Collins FS. (2011) Rapamycin reverses cellular phenotype and enhances mutant protein clearance in Hutchinson Gilford progeria syndrome. Science Translational Medicine, 29;3(89):89ra58. (*: Equal contributors). PMID: 21715679


Before 2010

1.     Olive M, Harten I, Mitchell R, Beers J, Djabali K, Cao K, Erdos MR, Blair C, Funke B, Smoot L, Gerhard-Herman M, Machan JT, Kutys R, Virmani R, Collins FS, Wight TN, Nabel EG, Gordon LB. (2010) Cardiovascular Pathology in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria: Correlation With the Vascular Pathology of Aging. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., 30:2301.PMID: 20798379


2.     Capell BC, Olive M, Erdos MR, Cao K, Faddah DA, Whipperman M, Conneely KN, Qu X, San H, Ganesh SK, Chen X, Kolodgie KD, Virmani R, Nabel EG, Collins FS. (2009) A farnesyltransferase inhibitor prevents both the onset and late progression of cardiovascular disease in a progeria mouse model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41):15902-7. PMID: 18838683


3.     Cao K, Capell BC, Erdos MR, Djabali K, and Collins FS. (2007) A lamin A protein isoform overexpressed in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome interferes with mitosis in progeria and normal cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(12) 4949-4954.PMID: 17360355


4.     Vong QP*, Cao K*, Li HY, Iglesias PA, Zheng Y. (2005). Chromosome alignment and segregation regulated by ubiquitination of survivin. Science310(5753): 1499-504. (*:Equal contributors).PMID:16322459


5.     Cao K and Zheng Y. (2004). The Cdc48/p97-Ufd1-Npl4 Complex: Its Potential Role in Coordinating Cellular Morphogenesis During the M-G (1) Transition. Cell Cycle, 3:422-424. PMID:15004522


6.     Cao K, Nakajima R, Meyer HH, Zheng Y. (2003). The AAA-ATPase Cdc48/p97 Regulates Spindle Disassembly at the End of Mitosis. Cell115:355-367. PMID:14636562


7.     Li HY*, Cao K*, Zheng Y. (2003). Ran in the Spindle Checkpoint: A New Function for A Versatile GTPase. Trends in Cell Biology, 13:553-557. (*: Equal contributors). PMID:14573347


8.     Tsai MY, Wiese C, Cao K, Martin O, Donovan P, Ruderman J, Prigent C, Zheng Y. (2003) A Ran Signaling Pathway Mediated by the Mitotic Kinase Aurora A in Spindle Assembly. Nature Cell Biology, 5:242-248. PMID:12577065


9.     Gunawardane R, Martin O, Cao K, Zhang L, Dej K, Iwamatsu A, and Zheng Y. (2000) Characterization and Reconstitution of Drosophila gamma-Tubulin Ring Complex Subunits. The Journal of Cell Biology, 151:1513-23. PMID:11134079


Ph. D. Johns Hopkins University, 2005