Kan Cao

Associate Professor and Interim Associate Chair




Office Phone: (301)405-3016

Lab Phone: (301)405-3408 

Lab: 2219 Bioscience Research Building

Office Address: 2114 Bioscience Research Building

URL: 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) 



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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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


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.



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.


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



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



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


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



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)


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


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


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)



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


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 degradation. Nucleus Nov;7(6):585-596. PMID: 27929926


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



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


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



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


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



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


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


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


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 Syndrome. Genome Research Feb; 23(2): 260-9. PMID: 23152449 


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



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


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


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


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



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 Investigation, 121(7):2833-44. PMID: 21670498


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

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


Capell BC, Olive M, Erdos MR, Cao K, Faddah DA, Tavarez UL, 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


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


Vong QP*, Cao K*, Li HY, Iglesias PA, Zheng Y. (2005). Chromosome alignment and segregation regulated by ubiquitination of survivin. Science, 310(5753): 1499-504. (*:Equal contributors).PMID:16322459


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


Cao K, Nakajima R, Meyer HH, Zheng Y. (2003). The AAA-ATPase Cdc48/p97 Regulates Spindle Disassembly at the End of Mitosis. Cell, 115:355-367. PMID:14636562


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


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


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