Mo Xu, PhD

PhD National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, 2011

As a graduate student, I studied the inheritance of epigenetic information during mitotic cell division, using multidisciplinary approaches, including mass spectrometry and biochemistry. In one research, I clarified the debate on nucleosome partition model during DNA replication, and described how histone methylation pattern is maintained in cycling and non-cycling cells. In another work, my collaborator and I identified an antagonistic function of activating Trithorax group histone modification to repressive Polycomb chromatin landmarks.

In the Littman lab, in light of the findings that specific microbiota drive distinct T cell development, I am interested in how the host immune system selectively clears pathogenic bacteria and simultaneously tolerates commensal, non-pathogenic bacteria. 



1. Xu, M., Pokrovskii, M., Ding, Y., Yi, R., Au, C., Harrison, O.J., Galan, C., Belkaid, Y., Bonneau, R., Littman, D.R. (2018) c-Maf-dependent regulatory T cells mediate immunological tolerance to a gut pathobiont. Nature. 2018 Feb 15;554(7692):373-377.

2. Yuan W, Wu T, Fu H, Dai C, Wu H, Liu N, Li X, Xu M, Zhang Z, Niu T, Han Z, Chai J, Zhou XJ, Gao S, Zhu B. Dense chromatin activates Polycomb repressive complex 2 to regulate H3 lysine 27 methylation. Science. 2012 Aug 24;337(6097):971-5.

3. Xu M, Chen S, Zhu B. Investigating the cell cycle-associated dynamics of histone modifications using quantitative mass spectrometry. Methods Enzymol. 2012;512:29-55.

4. Xu M, Wang W, Chen S, Zhu B. A model for mitotic inheritance of histone lysine methylation. EMBO Rep. 2011 Dec 23; 13(1):60-7.

5. Jing B, Xu S, Xu M, Li Y, Li S, Ding J, Zhang Y. Brush and spray: a high-throughput systemic acquired resistance assay suitable for large-scale genetic screening. Plant Physiol. 2011 Nov; 157(3):973-80.

6. Yuan W*, Xu M*, Huang C, Liu N, Chen S, Zhu B. H3K36 methylation antagonizes PRC2-mediated H3K27 methylation. J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 11; 286 (10): 7983-9. (Equal contribution)

7. Chen X, Xiong J, Xu M, Chen S, Zhu B. Symmetrical modification within a nucleosome is not required globally for histone lysine methylation. EMBO Rep. 2011 Mar; 12(3): 244-51.

8. Xu M, Zhu B. Nucleosome assembly and epigenetic inheritance. Protein Cell. 2010 Sep; 1(9):820-9.

9. Xu M*, Long C*, Chen X, Huang C, Chen S, Zhu B. Partitioning of histone H3-H4 tetramers during DNA replication-dependent chromatin assembly. Science. 2010 Apr 2; 328(5974): 94-8. (* Equal contribution)

10. Jia G, Wang W, Li H, Mao Z, Cai G, Sun J, Wu H, Xu M, Yang P, Yuan W, Chen S, Zhu B. A systematic evaluation of the compatibility of histones containing methyl-lysine analogues with biochemical reactions. Cell Res. 2009 Oct; 19(10):1217-20.