Qi Zhang, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Cancer Biology in Medicine, Academic Institute
Associate Research Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Lab Link

Description of Research

Mitochodrial-targeted compounds 

      Over last 5 years I was focused on the validating new mitochondria-targeted compounds both as site-specific probes for reactive oxygen species and as modulators of mitochondrial function. We discovered that TPP- conjugated compounds can be used as relatively non-toxic anticancer agents, which selectively accumulate in cancer cells and tumor tissues. We established a method for profiling cancer cell bioenergetic status as a base for design of anticancer treatment targeting cancer cell bioenergetic status. We have also demonstrated that Mitochondria-targeted compounds can prevent side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs while retaining their anticancer activity. These investigations have resulted in relatively nontoxic and tumor cell-selective anti- proliferating agents that can be used to enhance the chemotherapeutic efficacy of standard-of-care antitumor drugs.

Drugs screening for cancer chemoprevention:

         Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and continues to be the most common fatal cancer. Chemoprevention is an important approach to decrease lung cancer. A major focus of my research is to evaluate compounds for their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer in vitro and in vivo. We have been investigating the effects of natural products such as green tea, ginseng, magnolol extract, etc., which have shown promise as anti-cancer agents. Besides, we are researching the anti-cancer properties of other compounds such as honokiol, rapamycin, bexarotene, a vitamin A analog, and of agents that target specific driver genes, such as inhibitors of EGFR, MEK, AKT, and PI3K, etc.


Aerosolized miR-138-5p and miR-200c targets PD-L1 for lung cancer prevention
Zhang, Q, Pan, J, Xiong, D, Zheng, J, McPherson, KN, Lee, S, Huang, M, Xu, Y, Chen, S-H, Wang, Y, Hildebrandt Ruiz, L & You, M 2023, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1166951, pp. 1166951. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1166951

Cancer chemoprevention with PV-1, a novel Prunella vulgaris-containing herbal mixture that remodels the tumor immune microenvironment in mice
Zhang, Q, Chen, X, Palen, K, Johnson, B, Bui, D, Xiong, D, Pan, J, Hu, M, Wang, Y & You, M 2023, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1196434. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1196434

Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer with a Combination of Mitochondria-Targeted Compounds
Zhang, Q, Xiong, D, Pan, J, Wang, Y, Hardy, M, Kalyanaraman, B & You, M 2022, , Cancers, vol. 14, no. 10, 2538. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14102538

Prevention of Tumor Growth and Dissemination by In Situ Vaccination with Mitochondria-Targeted Atovaquone
Huang, M, Xiong, D, Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Wang, Y, Myers, CR, Johnson, BD, Hardy, M, Kalyanaraman, B & You, M 2022, , Advanced Science, vol. 9, no. 12, 2101267, pp. e2101267. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202101267

Targeting Glutamine Metabolism to Enhance Immunoprevention of EGFR-Driven Lung Cancer
Huang, M, Xiong, D, Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Sei, S, Shoemaker, RH, Lubet, RA, Montuenga, LM, Wang, Y, Slusher, BS & You, M 2022, , Advanced Science, vol. 9, no. 26, pp. e2105885. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202105885

Inhibition of lung tumorigenesis by a small molecule CA170 targeting the immune checkpoint protein VISTA
Pan, J, Chen, Y, Zhang, Q, Khatun, A, Palen, K, Xin, G, Wang, L, Yang, C, Johnson, BD, Myers, CR, Sei, S, Shoemaker, RH, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y, Cui, W & You, M 2021, , Communications Biology, vol. 4, no. 1, 906, pp. 906. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02381-x

Pulmonary Aerosol Delivery of Let-7b microRNA Confers a Striking Inhibitory Effect on Lung Carcinogenesis through Targeting the Tumor Immune Microenvironment
Zhang, Q, Pan, J, Xiong, D, Wang, Y, Miller, MS, Sei, S, Shoemaker, RH, Izzotti, A & You, M 2021, , Advanced Science, vol. 8, no. 17, 2100629. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202100629

Magnolia extract is effective for the chemoprevention of oral cancer through its ability to inhibit mitochondrial respiration at complex i
Zhang, Q, Cheng, G, Pan, J, Zielonka, J, Xiong, D, Myers, CR, Feng, L, Shin, SS, Kim, YH, Bui, D, Hu, M, Bennett, B, Schmainda, K, Wang, Y, Kalyanaraman, B & You, M 2020, , Cell Communication and Signaling, vol. 18, no. 1, 58. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12964-020-0524-2

Targeting lonidamine to mitochondria mitigates lung tumorigenesis and brain metastasis
Cheng, G, Zhang, Q, Pan, J, Lee, Y, Ouari, O, Hardy, M, Zielonka, M, Myers, CR, Zielonka, J, Weh, K, Chang, AC, Chen, G, Kresty, L, Kalyanaraman, B & You, M 2019, , Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 2205. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10042-1

Potentiation of Kras peptide cancer vaccine by avasimibe, a cholesterol modulator
Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Palen, K, Wang, L, Qiao, L, Johnson, B, Sei, S, Shoemaker, RH, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y & You, M 2019, , EBioMedicine, vol. 49, pp. 72-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.10.044

Optimized Bexarotene Aerosol Formulation Inhibits Major Subtypes of Lung Cancer in Mice
Zhang, Q, Lee, SB, Chen, X, Stevenson, ME, Pan, J, Xiong, D, Zhou, Y, Miller, MS, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y, Mirza, SP & You, M 2019, , Nano Letters, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 2231-2242. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b04309

Exosomal mirnas as novel pharmacodynamic biomarkers for cancer chemopreventive agent early stage treatments in chemically induced mouse model of lung squamous cell carcinoma
Zhou, Y, Zhang, Q, Du, M, Xiong, D, Wang, Y, Mohammed, A, Lubet, RA, Wang, L & You, M 2019, , Cancers, vol. 11, no. 4, 477. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11040477

Airway brushing as a new experimental methodology to detect airway gene expression signatures in mouse lung squamous cell carcinoma
Pan, J, Xiong, D, Zhang, Q, Szabo, E, Miller, MS, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y & You, M 2018, , Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 8895. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26902-7

Isolation and characterization of a Chinese hamster ovary heparan sulfate cell mutant defective in both met receptor binding and hepatocyte growth factor NK1/Met signaling
Cao, T, Pan, J, Li, X, He, Y, Jiang, Y, Chang, Y, Zhang, Q, Lan, Y, Wang, H, Jiao, W, Tian, Z & Zhang, L 2018, , Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 1480-1491. https://doi.org/10.1159/000492258

Mitochondria-Targeted Honokiol Confers a Striking Inhibitory Effect on Lung Cancer via Inhibiting Complex I Activity
Pan, J, Lee, Y, Cheng, G, Zielonka, J, Zhang, Q, Bajzikova, M, Xiong, D, Tsaih, SW, Hardy, M, Flister, M, Olsen, CM, Wang, Y, Vang, O, Neuzil, J, Myers, CR, Kalyanaraman, B & You, M 2018, , iScience, vol. 3, pp. 192-207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2018.04.013

Effect of weekly or daily dosing regimen of Gefitinib in mouse models of lung cancer
Zhang, Q, Li, R, Chen, X, Lee, SB, Pan, J, Xiong, D, Hu, J, Miller, MS, Szabo, E, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y & You, M 2017, , Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 42, pp. 72447-72456. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19785

Pioglitazone-mediated reversal of elevated glucose metabolism in the airway epithelium of mouse lung adenocarcinomas
Xiong, D, Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Szabo, E, Miller, MS, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y & You, M 2017, , JCI insight, vol. 2, no. 13, e94220. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.94220

Honokiol decreases lung cancer metastasis through inhibition of thestat3signaling pathway
Pan, J, Lee, Y, Zhang, Q, Xiong, D, CWan, T, Wang, Y & You, M 2017, , Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 133-141. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-16-0129

Immunoprevention of KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma by a multipeptide vaccine
Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Sei, S, Shoemaker, RH, Lubet, RA, Wang, Y & You, M 2017, , Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 47, pp. 82689-82699. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19831

Bronchial airway gene expression signatures in mouse lung squamous cell carcinoma and their modulation by cancer chemopreventive agents
Xiong, D, Pan, J, Zhang, Q, Szabo, E, Miller, MS, Lubet, RA, You, M & Wang, Y 2017, , Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 18885-18900. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13806