Michael J. Guertin


  • BS, Cornell University
  • PhD, Cornell University

Primary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics


Research Interest(s)

Transcription, Chromatin, Cancer, Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology

Research Description

Precise regulation of transcription is central to cellular homeostasis and an organism's response to developmental, nutritional, and environmental signals. Transcription factors bind to DNA to directly regulate gene expression and control cell fate. My lab develops and adopts molecular genomics approaches to study regulatory cascades initiated by hormone signaling. Our current work focuses on the basic mechanisms of estrogen signaling in breast cancer and how signaling cascades are disrupted upon tamoxifen treatment. We also use integrative genomics approaches to study glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in glucocorticoid-sensitive and resistant acute lymphocytic leukemia cells. A long-term goal of my group is to identify transcription factors that are responsible for hormone-resistant phenotypes in cancer cells.

Selected Publications

  • Liu Y, Walavalkar N, Dozmorov M, Rich S, Civelek M, Guertin M. Identification of breast cancer associated variants that modulate transcription factor binding. PLoS genetics. 2017;13(9): e1006761. PMID: 28957321
  • Mechanic L, Lindström S, Daily K, Sieberts S, Amos C, Chen H, Cox N, Dathe M, Feuer E, Guertin M, Hoffman J, Liu Y, Moore J, Myers C, Ritchie M, Schildkraut J, Schumacher F, Witte J, Wang W, Williams S, Gillanders E. Up For A Challenge (U4C): Stimulating innovation in breast cancer genetic epidemiology. PLoS genetics. 2017;13(9): e1006945. PMID: 28957327
  • Pooley J, Flynn B, Grøntved L, Baek S, Guertin M, Kershaw Y, Birnie M, Pellatt A, Rivers C, Schiltz R, Hager G, Lightman S, Conway-Campbell B. Genome-Wide Identification of Basic Helix-Loop-Helix and NF-1 Motifs Underlying GR Binding Sites in Male Rat Hippocampus. Endocrinology. 2017;158(5): 1486-1501. PMID: 28200020 | PMCID: PMC5460825
  • Vihervaara A, Mahat D, Guertin M, Chu T, Danko C, Lis J, Sistonen L. Transcriptional response to stress is pre-wired by promoter and enhancer architecture. Nature communications. 2017;8(1): 255. PMID: 28811569 | PMCID: PMC5557961
  • Duarte F, Fuda N, Mahat D, Core L, Guertin M, Lis J. Transcription factors GAF and HSF act at distinct regulatory steps to modulate stress-induced gene activation. Genes & development. 2016;30(15): 1731-46. PMID: 27492368 | PMCID: PMC5002978
  • Fuda N, Guertin M, Sharma S, Danko C, Martins A, Siepel A, Lis J. GAGA Factor Maintains Nucleosome-Free Regions and Has a Role in RNA Polymerase II Recruitment to Promoters. PLoS genetics. 2015;11(3): e1005108. PMID: 25815464 | PMCID: PMC4376892
  • Guertin M, Zhang X, Anguish L, Kim S, Varticovski L, Lis J, Hager G, Coonrod S. Targeted H3R26 deimination specifically facilitates estrogen receptor binding by modifying nucleosome structure. PLoS genetics. 2014;10(9): e1004613. PMID: 25211228 | PMCID: PMC4161307
  • Guertin M, Zhang X, Coonrod S, Hager G. Transient estrogen receptor binding and p300 redistribution support a squelching mechanism for estradiol-repressed genes. Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2014;28(9): 1522-33. PMID: 25051172 | PMCID: PMC4154243
  • Sung M, Guertin M, Baek S, Hager G. DNase footprint signatures are dictated by factor dynamics and DNA sequence. Molecular cell. 2014;56(2): 275-85. PMID: 25242143 | PMCID: PMC4272573
  • Guertin M, Lis J. Mechanisms by which transcription factors gain access to target sequence elements in chromatin. Current opinion in genetics & development. 2012;23(2): 116-23. PMID: 23266217 | PMCID: PMC3651763
  • Guertin M, Martins A, Siepel A, Lis J. Accurate prediction of inducible transcription factor binding intensities in vivo. PLoS genetics. 2012;8(3): e1002610. PMID: 22479205 | PMCID: PMC3315474
  • Zhang X, Bolt M, Guertin M, Chen W, Zhang S, Cherrington B, Slade D, Dreyton C, Subramanian V, Bicker K, Thompson P, Mancini M, Lis J, Coonrod S. Peptidylarginine deiminase 2-catalyzed histone H3 arginine 26 citrullination facilitates estrogen receptor α target gene activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012;109(33): 13331-6. PMID: 22853951 | PMCID: PMC3421185
  • Guertin M, Petesch S, Zobeck K, Min I, Lis J. Drosophila heat shock system as a general model to investigate transcriptional regulation. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology. 2011;75 1-9. PMID: 21467139
  • Carmon A, Guertin M, Grushko O, Marshall B, MacIntyre R. A molecular analysis of mutations at the complex dumpy locus in Drosophila melanogaster. PloS one. 2010;5(8): e12319. PMID: 20811586 | PMCID: PMC2930355
  • Guertin M, Lis J. Chromatin landscape dictates HSF binding to target DNA elements. PLoS genetics. 2010;6(9): e1001114. PMID: 20844575 | PMCID: PMC2936546