Tarek A. Abbas


  • BA, Hunter College, City University of New York, NY
  • MA, Hunter College, City University of New York, NY
  • MPH, The Graduate Center, (CUNY), NY
  • PhD, City University of New York, Hunter College

Primary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology


Research Interest(s)

The Ubiquitin System and Human Cancer

Research Description

The Ubiquitin System Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the role of the ubiquitin system in the development and progression of human cancer and its role in promoting cellular responses to current therapeutic agents, such as ionizing radiation, and the development of resistance to anti-cancer agents. We are particularly interested in investigating the regulated process of protein ubiquitination and proteolysis of DNA sensing and repair molecules. Currently, there are a handful of examples where DNA repair proteins are regulated at the level of ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis and current evidence suggest that many others are yet to be identified specifically in post-repair recovery.

Thus, we hope this line of investigation will lead to the genetic and biochemical characterization of novel pathways that can be potentially exploited for therapeutic intervention.

A second focus of our research is to understand how the activity of the various components of the ubiquitin system is regulated and how deregulation of such activity impact or modulate downstream cellular responses. Our long-term goal is to identify some of the basic principles that govern cellular homeostasis and safeguard against cancer development, and ultimately applying knowledge and technology in preventing or treating cancer when these safeguarding mechanisms fail to function.

Selected Publications

  • Abbas T, Keaton M, Dutta A. Genomic instability in cancer. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. 2013;5(3): a012914. PMID: 23335075 | PMCID: PMC3578360
  • Abbas T, Keaton M, Dutta A. Regulation of TGF-β signaling, exit from the cell cycle, and cellular migration through cullin cross-regulation: SCF-FBXO11 turns off CRL4-Cdt2. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2013;12(14): 2175-82. PMID: 23892434 | PMCID: PMC3755067
  • Abbas T, Mueller A, Shibata E, Keaton M, Rossi M, Dutta A. CRL1-FBXO11 promotes Cdt2 ubiquitylation and degradation and regulates Pr-Set7/Set8-mediated cellular migration. Molecular cell. 2013;49(6): 1147-58. PMID: 23478445 | PMCID: PMC3615078
  • Park J, Long D, Lee K, Abbas T, Shibata E, Negishi M, Luo Y, Schimenti J, Gambus A, Walter J, Dutta A. The MCM8-MCM9 complex promotes RAD51 recruitment at DNA damage sites to facilitate homologous recombination. Molecular and cellular biology. 2013;33(8): 1632-44. PMID: 23401855 | PMCID: PMC3624244
  • Terai K, Shibata E, Abbas T, Dutta A. Degradation of p12 Subunit by CRL4Cdt2 E3 Ligase Inhibits Fork Progression after DNA Damage. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2013;288(42): 30509-14. PMID: 24022480 | PMCID: PMC3798521
  • Abbas T, Dutta A. CRL4Cdt2: master coordinator of cell cycle progression and genome stability. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2011;10(2): 241-9. PMID: 21212733 | PMCID: PMC3025761
  • Shibata E, Abbas T, Huang X, Wohlschlegel J, Dutta A. Selective ubiquitylation of p21 and Cdt1 by UBCH8 and UBE2G ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes via the CRL4Cdt2 ubiquitin ligase complex. Molecular and cellular biology. 2011;31(15): 3136-45. PMID: 21628527 | PMCID: PMC3147600
  • Van Rechem C, Black J, Abbas T, Allen A, Rinehart C, Yuan G, Dutta A, Whetstine J. The SKP1-Cul1-F-box and leucine-rich repeat protein 4 (SCF-FbxL4) ubiquitin ligase regulates lysine demethylase 4A (KDM4A)/Jumonji domain-containing 2A (JMJD2A) protein. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011;286(35): 30462-70. PMID: 21757720 | PMCID: PMC3162406
  • Abbas T, Shibata E, Park J, Jha S, Karnani N, Dutta A. CRL4(Cdt2) regulates cell proliferation and histone gene expression by targeting PR-Set7/Set8 for degradation. Molecular cell. 2010;40(1): 9-21. PMID: 20932471 | PMCID: PMC2966975
  • Terai K, Abbas T, Jazaeri A, Dutta A. CRL4(Cdt2) E3 ubiquitin ligase monoubiquitinates PCNA to promote translesion DNA synthesis. Molecular cell. 2010;37(1): 143-9. PMID: 20129063 | PMCID: PMC2818832
  • Abbas T, Dutta A. p21 in cancer: intricate networks and multiple activities. Nature reviews. Cancer. 2009;9(6): 400-14. PMID: 19440234 | PMCID: PMC2722839
  • Abbas T, Sivaprasad U, Terai K, Amador V, Pagano M, Dutta A. PCNA-dependent regulation of p21 ubiquitylation and degradation via the CRL4Cdt2 ubiquitin ligase complex. Genes & development. 2008;22(18): 2496-506. PMID: 18794347 | PMCID: PMC2546691
  • Abbas T, Jha S, Sherman N, Dutta A. Autocatalytic phosphorylation of CDK2 at the activating Thr160. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2007;6(7): 843-52. PMID: 17361108
  • Abbas T, Dutta A. CDK2-activating kinase (CAK): more questions than answers. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2006;5(10): 1123-4. PMID: 16687928
  • Sivaprasad U, Abbas T, Dutta A. Differential efficacy of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase inhibitors on the cell cycle of prostate cancer cells. Molecular cancer therapeutics. 2006;5(9): 2310-6. PMID: 16985065
  • Hui L, Abbas T, Pielak R, Joseph T, Bargonetti J, Foster D. Phospholipase D elevates the level of MDM2 and suppresses DNA damage-induced increases in p53. Molecular and cellular biology. 2004;24(13): 5677-86. PMID: 15199126 | PMCID: PMC480910
  • Abbas T, White D, Hui L, Yoshida K, Foster D, Bargonetti J. Inhibition of human p53 basal transcription by down-regulation of protein kinase Cdelta. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2003;279(11): 9970-7. PMID: 14699137
  • Abbas T, Olivier M, Lopez J, Houser S, Xiao G, Kumar G, Tomasz M, Bargonetti J. Differential activation of p53 by the various adducts of mitomycin C. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2002;277(43): 40513-9. PMID: 12183457