Aimin Peng, PhD

Dr. Peng

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology
Nebraska Center of Cellular Signaling

Contact Information

Room 1404, UNMC College of Dentistry
4000 East Campus Loop South
Lincoln, NE 68583-0740


Teaching Responsibilities 
  • Course Instructor, Biochemistry for Dental Students (ORBI 545)
  • Course Instructor, Advanced Oral Biology (OBIO 855)
Research Interests 
  • Our research areas include cell cycle regulation and the DNA damage response (DDR). We are particularly interested in the connection between these pathways and human cancer, including cancer of oral cavity. Dysregulation of these pathways has been established as a causal factor in cancer progression, and therapeutic solutions to improve cancer treatment through manipulating the DDR or cell cycle machinery are dearly sought. It is, however, imperative to delineate the mechanistic basis of these pathways in order to fully translate these studies into clinical benefits. These fundamental and evolutionarily-conserved processes are extremely complicated in nature, and scientific efforts to understand them are likely to benefit from utilization of comprehensive experimental systems. We combine reconstitutive studies in Xenopus egg extracts and other in vitro systems with functional investigations in mammalian cells and tumor models to reveal new insights into these processes. With this comprehensive panel of experimental systems, we are poised to make unique and substantial contributions in this research field.
  • University of Nebraska, “Phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit in Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-mediated DNA repair and cancer therapy,” Principal Investigator, $112,500, 07/01/2018-06/30/2020
  • UNMC Pamela and Fred Buffett Cancer Center, “Characterization of Novel Small Cell Molecule Inhibitors of Greatwall Kinase for Cancer Research,” Principal Investigator, $37,500, 04/01/2018-03/31/2019
  • National Institute of Health, “DNA damage checkpoint recovery and cancer,” Principal Investigator, $1,540,000, 4/1/2013 - 3/31/2018
  • UNMC Pamela and Fred Buffett Cancer Center, “Protein phosphatases-dependent regulation of the cell cycle and DNA damage responses,” Principal Investigator, $50,000, 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2016
  • National Institute of Health, UNMC Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling, “Biochemical investigation of oxidative DNA damage responses,” Pilot project Principal Investigator, $50,000, 4/1/2014 - 6/30/2015
  • NIH/CoBRE,  UNMC Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling, “The functions and regulatory mechanisms of a specific protein phosphatase 1 complex in the DNA damage response and cancer progression,” Principal Investigator: Keith Johnson;  Project Leader: Aimin Peng; $375,000, 2010 - 2013
Selected Publications 
  • Zhu S, Paydar M, Wang F, Li Y, Wang L, Barrette B, Bessho T, Kwok BH, and Peng A. (2020) Kinesin Kif2C in Regulation of DNA Double Strand Break Dynamics and Repair. eLife. Jan 17;9. pii: e53402. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53402 PMID: 31951198.
  • Wang F, Zhu S, Fisher LA, Wang L, Eurek NJ, Wahl JK, Lan L, Peng A. (2019) Phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit mediates recruitment and function of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 in DNA repair. Cancer Res. 79:2526-2535. PMID: 30733193
  • Wang F, Wang L, Fisher LA, Li C, Wang W, Peng A. (2019) Phosphatase 1 Nuclear Targeting Subunit (PNUTS) Regulates Aurora Kinases and Mitotic Progression. Mol Cancer Res. 17:10-19. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786
  • Wang F, Zhu S, Fisher LA, Wang W, Oakley GG, Li C, Peng A. (2018) Protein interactomes of protein phosphatase 2A B55 regulatory subunits reveal B55-mediated regulation of replication protein A under replication stress. Sci Rep. 8:2683. PMCID: PMC5805732.
  • Ren D, Fisher LA, Wang L, Williams BC, Goldberg ML, and Peng A. (2017) Cell Cycle-dependent regulation of greatwall kinase by protein phosphatase 1 and regulatory subunit 3B. J Biol Chem 292:10026-10034. PMID: 28446604.
  • Zhu S, Fisher LA, Bessho T, and Peng, A. (2017) Protein phosphatase 1 and phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit-dependent regulation of DNA-dependent protein kinase and non-homologous end joining. Nucleic Acid Res doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx686.
  • Zhu S, Peng A. (2016) Non-homologous end joining repair in Xenopus egg extract. Sci Rep 21. PMID: 27324260. 
  • Luong LV, Wang L, Roberts BJ, Wahl III JK, Peng A. (2016) Cell fate determination in Cisplatin resistance and chemosensitization. Oncotarget 8110. PMID: 26993599.
  • Wang, L., Guo, Q., Fisher, L.A., Liu, D., Peng, A. Regulation of polo-like kinase 1 by DNA damage and PP2A/B55α. Cell Cycle 10:4161, 2015.
  • Glanzer, J.G., Liu, S., Wang, L., Mosel, A., Peng, A., and Oakley, G.G. RPA inhibition increases replication stress and suppresses tumor growth. Cancer Res 2014 Sep 28; 74(18):5165-72. Epub 2014 Jul 28.
  • Yamamoto, T.M., Wang, L., Fisher, L.A., Eckerdt, F.D., and Peng, A. Regulation of greatwall kinase by protein stabilization and nuclear localization. Cell Cycle 13(22):3565-75, 2014.
  • Wang, L., Luong, V.Q., Giannini, P.J., and Peng, A. Mastl kinase, a promising therapeutic target, promotes cancer recurrence, Oncotarget 5(22):11479-11489, 2014.
  • Fisher, L.A., Wang, L., Wu, L., and Peng, A. Phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit Is an essential regulator of M-phase entry, maintenance and exit. J Biol Chem 2014 Aug 7; 289(34):23745-52. Epub 2014 Jul 7.13.
  • Peng A. (2013) Working Hard for Recovery: Mitotic kinases in the DNA damage checkpoint. Cell Biosci 3:20.
  • Wang L. Mosel AJ, Oakley GG, Peng A. (2012) Deficient DNA damage signaling leads to chemoresistance to Cisplatin in oral cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 11:2401-240
  • Wang, L., Fisher, L.A., Wahl III, J.K., Peng, A. Generation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against xenopus greatwall kinase. Hybridoma 30:469-474, 2011.
  • Peng, A., Wang, L., and Fisher, L.A. Greatwall and polo-like kinase 1 coordinate to promote checkpoint recovery. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:28996-29004, 2011.
  • Peng A, Lweellyn AL, Schiemann WP, Maller JL. (2010) Repo-man controls a protein phosphatase 1-denpendent threshold for DNA damage checkpoint activation. Curr Biol 20:387-396.
  • Peng A, Maller JL. (2010) Serine/Threonine phosphatases in the DNA damage response and cancer. Oncogene 29: 5977-5988.
  • Peng A, Yamamoto TM, Goldberg ML, Maller JL. (2010) A novel role for greatwall kinase in recovery from DNA damage. Cell Cycle 9: 4364-4369.
  • Peng A, Lewellyn AL, Maller JL. (2008) DNA damage signaling in early xenopus embryos. Cell Cycle 7:3-6.
  • Peng A, Lewellyn AL, Maller JL. (2007) Undamaged DNA transmits and enhances DNA damage checkpoint signals in early embryos. Mol Cell Biol 27:6852-6862.
  • Peng A, Chen PL. (2005) NFBD1/MDC1 mediates ATM- and Rad3-related-dependent DNA damage response. Cancer Res.65:1158-1163.
  • Polci R, Peng A, Chen PL, Riley DJ, Chen Y. (2004) NIMA-related protein kinase 1 is involved early in the ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage response. Cancer Res 64:8800-8803.
  • Peng A, Chen PL. (2003) NFBD1, like 53BP1, is an early and redundant transducer mediating Chk2 phosphorylation in response to DNA damage. J Biol Chem 278:8873-8876.