Dr Xin (Claire) Sun

Claire Sun is an early career researcher with a strong interest in the role of epigenetic machinery in tumorigenesis. Dr Sun undertook her Masters at the University of Melbourne, with a research focus on non-coding RNA biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease, from which she gained experience in epigenetic biomarker research.

During her PhD which she completed at at Monash University, she performed pioneering work in epigenetic regulation of mitochondrial DNA in tumorigenesis, which eventually culminated in three major research papers.  Global DNA methylation synergistically regulates the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes was published in Nucleic Acids ResearchModulation of mitochondrial DNA copy number in a model of glioblastoma induces changes to DNA methylation and gene expression of the nuclear genome in tumours was published in Epigenetics & Chromatin; and The degree of mitochondrial DNA methylation in tumor models of glioblastoma and osteosarcoma was published in Clinical Epigenetics.

Dr Sun’s previous research, which highlights the importance of epigenetic modifiers and therapies, has redefined her new interest in translating basic research findings into clinical applications. She will pursue this area of work in her role within the Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics research group.

Selected publications

  • St John JC, Makanji Y, Johnson JL, Tsai T, Lagondar S, Rodda F, Sun X, Pangestu X, Chen P, Temple-Smith P (2019) The transgenerational effects of oocyte mitochondrial supplementation. Sci Rep 9:6694.

  • Sun X, Vaghjiani V, Jayasekara WSN, Cain JE, St John JC (2018) The degree of mitochondrial DNA methylation in tumor models of glioblastoma and osteosarcoma. Clin Epigenetics 10:157.

  • Sun X, St John JC (2018) Modulation of mitochondrial DNA copy number in a model of glioblastoma induces changes to DNA methylation and gene expression of the nuclear genome in tumours. Epigenetics Chromatin 11:53.

  • Sun X, Johnson J, St John JC (2018) Global DNA methylation synergistically regulates the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes in glioblastoma cells, Nucleic Acids Res 46:5977-5995.

  • St John JC, Srirattana K, Tsai T, Sun X (2017) The mitochondrial genome: how it drives fertility. Reprod Fertil Dev 30:118–139.

  • Lee WT, Sun X, Tsai T, Johnson JL, Gould JA, Garama DJ , Gough DJ , McKenzie M, Trounce IA, St John JC (2017) Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes induce differential patterns of DNA methylation that result in differential chromosomal gene expression patterns. Cell Death Discov 3:17062. Co-first author.

  • Sun X, St John JC (2016) The role of the mtDNA set point in differentiation, development and tumorigenesis. Biochem J 473:2955-2971.

  • Sun X, Lee W, Vaghjiani V, St John JC (2016) Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number and Its Regulation Through DNA Methylation of POLGA. Methods Mol Biol 1351:131-141.

  • Cagnone G, Vaghjiani V, Lee W, Sun C, Johnson J, Yeung KY, St John JC (2016) Analysis of the Mitochondrial DNA and Its Replicative Capacity in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Methods Mol Biol 1357:231-267.

  • Cheng L, Quek CY, Sun X, Bellingham SA, Hill AF (2013) The detection of microRNA associated with Alzheimer’s disease in biological fluids using next-generation sequencing technologies. Front Genet 4:150.

  • Cheng L, Sun X, Scicluna BJ, Coleman BM, Hill AF (2014) Characterization and deep sequencing analysis of exosomal and non-exosomal miRNA in human urine. Kidney Int 86:433-444. Co-first author.