Skip to main content
Dean Tantin

Dean Tantin, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Pathology

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Gene Regulation
  • Development and Regulation of Immune Responses
  • Stem Cells
  • Transcriptional Control of Malignant State

Dean Tantin is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah and a member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Tantin studies the regulation of gene expression and its relationship to immune and stem cell function, and malignancy. He focuses on a class of transcription factors that has been tied to cellular reprogramming and immune function. Examples of these proteins are Oct1/Pou2f1, Oct2/Pou2f1, and Oct4/Pou5f1. These proteins regulate cellular physiology and differentiation state through control of metabolism and through control of poised (silent but readily inducible) gene expression states. They interact with multiple cofactors that control local chromatin and gene expression.

Tantin received a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. from the UCLA Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. program. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Reseach and Department of Biology under Nobel Laureate Phil Sharp.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research
Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research
Postdoctoral Associate
Postdoctoral Fellowship Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Cancer Research
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, Los Angeles, Molecular Biology Institute Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program
Undergraduate University of California, San Diego Division of Biology

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Sun W, Guo J, McClellan D, Poeschla A, Bareyan D, Casey MJ, Cairns BR, Tantin D, Engel ME (2022). GFI1 Cooperates with IKZF1/IKAROS to Activate Gene Expression in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Mol Cancer Res, 20, 501-514.
  2. Kim H, Perovanovic J, Shakya A, Shen Z, German CN, Ibarra A, Jafek JL, Lin NP, Evavold BD, Chou DH, Jensen PE, He X, Tantin D (2020). Targeting transcriptional coregulator OCA-B/Pou2af1 blocks activated autoreactive T cells in the pancreas and type 1 diabetes. J Exp Med, 218(3).
  3. Bensard CL, Wisidagama DR, Olson KA, Berg JA, Krah NM, Schell JC, Nowinski SM, Fogarty S, Bott AJ, Wei P, Dove KK, Tanner JM, Panic V, Cluntun A, Lettlova S, Earl CS, Namnath DF, Vzquez-Arregun K, Villanueva CJ, Tantin D, Murtaugh LC, Evason KJ, Ducker GS, Thummel CS, Rutter J (2019). Regulation of Tumor Initiation by the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier. Cell Metab, 31(2), 284-300.e7.
  4. McDonough JE, Ahangari F, Li Q, Jain S, Verleden SE, Herazo-Maya J, Vukmirovic M, DeIuliis G, Tzouvelekis A, Tanabe N, Chu F, Yan X, Verschakelen J, Homer RJ, Manatakis DV, Zhang J, Ding J, Maes K, De Sadeleer L, Vos R, Neyrinck A, Benos PV, Bar-Joseph Z, Tantin D, Hogg JC, Vanaudenaerde BM, Wuyts WA, Kaminski N (2019). Transcriptional regulatory model of fibrosis progression in the human lung. JCI Insight, 4(22).
  5. Jafek JL, Shakya A, Tai PY, Ibarra A, Kim H, Maddox J, Chumley J, Spangrude GJ, Miles RR, Kelley TW, Tantin D (2019). Transcription factor Oct1 protects against hematopoietic stress and promotes acute myeloid leukemia. Exp Hematol, 76, 38-48.e2.
  6. Kim H, Dickey L, Stone C, Jafek JL, Lane TE, Tantin D (2019). T cell-selective deletion of Oct1 protects animals from autoimmune neuroinflammation while maintaining neurotropic pathogen response. J Neuroinflammation, 16(1), 133.
  7. Vzquez-Arregun K, Bensard C, Schell JC, Swanson E, Chen X, Rutter J, Tantin D (2019). Oct1/Pou2f1 is selectively required for colon regeneration and regulates colon malignancy. PLoS Genet, 15(5), e1007687.
  8. Shen Z, Formosa T, Tantin D (2018). FACT Inhibition Blocks Induction But Not Maintenance of Pluripotency. Stem Cells Dev, 27(24), 1693-1701.
  9. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Maddox J, Kang J, Park D, Cano RR, Factor RE, Ludwig T, Tantin D (2018). BRCA1 through Its E3 Ligase Activity Regulates the Transcription Factor Oct1 and Carbohydrate Metabolism. Mol Cancer Res, 16(3), 439-452.
  10. Shen Z, Kang J, Shakya A, Tabaka M, Jarboe EA, Regev A, Tantin D (2017). Enforcement of developmental lineage specificity by transcription factor Oct1. Elife, pii: e20937.
  11. Kikani CK, Wu X, Paul L, Sabic H, Shen Z, Shakya A, Keefe A, Villanueva C, Kardon G, Graves B, Tantin D, Rutter J (2016). Pask integrates hormonal signaling with histone modification via Wdr5 phosphorylation to drive myogenesis. Elife, 5.
  12. Shakya A, Goren A, Shalek A, German CN, Snook J, Kuchroo VK, Yosef N, Chan RC, Regev A, Williams MA, Tantin D (2015). Oct1 and OCA-B are selectively required for CD4 memory T cell function. J Exp Med, 212(12), 2115-31.
  13. Shakya A, Callister C, Goren A, Yosef N, Garg N, Khoddami V, Nix D, Regev A, Tantin D (2015). Pluripotency transcription factor Oct4 mediates stepwise nucleosome demethylation and depletion. Mol Cell Biol, 35(6), 1014-25.
  14. Manning J, Mitchell B, Appadurai DA, Shakya A, Pierce LJ, Wang H, Nganga V, Swanson PC, May JM, Tantin D, Spangrude GJ (2013). Vitamin C promotes maturation of T-cells. Antioxid Redox Signal, 19(17), 2054-67.
  15. Kang J, Shen Z, Lim JM, Handa H, Wells L, Tantin D (2013). Regulation of Oct1/Pou2f1 transcription activity by O-GlcNAcylation. FASEB J, 27(7), 2807-17.
  16. Yosef N, Shalek AK, Gaublomme JT, Jin H, Lee Y, Awasthi A, Wu C, Karwacz K, Xiao S, Jorgolli M, Gennert D, Satija R, Shakya A, Lu DY, Trombetta JJ, Pillai MR, Ratcliffe PJ, Coleman ML, Bix M, Tantin D, Park H, Kuchroo VK, Regev A (2013). Dynamic regulatory network controlling TH17 cell differentiation. Nature, 496(7446), 461-8.
  17. Li Q, Shakya A, Guo X, Zhang H, Tantin D, Jensen PE, Chen X (2012). Constitutive nuclear localization of NFAT in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells independent of calcineurin activity. J Immunol, 188(9), 4268-77.
  18. Maddox J, Shakya A, South S, Shelton D, Andersen JN, Chidester S, Kang J, Gligorich KM, Jones DA, Spangrude GJ, Welm BE, Tantin D (2012). Transcription factor Oct1 is a somatic and cancer stem cell determinant. PLoS Genet, 8(11), e1003048.
  19. Ferraris L, Stewart AP, Kang J, DeSimone AM, Gemberling M, Tantin D, Fairbrother WG (2011). Combinatorial binding of transcription factors in the pluripotency control regions of the genome. Genome Res, 21(7), 1055-64.
  20. Shakya A, Kang J, Chumley J, Williams MA, Tantin D (2011). Oct1 is a switchable, bipotential stabilizer of repressed and inducible transcriptional states. J Biol Chem, 286(1), 450-9.
  21. Kang J, Goodman B, Zheng Y, Tantin D (2011). Dynamic regulation of Oct1 during mitosis by phosphorylation and ubiquitination. PLoS One, 6(8), e23872.
  22. Kiesler P, Shakya A, Tantin D, Vercelli D (2009). An allergy-associated polymorphism in a novel regulatory element enhances IL13 expression. Hum Mol Genet, 18(23), 4513-20.
  23. Shakya A, Cooksey R, Cox JE, Wang V, McClain DA, Tantin D (2009). Oct1 loss of function induces a coordinate metabolic shift that opposes tumorigenicity. Nat Cell Biol, 11(3), 320-7.
  24. Kang J, Gemberling M, Nakamura M, Whitby FG, Handa H, Fairbrother WG, Tantin D (2009). A general mechanism for transcription regulation by Oct1 and Oct4 in response to genotoxic and oxidative stress. Genes Dev, 23(2), 208-22.


  1. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Tantin D (2016). The Oct1 transcription factor and epithelial malignancies: Old protein learns new tricks. [Review]. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1859(6), 792-804.
  2. Tantin D (2013). Oct transcription factors in development and stem cells: insights and mechanisms. [Review]. Development, 140(14), 2857-66.
  3. Tantin D, Voth WP, Shakya A (2013). Efficient chromatin immunoprecipitation using limiting amounts of biomass. [Review]. J Vis Exp, (75), e50064.
  4. Kang J, Shakya A, Tantin D (2009). Stem cells, stress, metabolism and cancer: a drama in two Octs. [Review]. Trends Biochem Sci, 34(10), 491-9.

Book Chapter

  1. Maddox, J, Tantin, D (2013). Oct4, Oct1 and Cancer Stem Cells. In Cancer Stem Cells. Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.: Wiley & Sons.


  1. Tantin D (2016). Good times for Oct proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1859(6), 769.


  1. Sun W, Jia X, Liesa M, Tantin D, Ward DM (2021). ABCB10 Loss Reduces CD4+ T Cell Activation and Memory Formation. J Immunol (208(2), pp. 328-337). United States.


  1. Dean Tantin (2019). Disclosure: A method to boost T memory cell responses. U.S. Patent No. Invention disclosure U-6757. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. Dean Tantin (2018). Provisional patent: OCA-B peptide inhibitors for the treatment of typle-1 diabetes. U.S. Patent No. Invention disclosure U-6462. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  3. Tantin D (2009). Disclosure: Use of Oct1 as a biomarker for tumor stem cells. U.S. Patent No. Invention disclosure U-4650. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Podcasts & News