Dean Tantin, PhD

Research Interests

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


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Pathology - Associate Professor
  • Divisions: Microbiology and Immunology
  • Cancer Center Programs: Nuclear Control of Cell Growth & Differentiation

Academic Office Information

  • 801-587-3035
  • Emma Eccles Jones Research Building
    15 North Medical Drive East, Room: 5200K
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Academic Bio

Dean Tantin is an Associate 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 gene expression and its relationship to immune and stem cell function, and malignancy. He focuses on a class of transcription factors that have been tied to cellular reprogramming and immune function. The proteins are called Oct1, Oct2, and Oct4. These proteins affect 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

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

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Bensard C, Schell JC, Swanson E, Chen X, Rutter J, Tantin D (). Oct1/Pou2f1 is selectively required for colon regeneration and regulates colon malignancy. PLoS Genet, (in press).
  2. Kim H, Dickey L, Stone C, Jafek JL, Lane TE, Tantin D (). T cell-selective deletion of Oct1 protects animals from autoimmune neuroinflammation while maintaining neurotropic pathogen response. J Neuroinflammation, (in press).
  3. Shen Z, Formosa T, Tantin D (2018 Dec 15). FACT Inhibition Blocks Induction But Not Maintenance of Pluripotency. Stem Cells Dev, 27(24), 1693-1701.
  4. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Maddox J, Kang J, Park D, Cano RR, Factor RE, Ludwig T, Tantin D (2018 Mar). BRCA1 through Its E3 Ligase Activity Regulates the Transcription Factor Oct1 and Carbohydrate Metabolism. Mol Cancer Res, 16(3), 439-452.
  5. Shen Z, Kang J, Shakya A, Tabaka M, Jarboe EA, Regev A, Tantin D (2017 May 24). Enforcement of developmental lineage specificity by transcription factor Oct1. eLife, pii: e20937.
  6. 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 Sep 23). Pask integrates hormonal signaling with histone modification via Wdr5 phosphorylation to drive myogenesis. eLife, pii: e17985.
  7. Shakya A, Goren A, Shalek A, German CN, Snook J, Kuchroo VK, Yosef N, Chan RC, Regev A, Williams MA, Tantin D (2015 Nov 16). Oct1 and OCA-B are selectively required for CD4 memory T cell function. J Exp Med, 212(12), 2115-31.
  8. Shakya A, Callister C, Goren A, Yosef N, Garg N, Khoddami V, Nix D, Regev A, Tantin D (2015 Mar). Pluripotency transcription factor Oct4 mediates stepwise nucleosome demethylation and depletion. Mol Cell Biol, 35(6), 1014-25.
  9. Manning J, Mitchell B, Appadurai DA, Shakya A, Pierce LJ, Wang H, Nganga V, Swanson PC, May JM, Tantin D, Spangrude GJ (2013 Dec 10). Vitamin C promotes maturation of T-cells. Antioxid Redox Signal, 19(17), 2054-67.
  10. Kang J, Shen Z, Lim JM, Handa H, Wells L, Tantin D (2013 Jul). Regulation of Oct1/Pou2f1 transcription activity by O-GlcNAcylation. FASEB J, 27(7), 2807-17.
  11. 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 Apr 25). Dynamic regulatory network controlling TH17 cell differentiation. Nature, 496(7446), 461-8.
  12. Li Q, Shakya A, Guo X, Zhang H, Tantin D, Jensen PE, Chen X (2012 May 1). Constitutive nuclear localization of NFAT in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells independent of calcineurin activity. J Immunol, 188(9), 4268-77.
  13. Tantin D, Rutter J (2012 Apr 4). Proliferation and metabolism: it's as easy as APC. Cell Metab, 15(4), 413-4.
  14. 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.
  15. Ferraris L, Stewart AP, Kang J, DeSimone AM, Gemberling M, Tantin D, Fairbrother WG (2011 Jul). Combinatorial binding of transcription factors in the pluripotency control regions of the genome. Genome Res, 21(7), 1055-64.
  16. Shakya A, Kang J, Chumley J, Williams MA, Tantin D (2011 Jan 7). Oct1 is a switchable, bipotential stabilizer of repressed and inducible transcriptional states. J Biol Chem, 286(1), 450-9.
  17. Kang J, Goodman B, Zheng Y, Tantin D (2011). Dynamic regulation of Oct1 during mitosis by phosphorylation and ubiquitination. PLoS ONE, 6(8), e23872.
  18. Kiesler P, Shakya A, Tantin D, Vercelli D (2009 Dec 1). An allergy-associated polymorphism in a novel regulatory element enhances IL13 expression. Hum Mol Genet, 18(23), 4513-20.
  19. Shakya A, Cooksey R, Cox JE, Wang V, McClain DA, Tantin D (2009 Mar). Oct1 loss of function induces a coordinate metabolic shift that opposes tumorigenicity. Nat Cell Biol, 11(3), 320-7.
  20. Kang J, Gemberling M, Nakamura M, Whitby FG, Handa H, Fairbrother WG, Tantin D (2009 Jan 15). A general mechanism for transcription regulation by Oct1 and Oct4 in response to genotoxic and oxidative stress. Genes Dev, 23(2), 208-22.
  21. Tantin D, Gemberling M, Callister C, Fairbrother WG (2008 Apr). High-throughput biochemical analysis of in vivo location data reveals novel distinct classes of POU5F1(Oct4)/DNA complexes. Genome Res, 18(4), 631-9.
  22. Schild-Poulter C, Shih A, Tantin D, Yarymowich NC, Soubeyrand S, Sharp PA, Hache RJ (2007 Jun 7). DNA-PK phosphorylation sites on Oct-1 promote cell survival following DNA damage. Oncogene, 26(27), 3980-8.
  23. Zhou L, Nazarian AA, Xu J, Tantin D, Corcoran LM, Smale ST (2007 Apr). An inducible enhancer required for Il12b promoter activity in an insulated chromatin environment. Mol Cell Biol, 27(7), 2698-712.
  24. Hitomi T, Matsuzaki Y, Yasuda S, Kawanaka M, Yogosawa S, Koyama M, Tantin D, Sakai T (2007 Mar 20). Oct-1 is involved in the transcriptional repression of the p15(INK4b) gene. FEBS Lett, 581(6), 1087-92.
  25. Tantin D, Schild-Poulter C, Wang V, Hache RJ, Sharp PA (2005 Dec 1). The octamer binding transcription factor Oct-1 is a stress sensor. Cancer Res, 65(23), 10750-8.
  26. Wang VE, Tantin D, Chen J, Sharp PA (2004 Feb 17). B cell development and immunoglobulin transcription in Oct-1-deficient mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101(7), 2005-10.
  27. Tantin D, Tussie-Luna MI, Roy AL, Sharp PA (2004 Feb 13). Regulation of immunoglobulin promoter activity by TFII-I class transcription factors. J Biol Chem, 279(7), 5460-9.
  28. Nogueira ML, Wang VE, Tantin D, Sharp PA, Kristie TM (2004 Feb 10). Herpes simplex virus infections are arrested in Oct-1-deficient cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101(6), 1473-8.
  29. Wang VE, Schmidt T, Chen J, Sharp PA, Tantin D (2004 Feb). Embryonic lethality, decreased erythropoiesis, and defective octamer-dependent promoter activation in Oct-1-deficient mice. Mol Cell Biol, 24(3), 1022-32.
  30. Tantin D, Sharp PA (2002 Mar). Mouse lymphoid cell line selected to have high immunoglobulin promoter activity. Mol Cell Biol, 22(5), 1460-73.
  31. Tantin D (1998 Oct 23). RNA polymerase II elongation complexes containing the Cockayne syndrome group B protein interact with a molecular complex containing the transcription factor IIH components xeroderma pigmentosum B and p62. J Biol Chem, 273(43), 27794-9.
  32. Tantin D, Kansal A, Carey M (1997 Dec). Recruitment of the putative transcription-repair coupling factor CSB/ERCC6 to RNA polymerase II elongation complexes. Mol Cell Biol, 17(12), 6803-14.
  33. Tantin D, Chi T, Hori R, Pyo S, Carey M (1996). Biochemical mechanism of transcriptional activation by GAL4-VP16. Methods Enzymol, 274, 133-49.
  34. Holstege FC, Tantin D, Carey M, van der Vliet PC, Timmers HT (1995 Feb 15). The requirement for the basal transcription factor IIE is determined by the helical stability of promoter DNA. EMBO J, 14(4), 810-9.
  35. Tantin D, Carey M (1994 Jul 1). A heteroduplex template circumvents the energetic requirement for ATP during activated transcription by RNA polymerase II. J Biol Chem, 269(26), 17397-400.
  36. McDonough JE, Ahangarie F, Li Q, Jain S, Verleden SE, Harazo-Maya J, Vukmirovic M, Deluiis G, Tzouvelekis A, Tanabe N, Chu F, Yan X, Verschakelen J, Homer RJ, Manatakis DV, Zhang 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 (). Transcriptional regulatory networks of fibrosis progression within the human IPF lung. Journal Not Yet Confirmed.
  37. Bensard CL, Olson KA, Berg J, Bott AJ, Nowinski S, Panic V, Fogarty S, Krah NM, Schell JC, Tanner JM, Earl CS, Namnath DF, Vazquez-Arreguin K, Villanueva CJ, Tantin D, Murtaugh CL, Evason KJ, Rutter J (). Loss of the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier Promotes Tumor Initiation in the Colon through Crypt Hyperproliferation. Journal Not Yet Confirmed.
  38. Jafek J, Shakya A, Tai P-Y, Ibarra A, Kim H, Maddox J, Chumley J, Spangrude GJ, Miles RR, Kelley TW, Tantin D (). Transcription factor Oct1 protects against hematopoietic stress and promotes acute myeloid leukemia. Journal Not Yet Confirmed.


  1. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Tantin D (2016 Jun). The Oct1 transcription factor and epithelial malignancies: Old protein learns new tricks. [Review]. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1859(6), 792-804.
  2. Tantin D (). Good times for Oct proteins. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1859:769. [Review]. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1859, 769.
  3. Tantin D (2013 Jul). Oct transcription factors in development and stem cells: insights and mechanisms. [Review]. Development, 140(14), 2857-66.
  4. Tantin D, Voth WP, Shakya A (2013 May 1). Efficient chromatin immunoprecipitation using limiting amounts of biomass. [Review]. J Vis Exp, (75), e50064.
  5. Kang J, Shakya A, Tantin D (2009 Oct). Stem cells, stress, metabolism and cancer: a drama in two Octs. [Review]. Trends Biochem Sci, 34(10), 491-9.
  6. Tantin D, Chi T, Hori R, Pyo S, Carey M (1996). Biochemical Mechanism of Transcriptional Activation by GAL4-VP16. [Review]. Methods Enzymol, (274), 133-149.

Book Chapter

  1. Maddox, J, Tantin, D (). Oct4, Oct1 and Cancer Stem Cells. In Cancer Stem Cells. Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.: Wiley & Sons.
  2. Chi T, Tantin D, Carey M (1998). Mechanisms of Activation in Eukaryotes. In Modular Texts in Molecular Biology. Chapman and Hall.


  1. Tantin D, Zhao K, Williams MA, Hale JS, Lai B, Ren G, Kim H (). Transcription coactivator OCA-B mediates interactions between target loci in T cells and is sufficient to promote CD4 memory in vivo [Abstract]. American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual meeting. San Diego, CA. (pending).
  2. Kim H, Shakaya A, Dickey L, Worne C, Lane TA, Tantin D (). Oct 1 and OCA-B in T cells are potent therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases [Abstract]. American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual meeting. San Diego, CA. (pending).
  3. Kim H, Williams MA, Tantin D (). Transcription coactivator OCA-B is required for type-I diabetes manifestation in NOD animals and its inhibition with peptidesblunts T1D symptoms [Abstract]. American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual meeting. Austin TX.
  4. Jafek, J, Shakya, A, Tai, P-Y, Kim, H, Spangrude, GJ, Kelley, TW, Tantin D (). Oct1 and OCA-B/Bob.1 regulate the myeloid leukemic phenotype [Abstract]. European Society of Haematology 4th International Conference on Acute Myeloid Leukemia “Molecular and Translational”: Advances in Biology and Treatment. Estoril, Portugal. (pending).
  5. Jafek J, Shakya A, Tai PY, Spangrude GJ, Kelley TW, Tantin D (). Control of acute myeloid leukemia by an Oct1-Cdx2 regulatory axis [Abstract]. American Society of Hematology 58th annual meeting. San Diego, CA, U.S.A. Hematology 2016.