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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Microtubule dysfunction and cardiovascular disease;

Microtubule-dependent mechanism in regulating cardiovascular cell function; 

Microtubule-dependent mechanism in regulating innate immunity, particularly inflammasome activation;

Activation of the innate immune system plays an important role in the progression of cardiovascular disease, and understanding of the regulation and activation of the innate immune system can provide novel therapeutic targets.

My group focuses on deciphering the basic microtubule-dependent cellular and molecular mechanisms intertwined with innate immune response, and how the relevant regulation contributes to the development of inflammatory disease, particularly inflammatory cardiovascular disease.






Key publications: 
  1. Yu X, Chen X, Amrute-Nayak M, Allgeyer E, Zhao A, Chenoweth H, Clement M, Harrision J, Doreth C, Sirinakis G, Krieg T, Zhou h, Huang H, Tokuraku K, St Johnston D, Mallat Z, Li X* (2021). MARK4 controls ischaemic heart failure through microtubule detyrosination. Nature. 594, 560-565. *Corresponding author.
  2. Lu Y, Basatemur G, Scott IC, Chiarugi D, Clement M, Harrison J, Jugdaohsingh R, Yu X, Newland SA, Jolin HE, Li X, Chen X, Szymanska M, Haraldsen G, Palmer G, Fallon PG, Cohen ES, McKenzie ANJ, Mallat Z. Interleukin-33 Signaling Controls the Development of Iron-Recycling Macrophages. Immunity. 2020 Apr 7. pii: S1074-7613(20)30119-9.
  3. Clement M, Chen X, Chenoweth HL, Teng Z, Thome S, Newland SA, Harrison J, Yu X, Finigan AJ, Mallat Z, Li X*. MARK4 (Microtubule Affinity-Regulating Kinase 4)-Dependent Inflammasome Activation Promotes Atherosclerosis-Brief Report. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Aug;39(8):1645-1651. * Corresponding author. Covered by the ATVB Journal front editorial “Enigma of inflammasome activation by kinases”.
  4. Baldrighi M, Mallat Z, Li X * (2017). NLRP3 inflammasome pathways in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis. 267:127-138. *Corresponding author.
  5. Li X *, Thome S, Ma XD, Amrute-Nayak M, Finigan A, Kitt L, Masters L, James, JR, Shi YG, Meng GY, Mallat Z (2017). MARK4 regulates NLRP3 positioning and inflammasome activation through a microtubule-dependent mechanism. Nature Commun. 28;8:15986. *Corresponding author.
  6. Li X, Deroide N, Mallat Z (2014). The role of the inflammasome in cardiovascular diseases. J Mol Med. 92(4) : 307-19.
  7. Li X, Deroide N, Mallat Z (2014). MFG-E8 in the vascular System. Book chapter of “MFG-E8 and inflammation”: 85-95
  8. Deroide N, Li X * Lerouet D, Van Vré E, Baker L, Harrison J, Poittevin M, Masters L, Nih L, Margaill I, Iwakura Y, Ryffel B, Pocard M, Tedgui A, Kubis N, Mallat Z (2013). MFGE8 inhibits inflammasome-induced IL-1β production and limits postischemic cerebral injury. J Clin Invest. 123(3):1176-81. *Co-first author.
  9. Sanghavi P, Laxani S, Li X, Bullock S, Gonsalvez G. Dynein associates with oskar mRNPs and is requied for their efficient net plus-end localization in Drosophila oocytes (2013). PloS One. 8(11):e80605.
  10. Li X*, Kuromi H, Brigg L, Green DB, Rocha J, Sweeney S, Bullock SL (2010) BicD binds clathrin heavy chain to promote its transport and augments synaptic vesicle recycling. EMBO Journal. 29(5) : 992-1006. Covered by the EMBO Journal front headline article “The more, the better: the BICD family gets bigger”.
  11. Dienstbier M, Boehl F, Li X, Bullock SL (2009) Egalitarian is a selective RNA-binding protein linking mRNA localization signals to the dynein motor. Genes & Development. 23 (13): 1546-1558.
  12. Dienstbier M, Li X* (2009) BicD and its role in cargo sorting by microtubule-based motors. Biochem Soc. Trans. 37(Pt 5): 1066-1071. *Invited author, Co-first author and Corresponding author.
  13. Li X, Brunton V, Burgar H, Wheldon L, Heath JK (2004) FRS2-dependent Src   activation is required for FGFR-induced phosphorylation of Sprouty and suppression of ERK activity. J Cell Sci. 117:6007-6017.
  14. Tang Z, Zhao Y, Mei F, Yang S, Li X, Lv J, Hou L, Zhang B (2004) Molecular cloning and characterization of a human gene involved in transcriptional regulation of hTERT. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 324:1324-1332.
  15. Wang Q, Bai Z, Li X, Hou L, Zhang B (2004) The evidences of human Orphan Receptor COUP-TFII inhibiting telomerase activity through decreasing hTERT transcription. Cancer Lett. 214:81-90.
  16. Li X*, Wheldon L, Heath JK (2003) Sprouty: a controversial role in receptor tyrosine kinase signalling pathways. Biochem Soc. Trans. 31: 1445-1446. * Invited author, First author and Corresponding author.


BHF Intermediate Research Fellow


Person keywords: 
Cardiovascular Disease
Inflammatory Disease
Myocardial infarction
Sepsis and septic cardiomyopathy