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Dr Xuan Li

Dr Xuan Li

BHF Intermediate Research Fellow

Xuan Li is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: 01223

Research themes

Vascular Medicine:

Research Interests

Regulation of inflammasome activation;

Regulation of cardiovascular disease development by controlling inflammation;

Modulation of innate immunity by microtubule-dependent intracellular transport;

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.

Our group has demonstrated that microtubule-dependent transport system is important in directing innate immunity output. We focus on deciphering the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to the control of the innate immune system, especially through microtubule-dependent mechanism, and how this regulation contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease.

Other Collaborators:

Prof. Yuguang Shi (University of Texas Health Science Centre USA)

Prof. Guoyu Meng (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)

Prof. Kathryn Lilley (Cambridge Centre for Proteomics)

Dr Marcus Malumbres (CNIO, Spain)


inflammasome ; Atherosclerosis ; innate immunity ; Inflammation ; microtubule-dependent regulation ; cardiovascular disease


Collaborators outside this directory

Key Publications

1. 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. Nat Commun. Jun 28;8:15986. *Corresponding author.

2. Li X, Deroide N, Mallat Z (2014). The role of the inflammasome in cardiovascular diseases. J Mol Med. 92(4) : 307-19.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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”

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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