Our primary research interest lies at the interface between chemistry, biology, and medicine. We employ high-throughput screening to identify modulators of various cellular processes and pathways that have been implicated in human diseases from cancer to autoimmune diseases. Once biologically active inhibitors are identified, they will serve both as probes of the biological processes of interest and as leads for the development of new drugs for treating human diseases.
Among the biological processes of interest are cancer cell growth and apoptosis, angiogenesis, calcium-dependent signaling pathways, eukaryotic transcription and translation.
Li RJ, Xu J, Fu C, Zhang J, Zheng YG, Jia H, Liu JO. Regulation of mTORC1 by lysosomal calcium and calmodulin. Elife. 2016 PMID: 27787197.
He QL, Minn I, Wang Q, Xu P, Head SA, Datan E, Yu B, Pomper MG, Liu JO. Targeted Delivery and Sustained Antitumor Activity of Triptolide through Glucose Conjugation. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 PMID: 27574181.
Shim JS, Li RJ, Bumpus NN, Head SA, Kumar Pasunooti K, Yang EJ, Lv J, Shi W, Liu JO. Divergence of Antiangiogenic Activity and Hepatotoxicity of Different Stereoisomers of Itraconazole. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 PMID: 26801248.
Head SA, Shi W, Zhao L, Gorshkov K, Pasunooti K, Chen Y, Deng Z, Li RJ, Shim JS, Tan W, Hartung T, Zhang J, Zhao Y, Colombini M, Liu JO. Antifungal drug itraconazole targets VDAC1 to modulate the AMPK/mTOR signaling axis in endothelial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 PMID: 26655341.
Titov DV, Gilman B, He QL, Bhat S, Low WK, Dang Y, Smeaton M, Demain AL, Miller PS, Kugel JF, Goodrich JA, Liu JO. XPB, a subunit of TFIIH, is a target of the natural product triptolide. Nat Chem Biol. 2011 PMID: 21278739.