Xue Cai, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Research, Department of Ophthalmology
    • Special Interests

    • Mechanisms underlying degenerative ocular diseases
    • Therapeutic treatment of AMD by targeting oxidative stress using nanoceria and other antioxidants
    • Gene therapy for preventing and/or curing blindness
    • Training

    • PhD, Cell Biology, Peking University, Beijing, P.R.China
    • Postdoctoral Training, Cohesin protein in mitosis and meiosis, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
    • Postdoctoral Training, Plant myosin gene function & translation regulation of light-regulated genes, Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Postdoctoral Training, Gene therapy for rescuing blinding mouse models, Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    • Research Summary

      Nanoceria targeting retinal degeneration and neovascularization. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are common nodes for many diseases. Nanoceria can act as antioxidants by regeneratively and catalytically scavenging ROS. We are using nanoceria to prevent retinal degeneration in tubby mice and inhibit and/or regress neovascularization in Vldlr-/- mice. Its broad effect in other mouse models is being investigated. The proper dosing, longevity of the effects and toxicity of nanoceria in vivo is being evaluated.

      GRP78 targeting ER stress. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an important organelle in the cell where proteins are synthesized, folded and sorted. Accumulation of unfolded protein in the ER causes ER stress which is the primary cause of many neurodegenerative diseases. GRP78 is an ER chaperone protein and binds to three ER stress sensor proteins for ER homeostasis under normal conditions. However under stress conditions, GRP78 is released from these sensors and initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathways to prevent cell death. We are using exogenous GRP78 protein to inhibit the retinal degeneration in tubby and other mouse models.

      Recent Publications

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      Funding Sources