Xiao-Qiang Yu

Professor, IPhD doctoral faculty
Research Areas:

My laboratory is interested in innate immune responses modulated by plasma proteins and expression of antimicrobial peptides regulated by signal transduction pathways in a model insect, the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta. Insects lack an immunoglobulin-mediated acquired immunity, but they have developed an effective and sophisticated immune system similar to the innate immune system of vertebrates. In the innate immune system, recognition of pathogens and differentiation of nonself are critical to the host animals to trigger effective immune responses. Initial recognition of pathogens in innate immunity is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that can recognize structural molecular patterns, termed pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), present on the surface of many microbes and pathogens but not on the host cells. Our research focuses on:

  1. C-type lectins as key PRRs in innate immune responses. C-type lectins are calcium-dependent carbohydrate-binding proteins. We have discovered a group of at least four C-type lectins, named immulectins, in M. sexta. These immulectins can enhance hemocyte (blood cell) phagocytosis, encapsulation and melanization. Our current work is to investigate how immulectins recognize and bind to microbial surface molecules such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA), to trigger innate immune responses.
  2. Modulation of phenoloxidase (PO) activation. Melanotic encapsulation is an effective immune response to pathogens, particularly to large pathogens like nematodes and parasitoid eggs. Melanization requires activation of PO, a process that involves a cascade of serine proteinases. However, PO activation can also be modulated by non-enzymatic proteins. For example, we found that serine proteinase homologs (SPHs) are essential co-factors in PO activation by proteinases. We also found that a small cationic protein, lysozymes, and immulectins can either positively or negatively regulate PO activity. Currently, we are investigating how these proteins can modulate PO activation.
  3. Regulation of antimicrobial peptide genes. Insects can synthesize a variety of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) upon microbial infections. The majority of AMPs is present in all insects, while some are species-specific. For example, Gloverin and Moricin are found only in Lepidoptera but not in Diptera (Drosophila and mosquitoes). Expression of AMPs is regulated by signal transduction pathways, such as the Toll and IMD (immune deficiency) pathways in Drosophila. Our research is to investigate how AMPs, particularly Gloverin and Moricin, are regulated in M. sexta hemocytes, and to identify additional signaling pathways that may activate AMPs by LPS.


Selected Publications
Abdulaziz ATA, Yu XQ, Zhang L, Jiang XY, Zhou D, Li JM. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration associated with cerebellar hypermetabolism: Case report. (2018). Medicine, 97 (24), e10717. Journal Article.

Smith DP, Calopedos R, Bang A, Yu XQ, Egger S, Chambers S, O'Connell DL. Increased risk of suicide in New South Wales men with prostate cancer: Analysis of linked population-wide data. (2018). PloS one, 13 (6), e0198679. Journal Article.

Zhang XD, Shi JL, Liang JY, Yin YX, Zhang JN, Yu XQ, Guo YG. Suppressing Surface Lattice Oxygen Release of Li-Rich Cathode Materials via Heterostructured Spinel Li4 Mn5 O12 Coating. (2018). Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), e1801751. Journal Article.

Chen DN, Fan L, Wu YX, Zhou Q, Chen W, Yu XQ. A Predictive Model for Estimation Risk of Proliferative Lupus Nephritis. (2018). Chinese medical journal, 131 (11), 1275-1281. Journal Article.

He JY, Liu QY, Wei L, Liu ZJ, Huang Y, Yu XQ, Li B, Qin Y. [BORIS Regulates SOCS3 Expression Through Epigenetic Mechanisms in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells]. (2018). Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition, 49 (1), 1-7. Journal Article.

Zheng Y, Bi J, Hou MY, Shen W, Zhang W, Ai H, Yu XQ, Wang YF. Ocnus is essential for male germ cell development in Drosophila melanogaster. (2018). Insect molecular biology, Journal Article.

Pan SL, Li K, Li LL, Li MY, Shi L, Liu YH, Yu XQ. A reaction-based ratiometric fluorescent sensor for the detection of Hg(ii) ions in both cells and bacteria. (2018). Chemical communications (Cambridge, England), 54 (39), 4955-4958. Journal Article.

Yu XQ, Li YL, Gao JY, Liu H. [Klf10 silencing inhibited mechanical force induced osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament cells]. (2017). Shanghai kou qiang yi xue = Shanghai journal of stomatology, 26 (6), 599-604. Journal Article.

Liu ZH, Yu XQ, Yang JW, Jiang AL, Liu BC, Xing CY, Lou JZ, Wang M, Cheng H, Liu J, Fu JZ, Zhang AH, Zhang M, Zhou QL, Yu C, Wang R, Wang L, Chen YQ, Guan TJ, Peng A, Chen N, Hao CM, Cheng XY, China Dialysis Calcification Study Group.. Prevalence and risk factors for vascular calcification in Chinese patients receiving dialysis: baseline results from a prospective cohort study. (2018). Current medical research and opinion, 1-10. Journal Article.

Zeng H, Chen W, Zheng R, Zhang S, Ji JS, Zou X, Xia C, Sun K, Yang Z, Li H, Wang N, Han R, Liu S, Li H, Mu H, He Y, Xu Y, Fu Z, Zhou Y, Jiang J, Yang Y, Chen J, Wei K, Fan D, Wang J, Fu F, Zhao D, Song G, Chen J, Jiang C, Zhou X, Gu X, Jin F, Li Q, Li Y, Wu T, Yan C, Dong J, Hua Z, Baade P, Bray F, Jemal A, Yu XQ, He J. Changing cancer survival in China during 2003-15: a pooled analysis of 17 population-based cancer registries. (2018). The Lancet. Global health, 6 (5), e555-e567. Journal Article.

Wu MY, Wu J, Wang Y, Liu YH, Yu XQ. A Novel Colorimetric Fluorescent Probe for SO₂ and Its Application in Living Cells Imaging. (2018). Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23 (4), Journal Article.

Li LL, Li K, Li MY, Shi L, Liu YH, Zhang H, Pan SL, Wang N, Zhou Q, Yu XQ. BODIPY-Based Two-Photon Fluorescent Probe for Real-Time Monitoring of Lysosomal Viscosity with Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy. (2018). Analytical chemistry, 90 (9), 5873-5878. Journal Article.

Yu XQ, Baade P. Combating diabetes in China: a long-term perspective is needed. (2018). The Lancet. Public health, 3 (4), e154-e155. Journal Article.

Huang Y, Wei L, Sun AM, Li B, Sun CJ, Liang WB, Liu QY, Yu XQ, He JY, Qin Y. Application of multiplex methylated-specific PCR with capillary electrophoresis to explore prognostic value of TSGs hypermethylation for hepatocellular carcinoma. (2018). Journal of clinical laboratory analysis, Journal Article.

Zhang W, Wang N, Yu Y, Shan YM, Wang B, Pu XM, Yu XQ. Synthetic Regulation of 1,4-Dihydropyridines for the AIE or AIEE Effect: From Rational Design to Mechanistic Views. (2018). Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), 24 (19), 4871-4878. Journal Article.

View More Publications
505B SCB