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Xiang-An Li, PhD

Cancer Center Member

xiangan li

Research Programs:

Faculty Rank:
Associate Professor

Research Focus

Role of SR-BI in cancer:

Cancer cells exhibit altered metabolism including high demand for cholesterol for rapid cell proliferation. Scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) is a HDL receptor. It mediates the uptake of cholesterol from HDL. Recent studies including ours indicate that SR-BI is highly expressed in breast cancer and the levels of SR-BI expression are negatively correlated with cancer survival. We hypothesize that SR-BI-mediated cholesterol uptake from HDL provides cholesterol for cancer cell growth, and blocking SR-BI-mediated cholesterol uptake from HDL inhibits cancer cell proliferation, which may provide a novel approach for cancer therapy. We currently use a combination of molecular, cellular and genetically manipulated animal models to test our hypothesis.

Contact Information

741 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536
United States



  1. Scavenger receptor BI and HDL regulate thymocyte apoptosis in sepsis. Guo L, Zheng Z, Ai J, Deborah AH, Mittelstadt PR, Thacker S, Daugherty A, Ashwell JD, Remaley A and Li XA*. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2014; 34: 966-975. PMC4010389
  2. Hepatic scavenger receptor BI protects against polymicrobial-induced sepsis through promoting LPS clearance in mice. Guo L, Zheng Z, Ai J, Huang B and Li XA*. J Biol Chem 2014; 289: 14666-14673. PMC4031522.
  3. Corticosteroid therapy benefits septic mice with adrenal insufficiency but harms septic mice without adrenal insufficiency. Ai J, Guo L, Zheng Z, Wang SX, Huang B and Li XA*. Critical Care Medicine 2015; 43: e490-e498.
  4. High scavenger receptor class B type I expression is related to tumor aggressiveness and poor prognosis in breast cancer. Yun B, Wu C, Wang X, Wang D, Liu H, Guo L, Li XA*, Han J* and Feng H*. Tumor Biol 2015; DOI 10.1007/s13277-015-4141-4.
  5. PI(4)P promotes phosphorylation and conformational change of Smoothened through interaction with its C-terminal tail. Jiang K, Liu Y, Fan J, Zhang J, Li XA, Evers M, Zhu H and Jia J. PloS Biol 2015 (in press).