Chaoyang LI

Title: Priciple Investigator E-mail:


June 16, 2002- June 30, 2002 UNDP/WHO special program for research and training in tropical diseases funded by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArther Foundation and Arthropod-borne and infectious disease laboratory at the Colorado State University. CO. USA

August, 1997- December, 2001 Department of Entomology, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. USA., Ph.D. Supervisors: Professor Frederick Gildow and Professor Diana Cox-Foster.

August, 1991- June, 1994 Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. M.Sc. Supervisor: Professor Wu, Kunjun.

August, 1987- June, 1991 Department of Biology, Nanjing University, China. B.Sc.

Research Interests


Li, C., & Wu, K., A life table of experimental population of the aphid, Macrosiphoniella sanborni (Gillette).  1997 Entomological Knowledge.  34: 333-335. 

Li, C., Cox-Foster, D., Gray, S. M. and Gildow, F. E.   2001. Vector specificity of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) transmission: Identification of potential cellular receptors binding BYDV-MAV in the aphid, Sitobion avenae.    Virology.   286, 125-133.

Pan, T., Chang, B., Wong, P., Li, C., Li, R., Kang, S., Robinson, J. D., Thompsett, A., Tein, P., Yin, S., Barnard, G., McConnell, I., Brown, D., Wisniesdki, T., and Sy, M. S.,  2005    An aggregation-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay: detection of conformational differences between recombinant PrP protein dimmers and PrPSc aggregates.  Journal of Virology    79: 12355-12364.

Pan, T., Wong, P., Chang, B., Li, C., Li, R., Kang S.C., Robinson, J. D., Wisniewski, T., & Sy, M. S., 2005.  Biochemical fingerprints of prion infection: Accumulations of aberrant full-length and N-terminally truncated PrP species are common features in mouse prion disease.  Journal of Virology   79, 934-943.

Yin, S., Yu, S., Li, C., Wong, P., Chang, B., Xiao, F., Kang, S.C., Yan, H., Xiao, G., Grassi, J., Tien, P., and Sy, M.S. 2006. Prion proteins with insertion mutations have altered N-terminal conformation, increased ligand-binding activity and are more susceptible to oxidative attack. Journal of Biological Chemistry 281: 10698-10705.

Mauro T. Marrelli, Chaoyang Li, Jason L. Rasgon and Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena  2007. Increased fitness of transgenic mosquitoes that feed on Plasmodium-infected blood.  Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 104 (13): 5580-5583. (Co-first author, direct submission to PNAS).

Li, C., Wong, P., Pan, T., Robinson, J., Xiao, F., Yin, S., Chang, B., Kang, S., Ironside, J., and Sy, M.S., 2007.  Normal cellular prion protein is a ligand of selectins: binding requires Lex but is inhibited by sLex.  Biochemical Journal. 406 (2): 333-41.

Goh, Angeline Xi-Hua, Li, C., Sy, Man-Sun, Wong, Boon-Seng. 2007. Altered prion protein glycosylation in the aging mouse brain.  Journal of Neurochemistry. 100 (3): 841-54.

Yu S, Yin S, Li C, Wong P, Chang B, Xiao F, Kang SC, Yan H, Xiao G, Tien P, Sy  M.S. 2007. Aggregation of prion protein with insertion mutations is proportional to the number of inserts. Biochemical Journal. 403(2): 343-51.

Yin, S., Nancy Pham, Shuiliang Yu, Chaoyang Li, Poki Wong, Binggong Chang, Shin-Chung Kang, Emiliano Biasini, Po Tien, David A. Harris, and Man-Sun Sy. 2007. Human prion proteins with pathogenic mutations share common conformational changes resulting in enhanced binding to glycosaminoglycans. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 104 (18): 7546-7551.

Chang B, Cheng X, Yin S, Pan T, Zhang H, Wong P, Kang SC, Xiao F, Yan H, Li C, Wolfe LL, Miller MW, Wisniewski T, Greene MI, Sy MS. 2007 Test for detection of disease-associated prion aggregate in the blood of infected but asymptomatic animals. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 14(1): 36-43.

Yu S, Yin S, Pham N, Wong P, Kang SC, Petersen RB, Li C, Sy MS.  2008  Ligand binding promotes prion protein aggregation--role of the octapeptide repeats. FEBS Journal. 275 (22): 5564-75.

Li, C., Marrelli, M., Yan, G. & Jacobs-Lorena, M.  2008   Fitness of Anopheles stephensi  transgenic mosquitoes expressing SM1 peptide under control of vitellogenin promoter.  Journal of Heredity. 99. 275-282

Yin S, Fan X, Yu S, Li C, Sy MS. 2008  Binding of recombinant but not endogenous prion protein to DNA causes DNA internalization and expression in mammalian cells. Journal Biological Chemistry. 283(37): 25446-54.

Pham N, Yin S, Yu S, Wong P, Kang SC, Li C, Sy MS. 2008.  Normal cellular prion protein with a methionine at position 129 has a more exposed helix 1 and is more prone to aggregate. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 368(4): 875-81.

Li, C., Yu, S., Nakamura, F., Yin, S., Xu, J., Patrolla, A.A., Singh, N., Tartakoff, T., Abbott, D. W., X, Wei., and Sy, M.S. 2009. Binding of pro-prion to FLNa disrupts cytoskeleton and correlates with poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. Journal of Clinical. Investigation. 119: 2725-2736.

Sy, MS., Li, C., Yu, S., and X, Wei.  2010.  The fatal attraction between pro-prion and filamin A: Prion as a marker in human cancers. Biomarkers Med. 4(3): 453-464. 

Li, C., Wei Xin, and Sy, M.S.  2010.   Binding of filamin A to pro-prion: Is it by design or just an unfortunate blunder? Oncogene 29: 5329-45.

Li, C*., Yu, S*., Nakamura, F., Wei, X., and Sy, M.S. 2010. Pro-prion binds FLNa facilitates its interaction with integrin b1 and contributes to melanomagenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry  285: 30328-39 (*co-first author).

Sy, M., Altekruse S., Li, C., Lynch C., Goodman, M., Hernandes B., Zhou, L., Saber, M., Hewitt, S., and Xin, W., 2012. Association of prion protein expression with pancreatic adenocarcinoma survival in the SEER residual tissue repository. Cancer Biomarkers.  10: 251-258.

Wei Xin, Man-sun Sy, and Chaoyang Li., 2013.  Cellular Prion Protein and Cancers. In Prions and Diseases. Edited by Wen-Quan Zou and Pierluigi Gambetti.  Volume 1, Physiology and Pathophysiology, 49-66.

Xiaowen Yang1,, Yan Zhang2,3,, Lihua Zhang4, Tianlin He5, Jie Zhang6 and Chaoyang Li3,* 2014. Prion protein and cancers. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin. 466): 431-40.

Yang L, Zhang Y, Hu L, Zhu Y, Sy MS, Li C. A panel of monoclonal antibodies against the prion protein proves that there is no prion protein in human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. Virol Sin. 29(4):228-36.

Yang L, Gao Z, Hu L, Wu G, Yang X, Zhang L, Zhu Y, Wong BS, Xin W, Sy MS, Li C*. GPI Anchor Modification Machinery Deficiency is Responsible for the Formation of Pro-PrP in BxPC-3 and Increases Cancer Cell Motility. J Biol Chem. 2016, 291(8):3905-17.  jbc.M115.705830

Zhenxing Gao, Huixia Zhang, Fei Hu, Liheng Yang, d, Xiaowen Yang, Ying Zhu, Man-Sun Sy, Chaoyang Li*. Glycan-deficient PrP stimulates VEGFR2 signaling via glycosaminoglycan, Cellular Signalling, 2016, 28(6): 652-662.

Wang Y, Yu S, Huang D, Cui M, Hu H, Zhang L, Wang W, Parameswaran N, Jackson M, Osborne B, Bedogni B, Li C, Sy MS, Xin W, Zhou L. 2016. Cellular Prion Protein Mediates Pancreatic Cancer Cell Survival and Invasion through Association with and Enhanced Signaling of Notch1. Am J Pathol. 2016  186(11):2945-2956.

Zhang H X, Shi R, Li C*, How will prion disease evolve (in Chinese)? Chin Sci Bull, 2017, 62: 16-24. (Invited Review).

Xiaowen Yang, Zhijun Chen, Lihua Zhang, Guiru Wu, Run Shi, Zhenxing Gao, Chaoyang Li*. Prion Protein Family Contributes to Tumorigenesis via Multiple Pathways. Adv Exp Med Biol, Vol. 1018, Qiliang Cai et al. (Eds): Infectious Agents Associated Cancers: Epidemiology and Molecular Biology. 2017 Accepted for publication.

Gui-Ru Wu, Tian-Chen Mu, Zhen-Xing Gao, Jun Wang, Man-Sun Sy, Chao-Yang Li*. Prion protein is required for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)-triggered nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling and cytokine production. 2017. JBC. Accepted for publication.

Zhang H X., Gao S S., Pei R J., Chen X W., Li C Y., 2017, Hepatitis C virus-induced prion protein expression facilitates hepatitis C virus replication. Virologica Sinica. DOI: 10.1007/s12250-017-4039-y.