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XuRi Li
XuRi Li

Dr. Xuri Li is a Professor and Scientific Director of the State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center (ZOC), Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. Dr. Li is also a leading expert of Guangdong province.Before joining the ZOC in 2012, Dr. Li served as a Principal Investigator at the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute in the US during 2005-2012. Dr. Li graduated from Shanghai Medical University in Shanghai, received her PhD from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and did her postdoctoral work at the Karolinska Institute and Vesalius Research Center, Leuven University, Belgium.

54 South Xianlie Road, Guangzhou, China

Clinical and Basical Research:

Email :

Research Projects

Our team strives to understand the processes of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis and neurogenesis in the eye in development, normal physiology and various pathologies. We hope to use the gained knowledge to explore better therapies for human diseases. Specifically, we characterize the functional properties of important angiogenic and antiangiogenic molecules using animal models, cultured cells and molecular approaches. We also utilize the developing mouse eye as a model to explore the fundamental mechanisms of angiogenesis, vasculargenesis and neurogenesis. Furthermore, we try to reveal the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying our findings.

Selected recent publications

Xuri Li’s Bibliography

Original Peer-reviewed Scientific Reports (* corresponding author):

1. Chen, S., Ying, S., Li, X., Wang, J., Balance of polyunsaturated fatty acids of platelet and erythrocyte membrane and effect of low density lipoprotein, Basic Medical Science and Clinics, 11(5):50-53, 1991

2. Chen, S., Zhang, W., Ying, S., Li, X., Sun, L., Zhang, G., The effects of human blood plasma lipoproteins on platelets, J Shanghai Medical University, 18(6):471-474, 1991

3. Ekstrom T.J., Cui H., Li, X., Ohlsson R., Promoter-specific IGF2 imprinting status and its plasticity during human liver development, Development, 121:309-316, 1995

4. Li, X., Adam G., Cui H., Sandstedtedt B., Ohlsson R., Ekstrom T.J. Expression, promoter usage and parental imprinting status of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) in human hepatoblastoma: uncoupling of IGF2 and H19 imprinting, Oncogene, 1:221-229, 1995
5. Li, X., Cui H., Sandstedtedt B., Nordlinder H., Larsson E., Ekstrom T. J. Expression  level of IGF2 in the human liver: Developmental relationships of the four promoters, J Endocrinol, 149:117-124, 1995

6. Li, X., Nong Z., Ekstr?m C., Larsson E., Nordlinder H., Hofmann W. J, Trautwein C., Odenthal  M., Dienes H.P., Ekstrom T. J. and Schirmacher P. Disrupted IGF2 promoter control by silencing of  promoter P1 in human hepatocellular carcinoma, Cancer Res, 57:2048-2054, 1997

7. Li, X., Kogner P., Sandstedtedt B., Haas O.A., Ekstrom T.J. Promoter-specific methylation and expression alterations of IGF2 and H19 are involved in human hepatoblastoma, Int J Cancer, 75(2):176-180, 1998

8.      Li, X., Gray S. G., Flam F., Pietsch T. and Ekstrom, T. J. Developmental-dependent DNA methylation of the IGF2 and H19 promoters is correlated  to the promoter activities in human liver development, Int J Dev Biol, 42(5):637-740, 1998

9.       Li, X., Ponten A., Aase K., Linda K., Abramsson A., Uutela M., Backman G., Hellstrom M., Bostrom H., Li H., Betsholtz C., Heldin C. H., Alitalo K., Ostman A. & Eriksson U. PDGF-C is a new protease-activated ligand for the PDGF-? receptor, Nat Cell Biol, 2(5):302-309, 2000 PubMed
(Featured News & Views: A new member of an old family, Nat Cell Biol, 2(5): E78-79, 2000

10.    Li, X., Aase K., Li, H., Von Euler, G., Eriksson, U. Isoform-specific expression of VEGF-B in normal tissues and tumors, Growth Factors, 19(1):49-59, 2001 PubMed

11.    Bergsten, E., Uutela, M., Li, X., Pietras, K., Ostman, A., Heldin, C. H., Alitalo, K., Eriksson, U. PDGF-D is a specific, protease-activated ligand for the PDGF beta-Receptor, Nat Cell Biol, 3(5):515-516, 2001 PubMed

12.      Hellstrom, M., Gerhardt, H., Kalen, M., Li, X., Eriksson, U., Wolburg, H., Betsholtz, C. Lack of pericytes leads to endothelial hyperplasia and abnormal vascular morphogenesis, J Cell Biol, 153(3):543-554, 2001 PubMed

13.      Uutela, M., Lauren, J., Bergsten, E., Li, X., Horelli-Kuitunen, N., Eriksson, U., Alitalo, K., Chromosomal location, exon structure, and vascular expression patterns of the human PDGF-C and PDGF-C genes, Circulation, 103(18):2242-2247, 2001 PubMed

14.      Aase, K., Von Euler, G., Li, X., Ponten, A., Thoren, P., Cao, Y., Olofsson, B., Gebre-Medhin, S., Pekny, M., Alitalo, K., Betsholtz C., Eriksson, U. VEGF-B deficient mice display an atrial conduction defect, Circulation, 104(3):358-364, 2001 PubMed

15.     Eitner F., Ostendorf T., Van Roeyen C., Kitahara M., Li, X., Aase K., Groene H-J., Eriksson U., Floege J. Expression of a Novel PDGF Isoform, PDGF-C, in Normal and Diseased Rat Kidney, J Am Soc Nephrol, 13(4):910-917, 2002 PubMed

16.      Cao, R., Brakenhielm, E., Li, X., Pietras K., Widenfalk J., Ostman A., Eriksson, U., Cao, Y. Angiogenesis stimulated by PDGF-CC, a novel member in the PDGF family, involves activation of PDGFR-αα and -αβ receptors, FASEB J, 16(12):1575-1583, 2002 PubMed

17.     Li, H., Karlsson L., Li, X., Eriksson, U. PDGF-D is a potent transforming and angiogenic factor, Oncogene, 22(10):1501-1510, 2003 PubMed

18.  Ponten A., Li, X., Aase K., Thoren P., Sjoblom T., Ostman A. and Eriksson U., Overexpression of PDGF-C in mouse heart induces cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy, Am J Pathol, 163(2):673-682, 2003 PubMed

19.      Fredriksson, L., Li, H., Fieber, C., Li, X. and Eriksson U., Tissue plasminogen activator is a potent activator of PDGF-CC, EMBO, 23(19):3793-3802, 2004 PubMed

20. Li, X., Tjwa, M., Moons, L., Fons, P., Noel, A., Ny, A., Zhou, J. M., Lennartsson, J., Li, H., Luttun, A., Ponten, A., Devy, L., Bouche, A., Oh, H., Manderveld, A., Blacher, S., Communi, D., Savi, P., Bono, F., Dewerchin, M., Foidart, J. M., Autiero, M., Herbert, J. M., Collen, D., Heldin, C. H., Eriksson, U., Carmeliet, P., Revascularization of ischemic tissues by PDGF-CC via effects on endothelial cells and their progenitors, J Clin Invest, 115(1):118-127, 2005 PubMed

(JCI Article In The News: PDGF-CC, the best thing ever since sliced bread? J Clin Invest, 115(1), 2005 website )
(Featured News: Platelet-derived growth factor CC--a clinically useful angiogenic factor at last?, N Engl J Med, 352(17): 1815-1816, 2005 website)

21. Li, Y., Zhang, F., Nagai, N., Tang, Z., Zhang, S., Scotney, P., Lennartsson, J., Zhu, C., Qu, Y., Fang, C., Hua, J., Matsuo, O., Fong, G. H., Ding, H., Cao, Y., Becker, K. G., Nash, A., Heldin, C. H., Li, X.*, VEGF-B inhibits apoptosis via VEGFR-1-mediated suppression of the expression of BH3-only protein genes in mice and rats, J Clin Invest, 118(3):913–923, 2008 PubMed
Medical News Today: website
News in Science Daily: website
JCI Editor's Pick: website

22. Li, X., Tjwa, M., Van Hove, I., Enholm, B., Neven, E., Paavonen, K., Jeltsch, M., Diez Juan, T., Sievers, R. E., Chorianopoulos, E., Wada, H., Vanwildemeersch, M., Noel, A., Foidart, J. M., Springer, M. L., von Degenfeld, G., Dewerchin, M., Blau, H. M., Alitalo, K., Eriksson, U., Carmeliet, P., Moons, L., Reevaluation of the Role of VEGF-B Suggests a Restricted Role in the Revascularization of the Ischemic Myocardium, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 28(9):1614-1620, 29, 2008 PubMed
ATVB editorial comment: VEGF-B taken to our hearts, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 28(9):1575-1576, 29, 2008 website

23. Anderberg, C., Li, H., Fredriksson, L., Andrae, J., Betsholtz, C., Li, X., Eriksson, U., Pietras, K., Paracrine signaling by PDGF-CC promotes tumor growth by recruitment of cancer-associated fibroblasts, Cancer Res, 69(1):369-378, 2009 PubMed

24. Gavard, J., Hou, X., Qu, Y., Masedunskas, A., Weigert, R., Li, X., Gutkind, JS., A role for a CXCR2/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase gamma signaling axis in acute and chronic vascular permeability, Mol Cell Biol, 29(9):2469-2480, 2009 PubMed

25. Zhang, F., Tang, Z., Hou, X., Lennartsson, J., Li, Y., Koch, A. W., Scotney, P., Lee, C., Arjunan, P., Dong, L., Kumar, A., Rissanen, T. T., Wang, B., Nagai, N., Fons, P., Fariss, R., Zhang, Y., Wawrousek, E., Tansey, G., Raber, J., Fong, G. H., Ding, H., Greenberg, D. A., Becker, K. G., Herbert, J. M., Nash, A., Yla-Herttuala, S., Watts, R. J., Li X.*, VEGF-B is dispensable for blood vessel growth but critical for their survival, and VEGF-B targeting inhibits pathological angiogenesis, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106(15):6152-6157, 2009 PubMed
PNAS Editor's Pick: Elucidating the role of VEGF-B, website   

26. Tang, Z., Arjunan, P., Lee, C., Li, Y., Kumar, A., Hou, X., Wang, B., Wardega, P., Zhang, F., Dong, L., Zhang, Y., Zhang, S. Z., Ding, H., Fariss, R. N., Becker, K. G., Lennartsson, J., Nagai, N., Cao, Y., Li, X.*, Survival effect of PDGF-CC rescues neurons from apoptosis in both brain and retina by regulating GSK3beta phosphorylation, J Exp Med, 207(4):867-880, 2010 PubMed

27.  Kumar, A., Hou, X., Lee, C., Li, Y., Maminishkis, A., Tang, Z., Zhang, F., Langer, H. F., Arjunan, P., Dong, L., Wu, Z., Zhu, L. Y., Wang, L., Min, W., Colosi, P., Chavakis, T., Li, X.*, PDGF-DD targeting arrests pathological angiogenesis by modulating glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3{beta}) phosphorylation, J Biol Chem, 285(20):15500-15510, 2010 PubMed
 Cover image for J Biol Chem, 285(20), 2010 website

28. Sakurai, A., Gavard, J., Annas-Linhares, Y., Basile, J. R., Amornphimoltham, P., Palmby, T. R., Yagi, H., Zhang, F., Randazzo, P. A., Li, X., Weigert, R., Gutkind, J. S., Semaphorin 3E initiates antiangiogenic signaling through plexin D1 by regulating Arf6 and R-Ras, Mol Cell Biol, 30(12):3086-98, 2010 PubMed

29. Hou, X., Kumar, A., Lee, C., Wang, B., Arjunan, P., Dong, L., Maminishkis, A., Tang, T., Li, Y., Zhang, F., Zhang, S-Z., Wardega, P., Chakrabarty, S., Liu, B., Wu, Z., Colosi, P., Fariss, R. N., Lennartsson, J., Nussenblatt, R., Gutkind, J. S., Cao, Y., Li, X.*, PDGF-CC blockade inhibits pathological angiogenesis by acting on multiple cellular and molecular targets, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 107(27):12216-12221, 2010 PubMed

30. Narazaki, M., Segarra, M., Hou, X., Tanaka, T., Li, X., Tosato, G., Oligo-guanosinenucleotide induces Neuropilin-1 internalization in endothelial cells and inhibits angiogenesis, Blood, 116(16):3099-3107, 2010 PubMed

31. Langer, H. L., Chung, K-J., Orlova, V. V., Choi, E. Y., Kaul, S., Kruhlak, M. J., Alatsatianos, M., DeAngelis, R. A., Roche, P. A., Magotti, P., Li, X., Economopoulou, M., Rafail, S., Lambris, J. D., Chavakis, T., Complement-mediated inhibition of neovascularization reveals a point of convergence between innate immunity and angiogenesis, Blood, 116(22):4395-4403, 2010 PubMed
Blood editorial comment:
 Complement halts angiogenesis gone wild, Blood, 116(22):4393-4394, 2010, PubMed

32. Tang, Z., Zhang, S., Lee, C., Kumar, A., Arjunan, P., Li, Y., Zhang, F., Li, X.*, An Optic Nerve Crush Injury Murine Model to Study Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival, J Vis Exp, 50, May 5, 2011 PubMed

33. Tang, Z., Zhang, F., Li, Y., Arjunan, P., Kumar, A., Lee, C., Li, X.*, A Mouse Model of Cornea Pocket Assay for Angiogenesis Study, J Vis Exp, 54, August 31, 2011 PubMed

34. Hou, X., Hu, D., Wang, Y-S., Tang, Z., Zhan, F., Chavakis, T., Li, Y., Li, X., Junctional adhesion molecule-C (JAM-C) targeting inhibits experimental choroidal neovascularization, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 53:1584-1591, 2012 PubMed

35. Langer, H. F., Choi, E. Y., Zhou, H., Schleicher, R., Chung, K. J., Tang, Z., Gobel, K., Bdeir, K., Chatzigeorgiou, A., Wong, C., Bhatia, S., Kruhlak, M. J., Rose, J. W., Burns, J. B., Hill, K. E., Qu, H., Zhang, Y., Lehrmann, E., Becker, K. G., Wang, Y., Simon, D. I., Nieswandt, B., Lambris, J. D., Li, X., Meuth, S. G., Kubes, P., Chavakis, T., Platelets contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, 110(9):1202-1210, Circ Res, 2012, PubMed  

36. Zhang, F., Li, Y., Tang, Z., Kumar, A., Lee, C., Zhang, L., Zhu, C., Ameln, A. K., Wang, B., Gao, Z., Zhang, S., Langer, H., Hou, X., Jensen, L., Ma, W., Wong, W., Chavakis, T., Liu, Y., Cao, Y., Li, X.*, Proliferative and survival effects of PUMA promotes angiogenesis, 2(5):1272-1285, Cell Reports, 2012, PubMed
 Biomedical Picture of the Day: Double Agent PUMA, Website

37. Segarra, M., Ohnuki, H., Maric, D., Salvucci, O., Hou, X., Li, X., and Tosato, G., Semaphorin 6A regulates angiogenesis by modulating VEGF signaling, Blood, 120:4104-4115, 2012, PubMed

38. Hosaka, K., Yang, Y., Seki, T., Nakamura, M., Andersson, P., Rouhi, P., Yang, X., Jensen, L., Lim, S., Feng, N., Xue, Y., Li, X., Larsson, O., Ohhashi, T., Cao, Y., Tumour PDGF-BB expression levels determine dual effects of anti-PDGF drugs on vascular remodelling and metastasis, Nat Commun, 4:2129, 2013, PubMed

39. Dong, M., Yang, X., Lim, S., Cao, Z., Honek, J., Lu, H., Zhang, C., Seki, T., Hosaka, K., Wahlberg, E., Yang, J., Zhang, L., Lanne, T., Sun, B., Li, X., Liu, Y., Zhang, Y., Cao, Y., Cold exposure promotes atherosclerotic plaque growth and instability via UCP1-dependent Lipolysis, Cell Metab, 18:118-129. 2013, PubMed

40. Huang, Y., Hoffman, C., Rajappa, P., Kim, J. H., Hu, W., Huse, J. T., Tang, Z., Li, X., Weksler, B., Bromberg, J., Lyden, D., Greenfield, J. P., Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells promote neovascularization in glioma by disrupting the blood-brain barrier, Cancer Res, 74:1011-21, 2014, PubMed
41. Manavski, Y., Carmona, G., Bennewitz, K., Tang, Z., Zhang, F., Sakurai, A., Zeiher, A. M., Gutkind, J. S., Li, X., Kroll, J., Dimmeler, S., Chavakis, E., Brag2 differentially regulates beta1- and beta3-integrin-dependent adhesion in endothelial cells and is involved in developmental and pathological angiogenesis, Basic Res Cardiol, 109:404, 2014, PubMed

42. Wang, Y., Abu-Asab, M. S., Yu, C. R., Tang, Z., Shen, D., Tuo, J., Li, X., Chan, C. C., Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-C inhibits neuroretinal apoptosis in a murine model of focal retinal degeneration, Lab Invest, April 7, 2014, PubMed

43. He, C., Zhao, C., Kumar, A., Lee, C., Chen, M., Huang, L., Wang, J., Ren, X., Jiang, Y., Chen, W., Wang, B., Gao, Z., Zhong, Z., Huang, Z., Zhang, F., Huang, B., Ding, H., Ju, R., Tang, Z., Liu, Y., Cao, Y., Li, X*., Liu, X., Vasoprotective effect of PDGF-CC mediated by HMOX1 rescues retinal degeneration, 2014, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(41):14806-11, PubMed

44. Salvucci, O., Ohnuki, H., Maric, D., Hou, X., Li, X., Yoon, S. O., Segarra, M., Eberhart, C. G., Acker-Palmer, A., Tosato, G., EphrinB2 controls vessel pruning through STAT1-JNK3 signalling, Nat Commun, 6:6576, 2015

45. Circulating interleukin-6 and cancer: A meta-analysis using Mendelian randomization, G. Tian, J. Mi, X. Wei, D. Zhao, L. Qiao, C. Yang, X. Li, S. Zhang, X. Li, Wang, B., Sci Rep, 5:11394, 2015

46. Causal relevance of circulating high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with cancer: a Mendelian randomization meta-analysis, Yang, C., Tian, G., Mi, J., Wei, X., Li, X., Li, X., Wang, W., Wang, B., Sci Rep, 5:9495, 2015

47. Platelets induce apoptosis via membrane-bound FasL, R. I. Schleicher, F. Reichenbach, P. Kraft, A. Kumar, M. Leskan, F. Todt, K. Goebel, T. Geisler, A. Bauer, S. Wesselborg, L. O’Reilly, S. G. Meuth, K. Schulze-Osthoff, M. Gawaz, X. Li, C. Kleinschnitz, F. Edlich, H. Langer, Blood, 2015/08/02

48. VEGF-B-Neuropilin-1 signaling is spatiotemporally indispensable for vascular and neuronal development in zebrafish, L D. Jensena, M Nakamuraa, L Br?utigamc, X Li, Y Liu, N J. Samanie, and Y Cao, PNAS, Oct 20, 2015

49. Endothelial-specific deficiency of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-C promotes vessel normalisation in proliferative retinopathy, Economopoulou, M., Avramovic, N., Klotzsche-von Ameln, A., Korovina, I., Sprott, D., Samus, M., Gercken, B., Troullinaki, M., Grossklaus, S., Funk, R. H., Li, X., Imhof, B. A., Orlova, V. V., Chavakis, T., Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 114(6), 2015

50. Lens regeneration using endogenous stem cells with gain of visual function, Lin, H., Ouyang, H., Zhu, J., Huang, S., Liu, Z., Chen, S., Cao, G., Li, G., Signer, R. A., Xu, Y., Chung, C., Zhang, Y., Lin, D., Patel, S., Wu, F., Cai, H., Hou, J., Wen, C., Jafari, M., Liu, X., Luo, L., Qiu, A., Hou, R., Chen, B., Chen, J., Granet, D., Heichel, C., Shang, F., Li, X., Krawczyk, M., Skowronska-Krawczyk, D., Wang, Y., Shi, W., Chen, D., Zhong, Z., Zhong, S., Zhang, L., Morrison, S. J., Maas, R. L., Zhang, K., Liu, Y., Nature, 351(7594), 323-328, 2016

51. VEGF-B inhibits hyperglycemia- and Macugen-induced retinal apoptosis, D. Huang, C. Zhao, R. Ju, A. Kumar, G. Tian, L. Huang, L. Zheng, X. Li, L. Liu, S. Wang, X. Ren, Z. Ye, W. Chen, L. Xing, Q. Chen, Z. Gao, J. Mi, Z. Tang, B. Wang*, S. Zhang*, C. Lee*, X. Li*, Scientific Reports, in press, 2016

Review Articles (* corresponding author):

1.  Li, X., Eriksson, U. Novel VEGF family members: VEGF-B, VEGF-C and VEGF-D, Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 33(4):421-426, 2001, PubMed

2.  Li, X., Eriksson, U. Novel PDGF family members: PDGF-C and PDGF-D, Cytokine & Growth Factor Rev, 244:1-8, 2003, PubMed

3. Li, X.*, Lee, C., Tang, Z., Zhang, F., Arjunan, P., Li, Y., Hou, X., Kumar, A., Dong, L., VEGF-B: a survival, or an angiogenic factor? Cell Adhesion & Migration, 3(4):322-327, 2009 PMID: 19684473, PMCID: PMC2802739 PubMed

4. Li, X.*, VEGF-B: a thing of beauty, Cell Res, 20(7): 741-744, 2010, PMID: 20531376, PMCID: PMC2943826 PubMed

5. Li, X.*, Kumar, A., Zhang, F., Lee, C., Li, Y., Tang, Z., Arjunan, P., VEGF-independent angiogenic pathways induced by PDGF-C, Oncotarget, 1(4):309-314, 2010, PMID: 20871734, PMCID: PMC2944232 PubMed

6. Li, X.*, Kumar, A., Zhang, F., Lee, C., Tang, Z., Complicated life, complicated VEGF-B, Trends Mol Med, 18(2):119–127, 2012 PubMed
 Cover image for Trends in Molecular Medicine, 18(2), 2012 Website

7. Lee, C., Zhang, F., Tang, Z., Liu, Y., Li, X.*, PDGF-C: a new performer in the neurovascular interplay, Trends Mol Med, 19(8):474-86, 2013, PubMed

Book Chapters:

1. Eriksson, U., Li, X. Chapter: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor B (VEGF-B),
 Encyclopedia of Hormones, edited by Henry, HL & Norman, AW, Elsevier Science, Academic press, 2003

2. Li, X.*, Kumar, A., Lee, C., Tang, Z., Li, Y., Arjunan, P., Hou, X., Zhang, F., Can VEGF-B be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases? Neurodegenerative Diseases - Book 1, ISBN 979-953-307-041-3, InTech, Open Access Publisher, 2011