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Tiangang Li, PhD

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University, 2006

Research Interests

Obesity, diabetes, fatty liver diseases are prevalent metabolic disorders affecting more than a third of the population in the United States and worldwide. These diseases are associated with dyslipidemia and chronic inflammation, which significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Currently, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among general population, and the mortality rate is further elevated a few folds in patients with diabetes and fatty liver disease. Patients with fatty liver diseases also have increased risk of developing into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a debilitating form of liver disease characterized with lipid accumulation, cell death, inflammation and fibrosis in the liver. NASH patients have a higher risk of developing into end stage liver diseases and liver cancer.      

The general research interest in my lab is on understanding the complex regulation of cholesterol, fatty acid and glucose metabolism in the liver and blood circulation under physiological and pathological conditions, and defining the role and mechanisms of novel factors and signaling pathways that are implicated in the pathogenesis and treatment of metabolic and inflammatory diseases. One line of research focuses on understanding the mechanism underlying the strong link between Sortilin1, a vesicular trafficking receptor, and plasma cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease risk observed in humans. We are also investigating the metabolic regulatory function of the bile acid signaling pathways in the liver and intestine, and how therapeutic strategies that modulate the enterohepatic bile acid dynamics and signaling pathways can improve lipid homeostasis, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

Selected Publications

Jibiao Li, Benjamin L. Woolbright, Yifeng Wang, David Matye, Hartmut Jaeschke, Tiangang Li. (2017). Sortilin 1 knockout mice have attenuated hepatic bile acid accumulation and higher liver sulfotransferases after bile duct ligation. Toxicological Sciences, the Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology. Apr 26 (Epub). PMID: 2843831.

Jibiao Li, Yifeng Wang, David J. Matye, Hemantkumar Chavan, Partha Krishnamurthy, Feng Li, Tiangang Li. (2017). Sortilin 1 modulates hepatic cholesterol lipotoxicity in mice via functional interaction with liver carboxylesterase 1. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jan 6; 292(1):146-160.

Jibiao Li, David J. Matye, Yifeng Wang, and Tiangang Li. (2017), Genetic Sortilin 1 Knockout Altered Basal Adipose Glucose Metabolism but not Diet-induced Obesity in Mice. FEBS letters. Apr; 591(7):1018-1028. PMID: 28236654.

Yifeng Wang, Yifeng Ding, Jibiao Li, Hemantkumar Chavan, David Matye, Hong-Min Ni, John YL. Chiang, Partha Krishnamurthy, Wen-Xing Ding, Tiangang Li. (2016). Targeting the enterohepatic bile acid signaling induces hepatic autophagy via a CYP7A1 - AKT - mTOR axis in mice. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Oct 22; 3(2):245-260. PMID: 28275691.

Tiangang Li, Bryan Copple. (2016). Pharmacology of Bile Acid Receptors: Evolution of Bile Acids from Simple Detergents to Complex Signaling Molecules. Pharmacological Research, 104:9-21

Jibiao Li, David Matye and Tiangang Li. (2015). Insulin resistance induces posttranslational heaptic Sortilin 1 degradation in mice. Journal of Biological Chemistry. May, 290(18):11526-36. PMID: 25805502

Shuangwei Li, Diane D.F. Hsu, Bing Li, Xiaolin Luo, Nazilla Alderson, Liping Qiao, Lina Ma, Helen H. Zhu, Zhao He, Kelly Suino-Powell, Kaihong Ji, Jiefu Li, Jianhua Shao, H. Eric Xu, Tiangang Li and Gen-Sheng Feng. (2014). Cytoplasmic Tyrosine Phosphatase Shp2 Coordinates Hepatic Regulation of Bile Acid and FGF15/19 Signaling to Repress Bile Acid Synthesis. Cell Metabolism. Aug 5; 20(2):320-32. PMID: 24981838

Tiangang Li, John YL Chiang. (2014). Bile acid signaling in metabolic diseases and drug therapies. Pharmacological Reviews Oct; 66(4):948-83 PMID: 25073467.

Jibiao Li, Lipeng Bi, Michelle Hulky and Tiangang Li. (2014). Fish Oil and Fenofibrate Prevented Phosphorylation-dependent Hepatic Sortilin 1 Degradation in Western Diet-fed Mice. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Aug 8;289(32):22437-49 PMID: 24986865

Bi L, Chiang JY, Ding WX, Dunn W, Roberts B, Tiangang Li. (2013).Saturated fatty acids activate ERK signaling to downregulate hepatic sortilin 1 in obese and diabetic mice. Journal of Lipid Research. Oct; 54(10):2754-62. PMID: 23904453

Tiangang Li, Francl JM, Boehme S, Chiang JY. (2013). Regulation of cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis by the cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase/steroid response element-binding protein 2/microRNA-33a axis in mice. Hepatology. Sep; 58(3):1111-21. PMID: 23536474.

Tiangang Li, Jessica M. Francl, Shannon Boehme, Adrian Ochoa, Youcai Zhang, Curtis D. Klaassen, Sandra K. Erickson, and John Y. L. Chiang. (2012). Glucose and Insulin Induction of Bile Acid Synthesis: Mechanisms and Implication in Diabetes and Obesity. J. Biol. Chem, 13; 287(3):1861-73. PMID:22144677

Tiangang Li, Michelle Matozel, Shannon Boehme, Bo Kong, Lisa-Mari Nilsson, Grace Guo, Ewa Ellis, and John Y. L. Chiang. (2011). Overexpression of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase promotes hepatic bile acid synthesis and secretion and maintains cholesterol homeostasis. Hepatology, Mar; 53(3):996-1006. PMID: 21319191

Tiangang Li, Erika Owsley, Michelle Matozel, Peter Hsu, and John Y.L. Chiang. (2010). Transgenic expression of CYP7A1 in the liver prevents high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Hepatology, Aug; 52(2):678-90. PMID: 20623580

Tiangang Li and John Chiang. (2007). A Novel Role of Transforming Growth Factor beta1 in Transcriptional Repression of Human Cholesterol 7alpha-Hydroxylase Gene. Gastroenterology, Nov; 133(5):1660-9. PMID: 17920062

Last modified: Sep 28, 2018

Tiangang Li, Ph.D.


Tiangang Li, PhD
Associate Professor

4073 HLSIC; MS-1018
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, Kansas 66160

P: (913) 588-9974