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Department of biochemistry and Molecular biology

Aiping Bai, PhD

Research Assistant ProfessorAiping Bai, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2001 - PhD, Peking Union Medical College, CHINA

Contact Info
Office: 843-792-8853
Lab: 843-792-8853


Research Interests

Current research mainly focus on acid ceramidase (ACDase), a lysosomal enzyme, causes degradation of Ceramide (Cer) into sphingosine (Sph) and free fatty acids at pH optimum 4.5. ACDase represents a new target for cancer therapy because of its importance in regulating the Cer–Sph–S1P inter-metabolism. Elevation of ACDase was shown in many tumor tissues when compared with patient’s matched normal ones. ACDase can also be over-expressed in prostate cancer cells after a single, low-dose of ionizing radiation, raising speculation about the correlation of increased ACDase to radio-resistance, and the potential of ACDase inhibition being a therapeutic strategy for treating cancer.

Recent Publications

Liu F, Li X, Lu C, Bai A, Bielawski J, Bielawska A, Marshall B, Schoenlein PV, Lebedyeva IO, Liu K. (2016) Ceramide activates lysosomal cathepsin B and cathepsin D to attenuate autophagy and induces ER stress to suppress myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Oncotarget Nov 17. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13438. [Epub ahead of print]

Dai L, Trillo-Tinoco J, Bai A, Chen Y, Bielawski J, Del Valle L, Smith CD, Ochoa AC, Qin Z, Parsons C. (2015) Ceramides promote apoptosis for virus-infected lymphoma cells through induction of ceramide synthases and viral lytic gene expression. Oncotarget 6(27):24246-60. PMID:  26327294 

Tirodkar TS, Lu P, Bai A, Scheffel MJ, Gencer S, Garrett-Mayer E, Bielawska A, Ogretmen B, Voelkel-Johnson C. (2015) Expression of ceramide synthase 6 transcriptionally activates acid ceramidase in a c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)-dependent mannerJ Biol Chem 290(21):13157-67. PMID: 25839235

Bai A, Szulc ZM, Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Rembiesa B, Terzieva S, Mao C, Xu R, Wu B, Clarke CJ, Newcomb B, Liu X, Norris J, Hannun YA, Bielawska A. (2014) Targeting (cellular) lysosomal acid ceramidase by B13: design, synthesis and evaluation of novel DMG-B13 ester prodrugsBioorg Med Chem 22(24):6933-44. PMID: 25456083

Bielawska A, Bai A, Szulc ZM, Hannun YA, Norris JS, Liu X. Lysosomotropic inhibitors of acid ceramidase. US patent 8697379, April 2014. 

Cheng JC, Bai A, Beckham TH, Marrison ST, Yount CL, Young K, Lu P, Bartlett AM, Wu BX, Keane BJ, Armeson KE, Marshall DT, Keane TE, Smith MT, Jones EE, Drake RR Jr, Bielawska A, Norris JS, Liu X. (2013) Radiation-induced acid ceramidase confers prostate cancer resistance and tumor relapse. J Clin Invest 123(10):4344-58. PMID: 24091326

Szulc ZM, Bai A, Bielawski J, Mayroo N, Miller DE, Gracz H, Hannun YA, Bielawska A. (2010) Synthesis, NMR characterization and divergent biological actions of 2'-hydroxy-ceramide/dihydroceramide stereoisomers in MCF7 cells. Bioorg Med Chem 18(21):7565-79.

Bai A, Szulc ZM, Bielawski J, Mayroo N, Liu X, Norris J, Hannun YA, Bielawska A. (2009) Synthesis and bioevaluation of omega-N-amino analogs of B13. Bioorg Med Chem 17(5):1840-8.

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