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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

Tirodkar TS, Lu P, Bai A, Scheffel MJ, Gencer S, Garrett-Mayer E, Bielawska A, Ogretmen B, Voelkel-Johnson C. Expression of ceramide synthase 6 transcriptionally activates acid ceramidase in a c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)-dependent manner. J Biol Chem. 2015 May 22;290(21):13157-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.631325. Epub 2015 Apr 3. 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. Targeting (cellular) lysosomal acid ceramidase by B13: design, synthesis and evaluation of novel DMG-B13 ester prodrugs. Bioorg Med Chem. 2014 Dec 15;22(24):6933-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2014.10.025. Epub 2014 Oct 22 PMID: 25456083

Bielawska A, Bai A, Szulc ZM, Hannun YA, Norris JS, Liu X. Lysosomotropic inhibitors of acid ceramidase. US patent 8697379, Publication date 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. Radiation-induced acid ceramidase confers prostate cancer resistance and tumor relapse. J Clin Invest. 2013 Oct1; 123(10):4344-58. PMID: 24091326

Szulc ZM, Bai A, Bielawski J, Mayroo N, Miller DE, Gracz H, Hannun YA, Bielawska A. Synthesis, NMR characterization and divergent biological actions of 2'-hydroxy-ceramide/dihydroceramide stereoisomers in MCF7 cells. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Nov 1;18(21):7565-79. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

Bai A, Szulc ZM, Bielawski J, Mayroo N, Liu X, Norris J, Hannun YA, Bielawska A. Synthesis and bioevaluation of omega-N-amino analogs of B13. Bioorg Med hem. 2009 Mar 1;17(5):1840-8.

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