My research focuses on O-glycans, a sugar that your body makes. In my lab, we’ve found O-glycans are important in the development of the blood and lymphatic vascular system. Without this sugar, the body doesn’t know if it should grow blood vessels or pieces of the lymphatic system, or how to connect them properly. This can lead to many diseases such as cancer metastasis and fatty liver disease. We are working to understand how to prevent these potentially deadly conditions.
My lab also studies the role of glycans on platelets, the smallest blood cell, in the formation of abnormal blood clots, which are the cause of common forms of heart attack and stroke.
In patients with colitis and colorectal tumors, we’ve found that O-glycans are different than in patients with normal intestinal systems. So, we’re also exploring whether abnormalities of this sugar in the intestines might actually cause these diseases—in hopes of using the knowledge we gain to treat these intestinal diseases.
O-glycosylation is a common protein posttranslational modification and is increasingly appreciated as having a wide and yet largely unexplored spectrum of biological functions. My lab studies the biological functions of O-glycans/O-glycoproteins in health and disease using gene-targeted mice as models.
Mucin-type O-glycans (O-glycans) are highly expressed on blood, endothelial, and epithelial cells. Our published studies have identified new roles for O-glycans in blood cell trafficking via O-glycosylation of selectin ligands on leukocytes, vascular integrity via the O-glycoprotein podoplanin, and intestinal inflammation/cancer development via mucins on intestinal epithelial cells. These studies integrate our strengths and background in glycobiology, vascular biology, and hematology with expertise in mouse models. Our main goals are to uncover new in vivo functions of O-glycans/O-glycoproteins in endothelial cells, platelets, and intestinal epithelial cells, and to determine mechanisms by which O-glycoproteins regulate vascular integrity, inflammation, and tumorigenesis.
We are currently focused on the following: 1) Roles of O-glycoprotein ligands and their platelet receptors in vascular integrity and thrombosis; 2) Genetic bleeding disorders with a focus on platelet genetic disorders; and 3) Role of intestinal mucus O-glycans in host and microbiota homeostasis.
M.D., Binzhou Medical College, China, 1982
M.S., Qingdao University Medical College, China, 1990
Ph.D., Soochow University Medical College, China, 1995
Honors and Awards
2003 Scientist Development Award, American Heart Association
2006 Scientific Consultant, American Stem Cell, Inc., CA
2007 Merrick Award for Outstanding Research (OMRF)
2009 Merrick Foundation Distinguished Scientist (OMRF)
2012 Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord Prize for Scientific Achievement (OMRF)
2021 Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord Prize for Scientific Achievement (OMRF)
American Society of Hematology
Member, Society for Glycobiology
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2002.
Shi H, Shao B, Gao L, Venkatesan T, McDaniel JM, Zhou M, McGee S, Yu P, Ahamed J, Journeycake J, George JN, Xia L. Endothelial VWF is critical for the pathogenesis of vaso-occlusive episode in a mouse model of sickle cell disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 119:e2207592119, 2022 August, PMID: 35969769, PMCID: PMC9407592
Bergstrom K, Xia L. The barrier and beyond: Roles of intestinal mucus and mucin-type O-glycosylation in resistance and tolerance defense strategies guiding host-microbe symbiosis. Gut Microbes 14:2052699, 2022 January, PMID: 35380912, PMCID: PMC8986245
Shao B, Hoover C, Shi H, Kondo Y, Lee RH, Chen J, Shan X, Song J McDaniel JM, Zhou M, McGee S, Vanhoorelbeke K, Bergmeier W, Lopez JA, George JN, Xia L. Deletion of platelet CLEC-2 decreases GPIba-mediated integrin aIIb3 activation and decreases the thrombosis in TTP. Blood. 2022 Apr 21;139(16):2523-2533. PMID: 35157766, PMCID: PMC9029097
Hoover C, Kondo Y, Shao B, McDaniel MJ, Lee R, McGee S, Whiteheart S, Bergmeier W, McEver, RP, Xia L. Heightened activation of embryonic megakaryocyte causes aneurysms in the developing brain of mice lacking podoplanin. Blood, 2021 May 20;137(20):2756-2769. PMID: 33619517, PMCID: PMC8138551
Bergstrom K, Shan X, Casero D, Batushansky A, Lagishetty V, Jacobs JP, Hoover C. Kondo Y, Shao B, Gao L, Zandberg W, Noyovitz B, McDaniel JM, Gibson DL, Pakpour S, Kazemian N, McGee S, Houchen CW, Rao CV, Griffin TM, Sonnenburg JL, McEver RP, Braun J, and Xia L. Proximal colon-derived O-glycosylated mucus encapsulates and modulates the microbiota. Science, 2020 Oct 22, 370, 467 - 472. PMID: 33093110, PMCID: PMC8132455
Bergstrom K, Liu X, Zhao Y, Gao N, Wu Q, Song K, Cui Yi, Li Y, McDaniel JM, McGee S, Chen W, Huycke MM, Houchen CW, Zenewicz LA, West CM, Chen H, Braun J, Fu J, Xia L. Defective intestinal mucin-type O-glycosylation causes spontaneous colitis-associated cancer in mice. Gastroenterology. 2016 July;15:152-164.e11. PMID: 27059389 PMCID: PMC5068133
Pan Y, Yago T, Fu J. Herzog B, McDaniel JM, Padmaja Mehta-D’souza, Cai X, Ruan C, McEver RP, West C, Dai K, Chen H, Xia L. Podoplanin requires sialylated O-glycans for stable expression on lymphatic endothelial cells and for interaction with platelets. Blood. 2014 Dec 4;124(24):3656-65.PMID: 25336627 PMCID: PMC4256915
Herzog BH, Fu J, Wilson SJ, Hess PR, Sen A, McDaniel JM, Pan Y, Sheng M, Yago T, Silasi-Mansat R, McGee S, May F, Nieswandt B, Morris AJ, Lupu F, Coughlin SR, McEver RP, Chen H, Kahn ML, Xia L. Podoplanin maintains high endothelial venule integrity by interacting with platelet CLEC-2. Nature. 2013 Oct 3;502(7469):105-9. PMID: 23995678 PMCID: PMC3791160
Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, MS 45
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-7892
Lab: (405) 271-3979
Fax: (405) 271-3137
Bojing Shao, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Member
Jie Zhu, Ph.D.
Associate Staff Scientist
Xindi "Dylan" Shan, Ph.D.
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow
John "Michael" McDaniel
Senior Manager of Laboratory
Wei Jing, Ph.D.
Science Writer Specialist
Network Support Specialist
Research Technician IV
Meixiang "Mei" Zhou
Research Technician II
Project Coordinator I
Administrative Assistant IV
Administrative Assistant II
News from the Xia lab
Okay. We still have a ways to go in this decade. But even in spite of the pandemic, the 2020s are off to a strong start at OMRF. Dr. Lijun Xia published groundbreaking new research in the journal Science and secured a new $13.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Courtney Griffin […]
First a physician, Dr. Lijun Xia has become a research star As a young physician in China, Dr. Lijun Xia treated people with life-threatening blood diseases. But few medications existed to help the people he cared for, and over time, the hematologist grew frustrated. “I wanted to do better for my patients, to give them […]
OMRF honored three scientists and added a new board member at its annual spring board meeting and honors celebration Tuesday. Researcher John Harley, M.D., Ph.D., was awarded the Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord Prize for Scientific Achievement. OMRF named Rodger McEver, M.D., as the Alvin Chang Chair in Cardiovascular Biology and Lijun Xia, M.D, Ph.D., […]
When an epileptic seizure strikes, it’s almost always frightening: violent, involuntary muscle contractions, often accompanied by a loss of consciousness. Epilepsy affects more than 3 million Americans, including an estimated 100,000 Oklahomans. In most cases, the cause is not known. But a study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation casts new light on how injuries […]
A new study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has found a potential cause of fatty liver disease, a condition linked to obesity that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and an increased risk of liver cancer. In a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, OMRF scientist Lijun […]
At its semiannual board meeting Wednesday, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation honored scientists Patrick Wilson, Ph.D., and Lijun Xia, M.D., Ph.D. The foundation also honored three long-time board members. The board presented the Merrick Award for Outstanding Research to Xia and Wilson. Established in 1981 by Elizabeth Merrick Coe through the Merrick Foundation of Ardmore, […]
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation announced today that it has received a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. “This is yet another important step in the emergence of Oklahoma as a center of biomedical excellence,” said OMRF President Dr. J. Donald Capra. “Five years ago, this state had never seen a $10 […]