Wenlong Bai, PhD

Wenlong Bai, PhD



    • Cancer Chemoprevention Research Interest Group
    • Cancer Biology and Evolution Program

Education & Training

    • Baylor College of Medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow - Molecular Endocrinology
    • Texas Medical Center M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, PhD - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

My laboratory focuses on the role of steroid and Vitamin D receptors in the development and treatment of human cancers. On-going research projects include the investigation of the role of the estrogen receptor (ER) in mediating the tissue-specific agonistic and antagonistic activity of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) in breast and endometrial cancer cells, the study of the functional interaction between PTEN tumor suppressor and the androgen receptor in the growth and apoptosis of prostate cancer cells, and the study of the functions of Vitamin D and its receptors in ovarian cancer development and treatment. The overall objective of the research is, through the elucidation of the mechanism of action of steroid hormones and Vitamin D in human cancer cells, to develop new therapeutic strategies for cancer patients or improve the patients? response to existing hormonal or anti-hormone therapies. Specific examples of research related to drug discovery are the development of synthetic vitamin D analogues as a therapeutic agent against ovarian cancer (in collaboration with Leo Pharmaceuticals) and the application of kinase inhibitors to overcome the resistance of breast cancers to tamoxifen therapy.  


  • Sun Y, Sun J, Lungchukiet P, Quarni W, Yang S, Zhang X, Bai W. Fe65 Suppresses Breast Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion through Tip60 Mediated Cortactin Acetylation. Sci Rep. 2015 Jul;5:11529. Pubmedid: 26166158. Pmcid: PMC4499803.
  • Lungchukiet P, Sun Y, Kasiappan R, Quarni W, Nicosia SV, Zhang X, Bai W. Suppression of epithelial ovarian cancer invasion into the omentum by 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and its receptor. J Steroid Biochem -. 2015 Apr;148:138-147. Pubmedid: 25448740. Pmcid: PMC4465764.
  • Haakenson J, Wu JY, Xiang S, Williams KA, Bai W, Zhang X. HDAC6-Dependent Functions in Tumor Cells: Crossroad with the MAPK Pathways. Crit Rev Oncog. 2015;20(1-2):65-81. Pubmedid: 25746105.
  • Kasiappan R, Sun Y, Lungchukiet P, Quarni W, Zhang X, Bai W. Vitamin D suppresses leptin stimulation of cancer growth through microRNA. Cancer Res. 2014 Nov;74(21):6194-6204. Pubmedid: 25252917. Pmcid: PMC4216743.
  • Sun Y, Kasiappan R, Tang J, Webb PL, Quarni W, Zhang X, Bai W. A novel function of the Fe65 neuronal adaptor in estrogen receptor action in breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 2014 May;289(18):12217-12231. Pubmedid: 24619425. Pmcid: PMC4007422.
  • Zhang M, Xiang S, Joo HY, Wang L, Williams KA, Liu W, Hu C, Tong D, Haakenson J, Wang C, Zhang S, Pavlovicz RE, Jones A, Schmidt KH, Tang J, Dong H, Shan B, Fang B, Radhakrishnan R, Glazer PM, Matthias P, Koomen J, Seto E, Bepler G, Nicosia SV, Chen J, Li C, Gu L, Li GM, Bai W, Wang H, Zhang X. HDAC6 deacetylates and ubiquitinates MSH2 to maintain proper levels of MutSα. Mol Cell. 2014 Jul;55(1):31-46. Pubmedid: 24882211. Pmcid: PMC4188514.
  • Williams KA, Zhang M, Xiang S, Hu C, Wu JY, Zhang S, Ryan M, Cox AD, Der CJ, Fang B, Koomen J, Haura E, Bepler G, Nicosia SV, Matthias P, Wang C, Bai W, Zhang X. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylates histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) at serine 1035 to stimulate cell migration. J Biol Chem. 2013 Nov;288(46):33156-33170. Pubmedid: 24089523. Pmcid: PMC3829163.
  • Wang L, Xiang S, Williams KA, Dong H, Bai W, Nicosia SV, Khochbin S, Bepler G, Zhang X. Depletion of HDAC6 enhances cisplatin-induced DNA damage and apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cells. PLoS One. 2013 Feb;7(9):e44265. Pubmedid: 22957056. Pmcid: PMC3434198.
  • Kasiappan R, Shen Z, Tse AK, Jinwal U, Tang J, Lungchukiet P, Sun Y, Kruk P, Nicosia SV, Zhang X, Bai W. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppresses telomerase expression and human cancer growth through microRNA-498. J Biol Chem. 2012 Nov;287(49):41297-41309. Pubmedid: 23055531. Pmcid: PMC3510828.
  • Kumar N, Crocker T, Smith T, Pow-Sang J, Spiess PE, Connors S, Chornukur G, Dickinson SI, Bai W, Williams CR, Salup R, Fu W. Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention Targeting High Risk Populations: Model for Trial Design and Outcome Measures. J Cancer Sci Ther. 2012 Mar;2011(S3). Pubmedid: 22422102. Pmcid: PMC3300067.
  • Yang Y, Tse AK, Li P, Ma Q, Xiang S, Nicosia SV, Seto E, Zhang X, Bai W. Inhibition of androgen receptor activity by histone deacetylase 4 through receptor SUMOylation. Oncogene. 2011 Jul;30(19):2207-2218. Pubmedid: 21242980. Pmcid: PMC3093431.
  • Shen Z, Zhang X, Tang J, Kasiappan R, Jinwal U, Li P, Hann S, Nicosia SV, Wu J, Zhang X, Bai W. The coupling of epidermal growth factor receptor down regulation by 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 to the hormone-induced cell cycle arrest at the G1-S checkpoint in ovarian cancer cells. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 May;338(1-2):58-67. Pubmedid: 21458521. Pmcid: PMC3089697.
  • Zhang Y, Dong H, Li Z, Xiang S, Zhu Y, Zhang M, Liu J, Bai W, Nicosia SV, Chen J. Bing De Ling, a Chinese herbal formula, inhibits cancer cells growth via p53. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010 Jan;2:221-230. Pubmedid: 20036872.
  • Fu W, Ma Q, Chen L, Li P, Zhang M, Ramamoorthy S, Nawaz Z, Shimojima T, Wang H, Yang Y, Shen Z, Zhang Y, Zhang X, Nicosia SV, Zhang Y, Pledger JW, Chen J, Bai W. MDM2 acts downstream of p53 as an E3 ligase to promote FOXO ubiquitination and degradation. J Biol Chem. 2009 May;284(21):13987-14000. Pubmedid: 19321440. Pmcid: PMC2682847.
  • Zhang Y, Zhang M, Dong H, Yong S, Li X, Olashaw N, Kruk PA, Cheng JQ, Bai W, Chen J, Nicosia SV, Zhang X. Deacetylation of cortactin by SIRT1 promotes cell migration. Oncogene. 2009 Jan;28(3):445-460. Pubmedid: 18850005.
  • Ma Q, Fu W, Li P, Nicosia SV, Jenster G, Zhang X, Bai W. FoxO1 mediates PTEN suppression of androgen receptor N- and C-terminal interactions and coactivator recruitment. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Feb;23(2):213-225. Pubmedid: 19074551. Pmcid: PMC2646622.
  • Lwin T, Hazlehurst LA, Dessureault S, Lai R, Bai W, Sotomayor E, Moscinski LC, Dalton WS, Tao J. Cell adhesion induces p27Kip1-associated cell-cycle arrest through down-regulation of the SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase pathway in mantle-cell and other non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas. Blood. 2007 Sep;110(5):1631-1638. Pubmedid: 17502456. Pmcid: PMC1975846.
  • Yang Y, Fu W, Chen J, Olashaw N, Zhang X, Nicosia SV, Bhalla K, Bai W. SIRT1 sumoylation regulates its deacetylase activity and cellular response to genotoxic stress. Nat Cell Biol. 2007 Nov;9(11):1253-1262. Pubmedid: 17934453. Pmcid: PMC3201724.
  • Bao J, Cao C, Zhang X, Jiang F, Nicosia SV, Bai W. Suppression of beta-amyloid precursor protein signaling into the nucleus by estrogens mediated through complex formation between the estrogen receptor and Fe65. Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;27(4):1321-1333. Pubmedid: 17130235. Pmcid: PMC1800721.
  • Zhang X, Nicosia SV, Bai W. Vitamin D receptor is a novel drug target for ovarian cancer treatment. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2006 May;6(3):229-244. Pubmedid: 16712459.
  • Chen L, Meng S, Wang H, Bali P, Bai W, Li B, Atadja P, Bhalla KN, Wu J. Chemical ablation of androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells by the histone deacetylase inhibitor LAQ824. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Sep;4(9):1311-1319. Pubmedid: 16170022.
  • Zhang X, Li P, Bao J, Nicosia SV, Wang H, Enkemann SA, Bai W. Suppression of death receptor-mediated apoptosis by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 revealed by microarray analysis. J Biol Chem. 2005 Oct;280(42):35458-35468. Pubmedid: 16093247. Pmcid: PMC3249976.
  • Yang Y, Hou H, Haller EM, Nicosia SV, Bai W. Suppression of FOXO1 activity by FHL2 through SIRT1-mediated deacetylation. Embo J. 2005 Mar;24(5):1021-1032. Pubmedid: 15692560. Pmcid: PMC554122.
  • Zhang X, Jiang F, Li P, Li C, Ma Q, Nicosia SV, Bai W. Growth suppression of ovarian cancer xenografts in nude mice by vitamin D analogue EB1089. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jan;11(1):323-328. Pubmedid: 15671562.
  • Li P, Li C, Zhao X, Zhang X, Nicosia SV, Bai W. p27(Kip1) stabilization and G(1) arrest by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) in ovarian cancer cells mediated through down-regulation of cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and Skp1-Cullin-F-box protein/Skp2 ubiquitin ligase. J Biol Chem. 2004 Jun;279(24):25260-25267. Pubmedid: 15075339.
  • Jiang F, Bao J, Li P, Nicosia S, Bai W. Induction of ovarian cancer cell apoptosis by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 through the down-regulation of telomerase. J Biol Chem. 2004 Dec;279(51):53213-53221. Pubmedid: 15485861.
  • Nicosia S, Wilbanks G, Saunders B, Mayer J, Cardosi R, Kruk P, Cheng J, Bai W, Coppola D, Fiorica J. Cytology of human ovarian surface epithelial brushings. Cancer Cytopathol. 2004;102(1):1-10. Pubmedid: 14968412.
  • Jiang F, Li P, Fornace A, Nicosia S, Bai W. G2/M arrest by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in ovarian cancer cells mediated through the induction of GADD45 via an exonic enhancer. J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov;278(48):48030-48040. Pubmedid: 14506229.
  • Li P, Lee H, Guo S, Unterman TG, Jenster G, Bai W. AKT-independent protection of prostate cancer cells from apoptosis mediated through complex formation between the androgen receptor and FKHR. Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Jan;23(1):104-118. Pubmedid: 12482965. Pmcid: PMC140652.
  • Nicosia S, Bai W, Cheng J, Coppola D, Kruk P. Oncogenic pathways implicated in ovarian epithelial cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2003 Aug;17(4):927-943. Pubmedid: 12959183.
  • Lee H, Bai W. Regulation of estrogen receptor nuclear export by ligand-induced and p38-mediated receptor phosphorylation. Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Aug;22(16):5835-5845. Pubmedid: 12138194. Pmcid: PMC133965.
  • Li P, Nicosia SV, Bai W. Antagonism between PTEN/MMAC1/TEP-1 and androgen receptor in growth and apoptosis of prostatic cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun;276(23):20444-20450. Pubmedid: 11278645.
  • Lee H, Jiang F, Wang Q, Nicosia SV, Yang J, Su B, Bai W. MEKK1 activation of human estrogen receptor alpha and stimulation of the agonistic activity of 4-hydroxytamoxifen in endometrial and ovarian cancer cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2000 Nov;14(11):1882-1896. Pubmedid: 11075819.
  • Bai W, Oliveros-Saunders B, Wang Q, Acevedo-Duncan M, Nicosia S. Estrogen stimulation of ovarian surface epithelial cell proliferation. In Vitro Cell Dev-An. 36(10):657-666. Pubmedid: 11229598.
  • Jiang F, Saunders B, Haller E, Livingston S, Nicosia S, Bai W. Conditionally immortal ovarian cell lines for investigating the influence of ovarian stroma on the estrogen sensitivity and tumorigenicity of ovarian surface epithelial cells. In Vitro Cell Dev-An. 39(7):304-312. Pubmedid: 12964904.