Hai Rao, Ph.D.
We are focusing on the end of protein's life cycle, its death, which is essential for cell growth and development. Regulated protein destruction is mainly carried out by the proteasome, a multi-subunit protease that requires ubiquitin molecule as a ticket for entry. We employ multidisciplinary approaches to tackle the elusive mechanisms and crucial functions of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in vivo and in vitro. Key cellular regulators under our investigation include cell cycle kinase Mps1, tumor suppressor p53, prion protein PrP, misfolded protein CFTR. We have established unique angles and tools to unravel the function of proteolysis in cancer and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
- 1996 - PhD - Biochemistry (Mentor: Dr. Bruce Stillman) (Regulation of DNA replication throughout the cell cycle in yeast S. cerevisiae) - State University of New York at Stony Brook
- 1991 - MS - Chemistry - Boston University
- 1989 - BS - Chemistry - Wuhan University
- Postdoctoral Training - Graduate Research Assist., Dept. of Biochemistry - State University of New York at Stony Brook & Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- Postdoctoral Fellowship - Biology (Mentor: Dr. Alex Varshavsky) - California Institute of Technology
- Postdoctoral Training - Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Chemistry - Boston University
- 9/2008 - Associate Professor - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Molecular Medicine, San Antonio
Instruction & Training
- 3/2018 - Present, Post-Doctoral Student Supervision, UTHSCSA
- 2/2018 - Present, Visiting Graduate Students, UTHSCSA (UT Health Science Center at SA)
- 10/2016 - Present, Post-Doctoral Student Supervision, UTHSCSA
- 3/2016 - Present, INTD 6007 Advance in Cell Biology
- 1/2016 - Present, Membership on Supervising Committee
- 8/2015 - Present, TSCI 5075 Scientific Communication
- 5/2011 - Present, Membership on Supervising Committee, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 10/2010 - Present, INTD 5000 Fundamentals of biomedical sciences
- 5/2010 - Present, Pre-Doctoral Student Supervision, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 9/2009 - Present, Colloquium in Mol Medi, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 9/2009 - Present, Adv Molecular Cell Bio, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 9/2004 - Present, Mod Meth/Cell-mole Bio, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 9/2004 - Present, Research, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 8/2002 - Present, Adv Molecular Cell Bio, The University of Texas Health Science Center
Research & Grants
DNA Damage Response, Genetics of Cancer
Cancer Development and Progression Program
Funding Agency NIH Title How a sun protection complex moonlights in proteolysis Status Active Period 9/2016 - 9/2019 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail Funding Agency the National Center for Advancing Translational Science Title Overcoming VCP-induced ALS Status Complete Period 8/2016 - 8/2017 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail This is a pilot grant from UTHSCSA CTSA/IIMS, which holds UL1TR001120 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science
Funding Agency William and Ella Owens Medical Foundation Title A new strategy for protein misfolding diseases Status Active Period 3/2018 - 9/2019 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail Funding Agency San Antonio Cancer Council & Mays Cancer Center, UTHSCSA Title Overcoming drug resistance in cancer therapy Status Active Period 3/2018 - 3/2019 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail
Funding Agency Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Title A Novel Anti-BCR-ABL Approach for Leukemia Therapy Status Active Period 8/2018 - 8/2020 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail Funding Agency Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Title A chemical strategy to promote EGFR degradation Status Active Period 8/2017 - 8/2019 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail
Rao H, and Cheng H. A F box protein RCY1 and other ubiquitin ligases promote histone variant CSE4 turnover and genome stability; 2017 Jan. (Zomes IX: PCI complexes and ubiquitin defining Hub for protein homeostasis). Rao H. Ub-mediated proteolysis in DNA repair; 2016 Jan. (Second conference on advances in cell biology).
Cheng, H., Hu, G., Luo, S., Gan, X., and Rao, H. A simple PCR-based strategy for the introduction of point mutations in the yeast S. cerevisiae via CRISPR/CAS9 Biochem Mol Biol J 2018 Feb;4(9). Cheng, H., Bao, X., Gan, X., Luo, S. and Rao, H. Multiple E3s promote the degradation of Histone variant Cse4 Scientific Reports 2017 Aug;7. Shao J., Xu L., Chen L., Lu Q., Xie X., Shi W., Xiong W., Shi C., Huang X., Mei J., Rao H, Lu H., Lu N., Luo S. The small G-protein Arl13b promotes tumorigenesis by regulating Smoothened trafficking and subsequent Hedgehog signaling pathway activation Cancer Research 2017 Jun;. Zhou F, Huang D, Li Y, Hu G, Rao H, Lu Q, Luo S, Wang Y. Nek2A/SuFu feedback loop regulates Gli-mediated Hedgehog signaling pathway International Journal of Oncology 2017 Feb;. Peng H, Yang J, Li G, You Q, Han W, Li T, Gao D, Xie X, Lee BH, Du J, Hou J, Zhang T, Rao H, Huang Y, Li Q, Zeng R, Hui L, Wang H, Xia Q, Zhang X, He Y, Komatsu M, Dikic I, Finley D, Hu. Ubiquitylation of p62/sequestosome1 activates its autophagy receptor function and controls selective autophagy upon ubiquitin stress Cell Research 2017 Jan;27. Klionsky DJ, ....Kumar AP.... et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition) Autophagy 2016 Jan;12(1):1-222. Rao H. Nek2A phosphorylates and stabilizes SuFu: A new strategy of Gli2/Hedgehog signaling regulatory mechanism Cellular signaling 2016 Jan;28:1304-1313. Rao H. The F box protein Rcy1 is involved in the degradation of Histone variant Cse4 and genome maintenance J. Biol. Chem 2016 Jan;291:10372-10377. Rao H. Rad25 protein is targeted for degradation by the Ubc4-Ufd4 pathway J. Biol Chem 2015 Jan;290:8606-8612. Rao H. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling pathway impedes cancer cell proliferation by promotion of autophagy Euro. J. Cell Biol 2015 Jan;94:223-233. Shao J, Choe V, Cheng H, Tsai YC, Weissman AM, Luo S, Rao H. Ubiquitin ligase gp78 targets unglycosylated prion protein PrP for ubiquitylation and degradation PLoS One 2014 Apr;9(4).