Dr. Hengli Tang —FSU Biological Science Faculty Member -->
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE
FACULTY MEMBER

Dr. Hengli Tang

Office: 3063 King Life Sciences
Office: (850) 645-2402
Lab: (850) 645-2403
Fax: (850) 645-8447
Mail code: 4295
E-mail: tang@bio.fsu.edu


Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1998
Graduate Faculty Status

Dr. Hengli Tang is currently recruiting new graduate students for Fall 2015.

Research and Professional Interests:

The general area of research interest in my lab is virus-host cell interactions concerning hepatitis C virus (HCV). In addition, our lab has recently developed a new hepatocyte model for hepatitis viruses and liver diseases using pluripotent stem cells.

1. Cyclosporine, Cyclophilins, and HCV replication

My lab has characterized in depth the relationship between Cyclophilin A (CyPA), a host factor, and HCV infection in vitro. HCV infection of cultured hepatoma cells or differentiated hepatocyte-like cells derived from stem cells is critically dependent on CyPA but not several other isoforms of CyPs. The peptidylprolyl isomerase (PPIase) motif of CyPA is essential for the function of the HCV replicase and cyclophilin inhibitors (CPIs) are being developed clinically as a novel class of anti-HCV drugs. In vitro resistance to CsA, albeit modest, is directly correlated with a reduced dependence on CyPA; and a functional interaction between CyPA and the HCV replicase exists. NS5A, a HCV non-structural protein and a component of the viral replicase, is an important target of CyPA. Mutations that alter NS5A conformation reduce HCV's dependence on CyPA. We are actively investigating the molecular mechanism of CyPA's action related to NS5A function.

2. Cofactor-Independent Mutants (CoFIM) selection

A myriad of cellular cofactors have been identified by various labs using shot-gun style technologies such as siRNA screening (genome-wide or targeted) and cDNA expression cloning. However, the mechanisms of action for many of these factors remain unknown. We have devised a Cofactor-Independent Mutants (CoFIM) identification technique (Yang et al. PLoS Pathogen, Sept. 2010) to select for mutations that confer the ability to a mutant virus that can infect cells where the expression of a specific cofactor is suppressed by stable shRNA. This approach allows us to identify the viral targets and the mutations relevant for the function of given cofactors. We have validated this technology with CyPA, an essential cofactor of HCV that has been well characterized by us and others. We are now applying the CoFIM technique to additional HCV and HIV cofactors.

3. Pluripotent stem cells and differentiated hepatocyte-like cells (DHHs)

Physiologically relevant human hepatocyte models for infection and liver diseases are scarce. Primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) are not readily accessible, display individual variability, and are largely refractory to genetic manipulation. Differentiated human hepatocyte-like cells (DHHs) derived from pluripotent stem cells represent an attractive alternative. We recently established a novel HCV infection model based on DHHs. We determined the transition point of HCV susceptibility and identified the host factors that were correlated with susceptibility. Genetic modification of human embryonic stem cells, coupled with hepatic differentiation, generated hepatocyte-like cells that were resistant to HCV infection. This noncancerous, genetically malleable, and renewable liver cell culture system may be broadly applicable to research of other hepatic viruses and liver diseases.

Selected Publications:
  1. Wu X, Robotham JM, Lee E, Dalton S, Kneteman NM, Gilbert DM, Tang H. Productive Hepatitis C Virus Infection of Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes Reveals a Critical Transition to Viral Permissiveness during Differentiation. PLoS Pathog. 2012 Apr;8(4):e1002617. Epub 2012 Apr 5.
     
  2. Nag A, Robotham JM, Tang H. Suppression of Viral RNA Binding and the Assembly of Infectious Hepatitis C Virus Particles in vitro by Cyclophilin Inhibitors. J Virol. 2012 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
     
  3. Grisť H, Frausto S, Logan T, Tang H. A Conserved Tandem Cyclophilin-Binding Site in Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural Protein 5A Regulates Alisporivir Susceptibility. J Virol. 2012 May;86(9):4811-22. Epub 2012 Feb 15.
     
  4. Jiang J, Cun W, Wu X, Shi Q, Tang H, Luo G. Hepatitis C virus attachment mediated by apolipoprotein E binding to cell surface heparan sulfate. J Virol. 2012 Jul;86(13):7256-67. Epub 2012 Apr 24
     
  5. Hebner CM, Han B, Brendza KM, Nash M, Sulfab M, Tian Y, Hung M, Fung W, Vivian RW, Trenkle J, Taylor J, Bjornson K, Bondy S, Liu X, Link J, Neyts J, Sakowicz R, Zhong W, Tang H, Schmitz U. The HCV non-nucleoside inhibitor Tegobuvir utilizes a novel mechanism of action to inhibit NS5B polymerase function. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39163. Epub 2012 Jun 13.
     
  6. Yang F, Robotham JM, Grise H, Frausto S, Madan V, et al. (2010) A Major Determinant of Cyclophilin Dependence and Cyclosporine Susceptibility of Hepatitis C Virus Identified by a Genetic Approach. PLoS Pathog 6(9): e1001118. doi:10.1371
     
  7. Tang H. Cyclophilin Inhibitors as a Novel HCV Therapy. Viruses. 2010; 2(8):1621-1634.
     
  8. Tang H, Grisť H. Cellular and molecular biology of HCV infection and hepatitis. Clin Sci (Lond). 2009 Jun 15;117(2):49-65.
     
  9. Kenworthy R, Lambert D, Yang F, Wang N, Chen Z, Zhu H, Zhu F, Liu C, Li K, Tang H. Short-hairpin RNAs delivered by lentiviral vector transduction trigger RIG-I-mediated IFN activation. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Oct;37(19):6587-99. Epub 2009 Sep 3.
     
  10. Liu Z, Robida JM, Chinnaswamy S, Yi G, Robotham JM, Nelson HB, Irsigler A, Kao CC, Tang H. Mutations in the hepatitis C virus polymerase that increase RNA binding can confer resistance to cyclosporine A. Hepatology. 2009 Jul;50(1):25-33.
     
  11. Liu Z, Yang F, Robotham JM, Tang H. Critical role of cyclophilin A and its prolyl-peptidyl isomerase activity in the structure and function of the hepatitis C virus replication complex. J Virol. 2009 Jul;83(13):6554-65. Epub 2009 Apr 22.
     
  12. Robotham JM, Nelson HB, Tang H. Selection and characterization of drug-resistant HCV replicons in vitro with a flow cytometry-based assay. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;510:227-42.
     
  13. Qing M, Yang F, Zhang B, Zou G, Robida JM, Yuan Z, Tang H, Shi PY. Cyclosporine inhibits flavivirus replication through blocking the interaction between host cyclophilins and viral NS5 protein. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 Aug;53(8):3226-35. Epub 2009 May 18.
     
  14. Yang F, Robotham JM, Nelson HB, Irsigler A, Kenworthy R, Tang H. Cyclophilin A is an Essential Cofactor for Hepatitis C Virus Infection and the Principal Mediator of Cyclosporine A Resistance In Vitro. J Virol. 2008 Apr 2; [Epub ahead of print]
     
  15. Liu Z, Kenworthy R, Green C, Tang H. Molecular determinants of nucleolar translocation of RNA helicase A. Exp Cell Res. 2007 Oct 15;313(17):3743-54. Epub 2007 Aug 14.
     
  16. Robida JM, Nelson HB, Liu Z, Tang H. Characterization of Hepatitis C Virus Subgenomic Replicon Resistance to Cyclosporine A In Vitro. J Virol. 2007 Mar 21; [epub ahead of print]
     
  17. Nelson HB, Tang H. Effect of cell growth on hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and a mechanism of cell confluence-based inhibition of HCV RNA and protein expression. J Virol. 2006 Feb;80(3):1181-90.
     
  18. Waninger S, Kuhen K, Hu X, Chatterton JE, Wong-Staal F, Tang H. Identification of cellular cofactors for human immunodeficiency virus replication via a ribozyme-based genomics approach. J Virol. 2004 78(23):12829-12837.
     
  19. Tang H, Peng T, Wong-Staal F. Novel technologies for studying virus-host interaction and discovering new drug targets for HCV and HIV. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2002 2(5):541-7.
     
  20. Kuwabara T, Warashina M, Sano M, Tang H, Wong-Staal F, Munekata E, Taira K. Recognition of engineered tRNAs with an extended 3' end by Exportin-t (Xpo-t) and transport of tRNA-attached ribozymes to the cytoplasm in somatic cells. Biomacromolecules. 2001 2(4):1229-42.
     
  21. Yang JP, Tang H, Reddy TR, Wong-Staal F. Mapping the functional domains of HAP95, a protein that binds RNA helicase A and activates the constitutive transport element of type D retroviruses. J Biol Chem. 2001 276(33):30694-700.
     
  22. Reddy TR, Tang H, Xu W, Wong-Staal F. Sam68, RNA helicase A and Tap cooperate in the post-transcriptional regulation of human immunodeficiency virus and type D retroviral mRNA. Oncogene. 2000 19(32):3570-5.
     
  23. Tang H, Wong-Staal F. Specific interaction between RNA helicase A and Tap, two cellular proteins that bind to the constitutive transport element of type D retrovirus. J Biol Chem. 2000 275(42):32694-700.
     
  24. Westberg C, Yang JP, Tang H, Reddy TR, Wong-Staal F. A novel shuttle protein binds to RNA helicase A and activates the retroviral constitutive transport element. J Biol Chem. 2000 275(28):21396-401.
     
  25. Tang H, Kuhen KL, Wong-Staal F. Lentivirus replication and regulation. Annu Rev Genet. 1999;33:133-70.
     
  26. Reddy TR, Xu W, Mau JK, Goodwin CD, Suhasini M, Tang H, Frimpong K, Rose DW, Wong-Staal F. Inhibition of HIV replication by dominant negative mutants of Sam68, a functional homolog of HIV-1 Rev. Nat Med. 1999 5(6):635-42.
     
  27. Tang H, McDonald D, Middlesworth T, Hope TJ, Wong-Staal F. The carboxyl terminus of RNA helicase A contains a bidirectional nuclear transport domain. Mol Cell Biol. 1999 19(5):3540-50.
     
  28. Li J, Tang H, Mullen TM, Westberg C, Reddy TR, Rose DW, Wong-Staal F. A role for RNA helicase A in post-transcriptional regulation of HIV type 1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 96(2):709-14.
     
  29. Reddy TR, Tang H, Li X, Wong-Staal F. Functional interaction of the HTLV-1 transactivator Tax with activating transcription factor-4 (ATF4). Oncogene. 1997 14(23):2785-92.
     
  30. Tang H, Gaietta GM, Fischer WH, Ellisman MH, Wong-Staal F. A cellular cofactor for the constitutive transport element of type D retrovirus. Science. 1997 276(5317):1412-5.
     
  31. Tang H, Xu Y, Wong-Staal F. Identification and purification of cellular proteins that specifically interact with the RNA constitutive transport elements from retrovirus D. Virology. 1997 Feb 17;228(2):333-9.
     
Postdoctoral Associates:

Lang, Jianshe
Robotham, Jason Michael

Graduate Students:

Frausto, Stephen
Lee, Emily
Ogden, Sarah

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