Li Cai, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

CAILI@mailbox.sc.edu

Research Interest:

Dr. Cai is an organic chemist and glyco-scientist whose researches focus on carbohydrate chemistry and enzymatic synthesis of carbohydrates. Moreover, Dr. Cai is also devoted to enhancing the interest and efforts of teaching and learning of chemistry and advising undergraduate researches.

 

Education

Ph.D. (2011) Organic/Bioorganic Chemistry the Ohio State University
M.S. (2007) Medicinal Chemistry Peking University
B.S. (2005) Pharmaceutical Science Peking University

 

Professional Experience:

Assistant Professor of Chemistry University of South Carolina Salkehatchie 08/2011-present
Research Associate The Ohio State University 06/2011-07/2011
Graduate Research Assistant The Ohio State University 01/2008-06/2011
Graduate Teaching Assistant The Ohio State University 09/2008-09/2009

 

Other Experience

Editorships

  • Editorial Board, Organic Chemistry: Current Research, 2011-present
  • Academic Editor, International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 2013 – present

Professional Service

  • Manuscript reviewing for (19 journals):

Chemical Science; Chemical Communications; Journal of Medicinal Chemistry; Journal of Organic Chemistry; Applied and Environmental Microbiology; European Journal of Organic Chemistry; Current Organic Synthesis; Chemistry Central Journal, Tetrahedron; Tetrahedron Letters; Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry; Current Organic Chemistry; Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters; Molecules; Carbohydrate Research; International Journal of Molecular Sciences; Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry; Synthetic Communications; Letters in Organic Chemistry

 

Publications (Peer reviewed)

Journals (after joining USC, 08/2011-present, *as corresponding author, as co-first author)

33. Cai, L.*; Rufty, C. Solvent-free pyridine-free peracetylation of glucose: An organic chemistry experiment. The Chemical Educator 2013, 18, 96-98. [Article Link]

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32. Zou, Y.; Xue, M.; Wang, W.; Cai, L.; Chen, L.; Liu, J.; Wang, P. G.; Shen, J.; Chen, M. One-pot three-enzyme synthesis of UDP-Glc, UDP-Gal and their derivatives. Carbohydrate Research 2013, 373, 76-81. [Article Link]

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31. Duan, X.; Cai, L.*; Lee, L. A.; Chen, H.; Wang, Q. Incorporation of azide sugar analogue decreases tumorigenic potential of breast cancer cells by reducing cancer stem cell population. Science China Chemistry 2013, 56, 279-285. [Article Link]

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30. Washington-Hughes, C. L.; Cheng, Y.; Duan, X.; Cai, L.; Lee, L. A.; Wang, Q. In vivo virus-based macrofluorogenic probes target azide-labeled surface glycans in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013, 10, 43-50. [Article Link]

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29. Cai, L.* An alternative method for balancing redox reactions. The Chemical Educator 2012, 17, 172-174. [Article Link]
28. Han, W.; Cai, L.; Wu, B.; Li, L.; Xiao, Z.; Cheng, J.; Wang, P. G. The wciN gene encodes an α-1,3-galactosyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of the capsule repeating unit of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6B. Biochemistry 2012, 51, 5804−5810. [Article Link]

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27. Li, Z.; Cai, L.*; Wei, M.; Wang, P. G.* One-pot four-enzyme synthesis of ketoses with fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolases from Staphylococcus carnosus and rabbit muscle. Carbohydrate Research 2012, 357, 143-146. [Article Link]

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26. Cai, L.* Recent progress in enzymatic synthesis of sugar nucleotides. Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry 2012, 31, 535-552. [Article Link]

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25. Zou, Y.; Wang, W.; Cai, L.; Chen, L.; Xue, M.; Shen, J.; Chen, M. Substrate specificity of galactokinase from Streptococcus pneumoniae TIGR4 towards galactose, glucose, and their derivatives. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2012, 22, 3540-3543. [Article Link]

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24. Han, W.; Wu, B.; Li, L.; Zhao, G.; Woodward, R.; Pettit, N.; Cai, L.; Thon, V.; Wang, P. G. Defining function of lipopolysaccharide O-antigen ligase WaaL using chemoenzymatically synthesized substrates. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2012, 287, 5357-5365. [Article Link]

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23. Li, Z.; Cai, L.*; Qi, Q.; Wang, P. G.* Enzymatic synthesis of D-sorbose and D-psicose with aldolase RhaD: Effect of acceptor configuration on enzyme stereoselectivity. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2011, 21, 7081-7084. [Article Link]

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Journals (working during undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D., as co-first author)

22. Ban, L.; Pettit, N.; Li, L.; Stuparu, A. D.; Cai, L.; Chen, W.; Guan, W.; Han, W.; Wang, P. G.; Mrksich, M. Discovery of glycosyltransferases using carbohydrate arrays and mass spectrometry. Nature Chemical Biology 2012, 8, 769-773.
21. Li, Y.; Yu, H.; Chen, Y.; Lau, K.; Cai, L.; Cao, H.; Tiwari, V. K.; Qu, J.; Thon, V.; Wang, P. G.; Chen, X. Substrate promiscuity of N-acetylhexosamine 1-kinases. Molecules 2011, 16, 6396-6407.

20. Cai, L.; Ban, L.; Guan, W.; Mrksich, M.; Wang, P. G. Enzymatic synthesis and properties of uridine-5′-O-(2-thiodiphospho)-N-acetylglucosamine. Carbohydrate Research 2011, 346, 1576-1580.

19. Wang, W.; Li, L.; Jin, C.; Niu, Y.; Li, S.; Ma, J.; Li, L.; Liu, Y.; Cai, L.; Zhao, W.; Wang, P. G. Enzymatic synthesis of a 6-sialyl lactose analogue using a pH-responsive water-soluble polymer support. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2011, 21, 5041-5044.

18. Guan, W.; Ban, L.; Cai, L.; Li, L.; Chen, W.; Liu, X.; Mrksich, M.; Wang, P. G. Combining carbochips and mass spectrometry to study the donor specificity for the Neisseria meningitidis β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase LgtA. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2011, 21, 5025-5028.

17. Li, Z.; Cai, L.; Qi, Q.; Styslinger, T. J.; Zhao, G.; Wang, P. G. Synthesis of rare sugars with L-fuculose-1-phosphate aldolase (FucA) from Thermus thermophilus HB8. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2011, 21, 5084-5087.

16. Pettit, N.; Cai, L.; Han, W.; Zha, L.; Guan, W.; Wang, P. G. C2-Carbon isostere of N-acetylglucosamine as substrate for bacterial polysaccharide remodeling. American Journal of Biomedical Sciences 2011, 3, 107-115.

15. Chen, W.; Gu, L.; Zhang, W.; Motari, E.; Cai, L.; Styslinger, T.; Wang, P. G. L-Rhamnose antigen: a promising alternative to α-Gal for cancer immunotherapies. ACS Chemical Biology 2011, 6, 185-191.

14. Guan, W.; Cai, L.; Wang, P. G. Highly efficient synthesis of UDP-GalNAc/GlcNAc analogues with promiscuous recombinant human UDP-GalNAc pyrophosphorylase AGX1. Chemistry – A European Journal 2010, 16, 13343-13345.

13. Yu, H.; Thon, V.; Lau, K.; Cai, L.; Chen, Y.; Mu, S.; Li, Y.; Wang, P. G.; Chen, X. Highly efficient chemoenzymatic synthesis of β1-3-linked galactosides. Chemical Communications 2010, 46, 7507-7509.

12. Chen, W.; Xia, C.; Cai, L.; Wang, P. G. Efficient synthesis of galactosylceramide analogues for iNKT cell stimulation. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2010, 20, 3859-3862.

11. Cai, L.; Guan, W.; Chen, W.; Wang, P. G. Chemoenzymatic synthesis of uridine 5′-diphospho-2-acetonyl-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucose as C2-carbon isostere of UDP-GlcNAc. Journal of Organic Chemistry 2010, 75, 3492-3494.

10. Woodward, R.; Yi, W.; Li, L.; Zhao, G.; Eguchi, H.; Perali, R. S.; Guo, H.; Song, J. K.; Motari, E.; Cai, L.; Kelleher, P.; Liu, X.; Han, W.; Zhang, W.; Ding, Y.; Li, M.; Wang, P. G. In vitro bacterial polysaccharide biosynthesis: Defining the functions of Wzy and Wzz. Nature Chemical Biology 2010, 6, 418-423.

9. Zhao, G.; Guan, W.; Cai, L.; Wang, P. G. Enzymatic route to preparative-scale synthesis of UDPGlcNAc/GalNAc, their analogues and GDP-fucose. Nature Protocols 2010, 5, 636-646.

8. Fang, J.; Guan, W.; Cai, L.; Gu, G.; Liu, X.; Wang, P. G. Systematic study on the broad nucleotide triphosphate specificity of the pyrophosphorylase domain of the N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate uridyltransferase from Escherichia coli K12. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2009, 19, 6429-6432.

7. Guan, W.; Cai, L.; Fang, J.; Wu, B.; Wang, P. G. Enzymatic synthesis of UDP-GlcNAc/UDP-GalNAc analogs using N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GlmU). Chemical Communications 2009, 6976-6978.

6. Cai, L.; Guan, W.; Wang, W.; Zhao, W.; Kitaoka, M.; Shen, J.; O’Neil, C.; Wang, P. G. Substrate specificity of N-acetylhexosamine kinase towards N-acetylgalactosamine derivatives. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2009, 19, 5433-5435.

5. Cai, L.; Guan, W.; Kitaoka, M.; Shen, J.; Xia, C.; Chen, W.; Wang, P. G. A chemoenzymatic route to N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate analogues: substrate specificity investigations of N-acetylhexosamine 1-kinase. Chemical Communications 2009, 2944-2946.

4. Mei, H.; Xing, L.; Cai, L.; Jin, H.; Zhao, P.; Yang, Z.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, L.-H. Studies on the synthesis of neamine-dinucleosides and neamine-PNA conjugates and their interaction with RNA. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2008, 18, 5355-5358.

3. Cai, L.; Ren, B.; Zhang, F.; Yang, Z.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, L.-H. Synthesis and biological evaluation of neamine analogues for RNA binding. Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences 2008, 17, 129-133.

2. Cai, L.; Li, Q.; Ren, B.; Yang, Z.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, L.-H. Synthesis of aminodisaccharide-nucleoside conjugates for RNA binding. Tetrahedron 2007, 63, 8135-8144.

1. Ren, B.; Cai, L.; Zhang, L.; Yang, Z.; Zhang, L.-H. Selective deacetylation using iodine-methanol reagent in fully acetylated nucleosides. Tetrahedron Letters 2005, 46, 8083-8086.

 

Published Abstracts

5. Rufty, C. and Cai, L. Solvent-free peracetylation of carbohydrates. Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science 2013.

4. Wang, P. G.; Li, Z.; Wei, M.; Wu, B.; Cai, L. Production of chiral organic molecules through synthetic biology. Abstracts of Papers: 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting 2012, 244, 88-CARB.

3. Rufty, C. and Cai, L. Low-cost synthesis of potassium alum with cheap household chemicals. Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science 2012.

2. Cai, L.; Li, Z.; Wang, P. G. Synthesis of rare sugars by in vitro and in vivo aldolase reactions. Abstracts of Papers: 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting 2012, 243, 70-CARB.

1. Cai, L.; Guan, W.; Wang, P. G. Chemoenzymatic route to uncommon sugar nucleotides. Abstracts of Papers: 240th American Chemical Society National Meeting 2010, 240, 410-MEDI.

 

Synergistic Activities

  • Non-refereed Publications
  1. Cai, L. Editorial: Towards the enzymatic synthesis of carbohydrates. Organic Chemistry Current Research 2012, 1, 1000e103. [Article Link]
  • Creation of student laboratory experiments for general chemistry and fundamental chemistry:
  1. Li Cai, Laboratory Experiments for General Chemistry Volume 1 & 2, ISBN 9781121402553 & ISBN 9781256216308.
  2. Li Cai, Laboratory Experiments for Fundamental Chemistry Volume 1 & 2, ISBN 9781121383838 & ISBN 9781256216209.


Honors and Awards

  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, 2010.
  • Outstanding Oral Presentation Award, 6th Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium, the University of Toledo, 2010.
  • Best Oral Presentation Award, 5th Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium, University of Cincinnati, 2009.
  • University Fellowship, College of Mathematical and Physical Science Scholarship, The Ohio State University, 2007.
  • Excellent Medical Student First Price Scholarship, Peking University, China 2002-2004.

 

Presentations: § Indicates a presentation given by an undergraduate researcher

  • Li Cai, Poster presentation, “Incorporation of azide sugar analogue decrease tumorigenic potential of breast cancer cells by reducing cancer stem cell population”, Gordon Research Conference (Carbohydrate), West Dover, VT, 06/2013
  • Chris Rufty§, Li Cai, Poster presentation, “Solvent-free peracetylation of carbohydrates”, The annual meeting of the South Carolina Academy of Science, Columbia, SC, 04/2013
  • Chris Rufty§, Li Cai, Poster presentation, “Converting wastes to something useful: low-cost recovery of aluminum with cheap household chemicals”, The annual meeting of the South Carolina Academy of Science, Aiken, SC, 04/2012
  • Li Cai, Poster presentation, “One-pot multi-Enzyme synthesis of rare sugars and their derivatives”, 243rd ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, 03/2012
  • Li Cai, Oral presentation, “Carbohydrate chemistry”, The 25th Annual Hayes Graduate Research Forum, Columbus, OH, 03/2011
  • Li Cai, Oral presentation, “A chemoenzymatic route to uncommon sugar nucleotides”, 6th Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium, Toledo, OH, 09/2010
  • Li Cai, Poster presentation, “Chemoenzymatic synthesis of uncommon sugar nucleotides: a significant step towards natural-product glycoengineering”, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, 08/2010
  • Li Cai, Oral presentation, “A chemoenzymatic route to UDPGlcNAc/UDPGalNAc analogues library”, 5th Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium, Cincinnati, OH, 10/2009
  • Li Cai, Poster presentation, “A chemoenzymatic route to N-acetylhexosamine-1-phosphate analogues: substrate specificity investigations of N-acetylhexosamine 1-kinase”, Gordon Research Conference (Carbohydrate), Tilton, NH, 06/2009

 

Courses Taught

  • General Chemistry I – Lecture and Laboratory Components – USC Salkehatchie: Fall 2011, 2012, 2013
  • General Chemistry II – Lecture and Laboratory Components – USC Salkehatchie: Spring 2012, 2013
  • Fundamental Chemistry I – Lecture and Laboratory Components – USC Salkehatchie: Fall 2011, 2012
  • Fundamental Organic/Biochemistry – Lecture and Laboratory Components – USC Salkehatchie: Fall 2011, 2012, 2013; Spring 2012, 2013
  • Chemistry and Modern Society – Lecture and Laboratory Components – USC Salkehatchie: Fall 2013

University Service

  • Biology Search Committee. USC Salkehatchie, 2012.
  • IT/Computer Curriculum Committee. USC Salkehatchie, 2012 – 2013.
  • Awards Day and Commencement Committee. USC Salkehatchie, 2012 – 2013.
  • USC Regional Campus Research and Productive Scholarship Committee, 2012 – 2014.
  • Academic Advisor, USC Salkehatchie, 2012 – present.
  • Welfare Committee Member, Regional Campuses Faculty Senate, 2012 – present.
  • Biology Search Committee. USC Salkehatchie, 2013.
  • USC Regional Campuses Faculty Assessment Committee, 2013 – 2014.