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Hao Xu

Dr. Hao Xu

Associate Professor


Mast cells play a critical role in immunity, allergy, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer by releasing a wide range of mediators (e.g., histamine, TNF) in a SNARE and Munc18 dependent fashion. These highly regulated exocytic events are coupled intimately to the signaling cascades, which is not well understood at the molecular level.

My research team investigates the catalytic and regulatory machineries of mast cell exocytosis, initially building a reconstitution system to identify and characterize important regulators. Our ultimate goals are to combine biochemical, molecular and cell biology approaches to delineate the signaling cascades that control mast cell exocytosis, and to establish functional assays for proteins that are potential drug targets for the control of allergic inflammation.

  • PHD - University of Toronto (2003)
  • MS - University of Waterloo (1996)

BSC360 Cell biology
BSC370 Genetics
BSC463/563 Pathobiology
BSC497 Senior practicum
BSC760 Cell ultrastructure
BSC690 Biomedical sciences seminar

  • Exocytic machineries differentially control mediator release from allergen-triggered RBL-2H3 cells, Inflammation Research, 2023, 10.1007/s00011-023-01698-z
  • TNFR1 links TNF exocytosis to TNF production in allergen-activated RBL-2H3 cells, Cellular Signaling, 2023, 10.1016/j.cellsig.2023.110607
  • Smuggle tau through a secret(ory) pathway, Biochemical Journal , 2021
  • TNF Production in Activated RBL-2H3 Cells Requires Munc13-4., Inflammation, 2020, 10.1007/s10753-019-01161-4
  • PKC-dependent phosphorylation of Munc18a at Ser313 in activated RBL-2H3 cells., Inflammation research, 2018, 10.1007/s00011-017-1097-4
  • Munc18a clusters SNARE-bearing liposomes prior to trans-SNARE zippering., The Biochemical journal, 2017, 10.1042/BCJ20170494
  • Differential Effects of Munc18s on Multiple Degranulation-Relevant Trans-SNARE Complexes., PloS one, 2015, 10.1371/journal.pone.0138683
  • Drosophila SNAP-29 is an essential SNARE that binds multiple proteins involved in membrane traffic., PloS one, 2014, 10.1371/journal.pone.0091471
  • N-terminal domain of vacuolar SNARE Vam7p promotes trans-SNARE complex assembly., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, 10.1073/pnas.1216201109
  • A lipid-anchored SNARE supports membrane fusion., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011, 10.1073/pnas.1113888108
  • Academic Drug Discovery Consortium
  • Canadian Society of Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • Mississippi Academy of Sciences
  • American Society of Cell Biology
  • Sigma Xi
  • Chinese (Native or Bilingual)
  • English (Native or Bilingual)

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Areas of Expertise

cell biology, molecular and cellular biosciences, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, infectious diseases, biomedical sciences