Primary Publications

Cai X, Ng C, Jones O, Ryu K, Li D, Thompson CB.  “Lactate activates the electron transport chain independently of its metabolism.”  Molecular Cell83 (2): 3904-3920; (2023).

Selected as a Molecular Cell Editors' Choice Article for 2023. 

Cai X*, Xu H, Chen ZJ*.  Prion-like polymerization in immunity and inflammation.  Cold Spring Harbor Perspect Biol. 9 (4). a023580 (2017).

Cai X, Chen J, Xu H, Liu S, Jiang QX, Halfmann R, Chen ZJ.  “Prion-like Polymerization Underlies Signal Transduction in Antiviral Immune Defense and Inflammasome Activation.”  Cell. 156 (6): 1207-1222 (2014).

Highlighted in Cell. 156 (6):1127-1129 and Nat Rev Immunol.14 (5): 287.

Cai X, Chiu YH, Chen ZJ.  “The cGAS-cGAMP-STING Pathway of Cytosolic DNA Sensing and Signaling.”  Molecular Cell. 54 (2): 289-296 (2014).


Cai X*, Chen ZJ*.  “Prion-like polymerization as a signaling mechanism.Trends in Immunology. 35 (12): 622-630 (2014). 

*Co-corresponding authors

Other Publications


Liu S, Hur YH, Cai X, Cong Q, Yang Y, Xu C, Bilate AM, Gonzales KAU, Cowley C, Hurwitz B, Luo JD, Tseng T, Gur-Cohen S, Sribour M, Omelchenko T, Levorse J, Pasoli HA, Thompson CB, Mucida D, and Fuchs E. "A tissue injury sensing and repair pathway distinct from host pathogen defense. Cell. 186, 2127–2143 (2023)


Schwörer S, Pavlova N, Cimino F, King B, Cai X, Sizemore G, Thompson CB.  Fibroblast pyruvate carboxylase is required for collagen production in the tumor microenvironment.  Nature Metabolism.  3 (11): 1484-1499 (2021).

Ma J, Lok BH, Zong J, Gutiontov SI, Cai X, Bell AC, Bell AC1, Shcherba M, Xiao H, Sherman EJ, Tsai CJ, Riaz N, McBride SM, Cahlon O, Lee NY.  “Proton Radiotherapy for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancers with Palliative Quad Shot.”  Int J Part Ther. 4(4):10-19 (2018).

Liu S, Cai X, Wu J, Cong Q, Chen X, Li T, Du F, Ren J, Wu Y, Grishin N, and Chen ZJ. “Phosphorylation of innate immune adaptor proteins MAVS, STING, and TRIF induces IRF3 activation.Science. 347 (6227): 2630-47 (2015).


Yilmaz B, Bergerson R, Galson J, Leventhal D, Barbosa R, Cai X.  “Training the next generation: What drives you?Trends in Immunology. 36 (5): 279 (2015).


Zuckerman KE, Cai X, Perrin JM, Donelan K.  “Incomplete Specialty Referral among Children in Community Health Centers. Journal of Pediatrics. 148 (1): 24-30 (2011).

Lim HK, Seppanen M, Hautala T, Ciancanelli M, Itan Y, Lafaille, FG, Dell W, Lorenzo L, Byun M, Pauwels E, Ronnelid Y, Cai X, Boucheri S, Jouanguy E, Paetau A, Lebon P, Rozenberg F, Tardieu M, Abel L, Yildiran A, Vergison A, Roivainen R, Etzioni A, Tienari P, Casanova JL, Zhang S.  “Human TLR3 deficiency in herpes simplex encephalitis: high allelic heterogeneity and high recurrence risk.”  Neurology. 18 (8): 1888-97 (2014).


Liu S, Chen J, Cai X, Wu J, Wu YT, Sun L, Chen ZJ.  “MAVS recruits multiple ubiquitin E3 ligases to activate antiviral signaling cascades.”  eLife. 2: e00785 (2013).


Chen JJ, Tsai CH, Cai X, Horhota AT, McLaughlin LW, Szostak JW.  “Enzymatic primer-extension with glycerol-nucleoside triphosphates on DNA templates.  PLoS ONE. 4 (3): e4949 (2009).


Chen JJ, Cai X, Szostak JW.  “N2' → P3' phosphoramidate GNA as an alternative genetic system.”  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131 (6): 2119-21 (2009).