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Zuping Xia

Zuping Xia
Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Sciences 509-368-6575 PBS 420 Spokane


PhD in medicinal chemistry, University of Alberta


1999 – 2001 Postdoctoral fellowship in drug discovery and synthetic chemistry, Penn State University


My research has been focused on the following areas:

  1. The DMPK study, such as the correlation of drug metabolism and pharmacogenomics. That may extend to the clinical trials for the selection in personal therapy. The study includes the identification of the metabolite structures and the key enzymes for the drug metabolism. The study may also include isotope-labeled synthesis and NMR analysis.
  2. Drug discovery and drug synthesis, especially for the cancer protection, diagnosis, and chemotherapy. I have developed several small molecular libraries for the drug discovery, such as pim kinase inhibitors and sphingosine kinase inhibitors, which have been suggested as key kinases for signaling malignant cell growth and metastasis.
  3. Synthesis of biological active compounds for the biological research, such as a carbon 13 labeled Vitamin B12 analog to facilitate the study of enzymatic activation of the carbon-cobalt bond of the B12 by C-13 NMR and a fluorescent-labeled farnesylated ras peptide for the high-throughput screening of the ras inhibitors.

Selected Publications

Xia Z, Knaus EE, Wiebe LI. Dual-acting 5-Fluorodeoxyuridine (FUdR) Prodrugs: Cell Death Induced by 3’-O-retinoyl-5-fluoro-2’-deoxyuridine and 5’-O-[bis(2,2,2,-trichloroethyl) phosphoryl-3’-O-butanoyl]-5-fluoro-2’-deoxyuridine. Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology 2013. 4:1

Xia Z, Knaus EE, Wiebe LI. Pharmacokinetics of 3’-O-Retinoyl-5-fluoro-2’-deoxyuridine (RFUdR), a Dual Acting Mutually Masking Prodrug, and Its Metabolites in Tumor Bearing Mice. Current Drug Delivery, 2013, 10, 557-563

Draper JM, Xia Z, Smith RA, Zhuang Y, Wang W, Smith CD. Discovery and Evaluation of Inhibitors of Human Ceramidase. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2011, 10 (11), 2052-2061.

Beharry Z, Mahajan S, Zemskova M, Lin Y-W, Tholanikunnel BG, Xia Z, Smith CD, Kraft AS. The Pim protein kinases regulate energy metabolism and cell growth. PNAS 2011, 108 (2): 528-533.

Xia Z, Draper JM, Smith CD. Improved synthesis of a fluorogenic ceramidase substrate. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 2010, 18: 1003–1009.

Lin Y-W, Beharry ZM, Hill EG, Song JH, Wang W, Xia Z, Zhang Z, Aplan PD, Aster JC, Smith CD, Kraft AS. A small molecule inhibitor of Pim protein kinases blocks the growth of precursor T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. Blood 2010, 115(4): 824-833.

Beharry Z, Zemskova M, Mahajan S, Zhang F, Ma J, Xia Z, Lilly M, Smith C, Kraft A. Novel benzylidene-thiazolidine-2,4-diones inhibit Pim protein kinase activity and induce cell cycle arrest in leukemia and prostate cancer cells. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2009, 8(6): 1473-83.

Xia Z, Knaak C, Ma J, Behany ZM, McLnnes C, Wang W, Kraft AS, Smith CD. Synthesis and evaluation of novel Pim protein kinase inhibitors. J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52(1): 74-86.

Draper JM, Xia Z, Smith CD. Cellular palmitoylation and trafficking of lipidated peptides. Journal of Lipid Research 2007, 48(8), 1873-1884.

Ducker CE, Draper JM, Xia Z, Smith CD. In vitro and cellular assays for palmitoyl acyltransferases using fluorescent lipidated peptides. Methods 2006, 40(2), 166-170.

Brown KL, Zou X, Chen G, Xia Z, Marques HM. Solution structure, enzymatic, and non-enzymatic reactivity of 3-isoadenosylcobalamin, a structural isomer of coenzyme B12 with surprising coenzymic activity. J. Inorg. Biochem. 2004, 98(2), 287-300

Varner AS, Ducker CE, Xia Z, Zhuang Y, De Vos ML, Smith CD. Characterization of human palmitoyl-acyl transferase activity using peptides that mimic distinct palmitoylation motifs. Biochem. J. 2003, 373(1), 91-99

Xia Z, Smith CD. Total synthesis of Dendroamide A, a novel cyclic peptide that reverses multiple drug resistance. J. Organic Chem. 2001, 66(10), 3459-3466

Xia Z, Smith CD. Efficient synthesis of a fluorescent farnesylated ras peptide. J. Organic Chem. 2001, 66(15), 5241-5244

Brown KL, Xia Z. Synthesis of {[A15-13C]5’-deoxy-N1-methyladenosylcobalamin+}Cl- J Labelled Cpd. Radiopharm. 2000, 43(7), 635-643

Xia Z, Wiebe LI, Miller GG, Knaus EE. Syntheses and biological evaluation of butanoate, retinoate and bis(2,2,2-trichloroethyl)phosphate derivatives of 5-fluoro-2’-deoxyuridine and 2’,5’-difluoro-2’-deoxyuridine as potential dual action anticancer prodrugs. Arch. Pharm. Pharm. Med. Chem. 1999, 332, 286-294

updated 01/30/2014