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Khalid Timani, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Khalid Timani received his PhD degree in Molecular Biology from College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. During his PhD training, he studied the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) pathogenesis. He isolated and sequenced the SARS-CoV nucleocapsid gene from the infected patients and investigated its molecular function, cellular localization behavior, and used for serodiagnosis of SARS. He went on to do his postdoctoral training at the Center of Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, Penn State University, State College, PA and in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN. In 2011, he joined as Research Assistant Professor at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, where his research began to focused on cancer biology. In 2020, he was promoted to Research Associate Professor at Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School and Center for Cancer Biology, Immunology, and Infection. 

Research Interests

Dr. Timani’s research interests are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to tumor progression and metastasis. Specifically, he focuses on the roles of a protein called HIV Tat-interaction protein 110 (Tip110), aka, squamous cell carcinoma antigen recognized by T cells 3 (SART3) in the melanoma and glioblastoma development. In addition, he is interested in understanding the roles of Tip110/SART3 in regulation of cancer stem cells. These cells are resistant to cancer treatment, possess the ability for infinite proliferation and multipotency, and are critical for cancer initiation, progression, and recurrence. 

Tip110/SART3 is a multifunctional protein, ranging from modulation of tumor antigenicity, regulation of gene transcription, splicing of pre-mRNA to the regulation of embryonic development and stem cell factors. He demonstrated that Tip110/SART3 interacts with and/or regulates several oncogenic proteins that have the potential to cause cancer (such as TP53, C-Myc, YB-1, USP15), including cytokines. His findings also revealed the potential of using Tip110/SART3 expression as a prognostic indicator of melanoma tumorigenesis and the potential link to tumor metastasis. In addition, he determined the roles of Tip110 in regulating the production of IL-8, an important cytokine in melanoma metastasis and glioblastoma. He employs multifaceted experimental approaches including animal models to study the molecular mechanisms and biological significance of Tip110/SART3 in controlling cellular processes, which are expected to provide new clues for future therapeutics strategies for cancers.

The other line of Dr. Timani’s research is to elucidate the roles of physiological factors in controlling HIV replication and reactivation from latent reservoirs as increased understanding of these factors is needed to inform the development of new strategies to control/eradicate HIV. Among these factors is hypoxia since the levels of hypoxia differ among different tissues/cells. His ongoing research is to investigate the roles of hypoxia in HIV replication, silencing, and latency.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Liu Y, Niu Y, Li L, Timani KA, He VL, Sanburns C, Xie J, He JJ Tat expression led to increased histone 3 tri-methylation at lysine 27 and contributed to HIV latency in astrocytes through regulation of MeCP2 and Ezh2 expression. J Neurovirol. 2019 Apr 24. doi: 10.1007/s13365-019-00751
  • Liu Y, Huang X, Timani KA, Broxmeyer HE, He JJ. Regulation of Constitutive Tip110 Expression in Human Cord Blood CD34+ Cells Through Selective Usage of the Proximal and Distal Polyadenylation Sites Within the 3'Untranslated Region. Stem Cells Dev. 2018 Apr 15;27(8):566-576. 
  • Timani KA, GyÅ‘rffy B, Liu Y, Mohammad KS, He JJ. Tip110/SART3 regulates IL-8 expression and predicts the clinical outcomes in melanoma. Molecular cancer. 2018 August 17; 17. (1): 124
  • Whitmill A, Liu Y, Timani KA, Niu Yinghua, He JJ. Tip110 deletion impaired embryonic and stem cell development involving down-regulation of stem cell factors Nanog, Oct4 and Sox2. Stem cells. 2017 Stem cells and development. 2018 April 15; 27. (8): 566-576
  • Whitmill A, Timani KA, Liu Y, He JJ. Tip110: Physical properties, primary structure, and biological functions. Life Sci. 2016 Mar 15;149: 79-95 (review). 
  • Yang Y, Zengel J, Sun M, Sleeman K, Timani KA, Aligo J, Rota P, Wu J, He B. Regulation of Viral RNA synthesis by the V protein of Parainfluenza Virus 5. The Journal of Virology. 2015 Dec; 89(23):11845-57.
  • Timani KA, Liu Y, Fan Y, Mohammad KS, He JJ. Tip110 regulates the cross-talk between p53 and HIF-1α under hypoxia and promotes survival of cancer cells. Molecular & Cell Biol. 2015 Jul; 35(13):2254-64
  • Liu Y, Huang X, Timani KA, Broxmeyer HE, He JJ. microRNA-124 targets Tip110 expression and regulates hematopoiesis. Stem Cells Dev. 2015 Sep 1;24(17):2009-17 
  • Fan Y, Timani KA, He JJ. STAT3 and its Phosphorylation are involved in HIV-1 Tat-induced transactivation of glial fibrillary acidic protein. Current HIV research. 2015 January 20
  • Timani KA, Liu Y, Suvannasankha A, He JJ. Regulation of ubiquitin-proteasome system-mediated Tip110 protein degradation by USP15. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2014 June 28; 54C: 10-19
  • Zhao W, Liu Y, Timani KA, He JJ. Tip110 protein binds to unphosphorylated RNA polymerase II and promotes its phosphorylation and HIV-1 long terminal repeat transcription. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2014 January 03; 289. (1): 190-202
  • Timani KA, Liu Y, He JJ. Tip110 interacts with YB-1 and regulates each other’s function. BMC molecular biology. 2013 July 04; 14. (1): 14
  • Liu Y, Timani KA, Ou X, Broxmeyer HE, He JJ. C-MYC Controlled TIP110 Protein Expression Regulates OCT4 mRNA Splicing in Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem cells and development. 2012 October 22
  • Liu Y, Lee MR, Timani KA, He JJ, Broxmeyer HE. Tip110 maintains expression of pluripotent factors in and pluripotency of human embryonic stem cells. Stem cells and development. 2012 April 10; 21. (6): 829-33
  • Liu Y, Timani KA, Mantel C, Fan Y, Hangoc G, Cooper S, He JJ, Broxmeyer HE. TIP110/p110nrb/SART3/p110 regulation of hematopoiesis through CMYC. Blood. 2011 May 26; 117. (21): 5643-51
  • Timani KA, Sun D, Sun M, Keim C, Lin Y, Schmitt PT, Schmitt AP, He B. A single amino acid residue change in the P protein of parainfluenza virus 5 elevates viral gene expression. Journal of virology. 2008 September; 82. (18): 9123-33
  • Sun M, Fuentes SM, Timani KA, Sun D, Murphy C, Lin Y, August A, Teng MN, He B. Akt plays a critical role in replication of nonsegmented negative-stranded RNA viruses. Journal of virology. 2008 January; 82. (1): 105-14
  • Kong LB, Ye LB, Ye L, Timani KA, Zheng Y, Liao QJ, Li BZ, Gao B. Establishment of stable HeLa cell lines expressing enzymatically active hepatitis C virus RNA polymerase. Archives of virology. 2006 February; 151. (2): 361-7
  • Yan X, Hao Q, Mu Y, Timani KA, Ye L, Zhu Y, Wu J. Nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV activates the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 by binding directly to regulatory elements for nuclear factor-kappa B and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2006; 38. (8): 1417-28
  • Timani KA, Liao Q, Ye L, Zeng Y, Liu J, Zheng Y, Ye L, Yang X, Lingbao K, Gao J, Zhu Y. Nuclear/nucleolar localization properties of C-terminal nucleocapsid protein of SARS coronavirus. Virus research. 2005 December; 114. (1-2): 23-34
  • Liao QJ, Ye LB, Timani KA, She YL, Yang XJ, Ye L, Wu ZH. Hepatitis C virus non-structural 5A protein can enhance full-length core protein-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG. 2005 November 07; 11. (41): 6433-9
  • Liao QJ, Ye LB, Timani KA, Zeng YC, She YL, Ye L, Wu ZH. Activation of NF-kappaB by the full-length nucleocapsid protein of the SARS coronavirus. Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica. 2005 September; 37. (9): 607-12
  • Fang X, Ye L, Timani KA, Li S, Zen Y, Zhao M, Zheng H, Wu Z. Peptide domain involved in the interaction between membrane protein and nucleocapsid protein of SARS-associated coronavirus. Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology. 2005 July 31; 38. (4): 381-5
  • Ye L, Timani KA, Ye L, Kong L, Yang X, Liao Q, Wu J. Two cis-acting elements in negative RNA strand of Hepatitis C virus involved in synthesis of positive RNA strand in vitro. Acta virologica. 2005; 49. (2): 83-90
  • Zheng Y, Ye LB, Liu J, Jing W, Timani KA, Yang XJ, Yang F, Wang W, Gao B, Wu ZH. Gene expression profiles of HeLa Cells impacted by hepatitis C virus non-structural protein NS4B.  Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology. 2005 March 31; 38. (2): 151-60
  • Liu J, Yang F, Ye LB, Yang XJ, Timani KA, Zheng Y, Wang YH. Possible mode of action of antiherpetic activities of a proteoglycan isolated from the mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum in vitro. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2004 December; 95. (2-3): 265-72
  • Timani KA, Ye L, Ye L, Zhu Y, Wu Z, Gong Z. Cloning, sequencing, expression, and purification of SARS-associated coronavirus nucleocapsid protein for serodiagnosis of SARS. Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. 2004 August; 30. (4): 309-12