Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Dr. Jianfeng (Jay) Xu

Professor of Biochemical Engineering


  • Ph.D., Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China (Biochemical Engineering)
  • B.S., Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China (Environmental Engineering)

Research Interests

The research program conducted in the Xu lab is centered around plant-based bioproduction. Specifically, the lab utilizes cutting-edge genetic engineering and genome editing technologies to enhance the production of therapeutic proteins (biopharmaceuticals) and biofuels in plants or plant cells. Their main goal is to establish an innovative bioproduction platform using plant cells for biopharmaceuticals that is not only safer and more cost-effective but also more efficient compared to traditional mammalian cells and other cell systems.

To overcome the challenge of low protein production that hampers the widespread adoption of this platform, the Xu lab have developed a unique technology called "HypGP Engineering" for biomolecular engineering in plant cells, resulting in a remarkable over 500-fold increase in protein yields. By leveraging this technology, Jay and his group have successfully engineered new biomolecules in plant cells to produce effective and affordable oral medications for chronic colon diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, the "HypGP Engineering" technology is also applied to genetically modify the plant cell walls of bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, significantly enhancing biomass digestibility and potentially reducing the cost of biofuel production.

The Xu lab's research endeavors have received support from various external research grants, including federal agencies like NIH, NSF, USDA, and DOE.

Publications in Peer-reviewed Journals (Selected)

Ramsey A, Akana L, Miyajima E, Douglas S, Gray J, Rowland A, Sharma K D, Xu J, Xie J Y, Zhou G L. CAP1 (cyclase-associated protein 1) mediates the cyclic AMP signals that activate Rap1 in stimulating matrix adhesion of colon cancer cells. Cellular Signaling 2023, 104, 110589.

Karki U, Wright T, Xu J. High yield secretion of human erythropoietin from tobacco cells for ex vivo differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells towards red blood cells. Journal of Biotechnology, 2022, 355:10-20.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2022.06.010.

Mohammadhosseinpour S, Ho L C, Fang L, Xu J, Medina-Bolivar F. Arachidin-1, a prenylated stilbenoid from peanut, induces apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022, 23(3): 1139.

Karki U, Fang H, Guo W, Unnold-Cofre C, Xu J. Cellular engineering of plant cells for improved therapeutic protein production. Plant Cell Reports, 2021, 40:1087–1099.

Wang X, Karki U, Abeygunaratne H, Unnold-Cofre C, Xu J. Plant cell secreted stem cell factor stimulates expansion and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. Process Biochemistry. 2021, 100: 39-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procbio.2020.09.029  

Phan N V, Wright T, Rahman M M, Xu J, Coburn J M. In Vitro Biocompatibility of Decellularized Cultured Plant Cell-Derived Matrices. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2020, 6(2): 822-832. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00870.

Fang H, Wright T, Jinn J-R, Guo W, Zhang N, Wang X, Wang Y-J, Xu J. Engineering Hydroxyproline-O-Glycosylated Biopolymers to Reconstruct the Plant Cell Wall for Improved Biomass Processability. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2020, 117(4): 945958. https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.27266

Zhang H, Ramsey A, Xiao Y, Karki U, Xie J, Xu J, Kelly T, Ono S, Zhou G. Dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein 1) by antagonistic signaling through CDK5 and cAMP are critical for the protein functions in actin filament disassembly and cell adhesion. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2020, 40: e00282-19. https://doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00282-19

Zhang N, Wright T, Wang X, Savary B, Xu J. Production of thermostable endo-1,5-α-L-arabinanase in Pichia pastoris for enzymatically releasing functional oligosaccharides from sugar beet pulp. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2020, 104:1595–1607 doi: 10.1007/s00253-019-10238-x

Ge X, Xu J. Macromolecular crowding effects on transcription and translation are regulated by free magnesium ion. Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. 2020, 67: 117-122 https://doi.org/10.1002/bab.1827

Publications by Dr. Jay Xu indexed on Google Scholar >>

Publications as Book Chapters

Xu J, Melissa T, Weathers P. Platforms for Plant-Based Protein Production. In: Reference Series in Phytochemistry, Bioprocessing of Plant in vitro Systems. Pavlov A, Bley T. (Eds.) Springer International Publishing AG. 2017, pp 1–40

Ge X, Yang L, Xu, J.  Cell immobilization: Fundamentals, Strategies and Applications (Invited review). Industrial Biotechnology: Products and Processes, Wiley-Blackwell Biotechnology Series. Christoph Wittmann, James C. Liao (Eds). 2016. p205-235

Ludwig-Müller J, Xu J, Agostini E, Georgiev M. Advances in Transformed Root Cultures for Root Biofactory. In: Root Engineering: Basic and Applied Concepts (Soil Biology). Morte A, Varma, A. (Eds.) Springer, 2014, p387-405.

Frederick N, Zhang N, Djioleu A, Ge X, Xu, J, Carrier D J. The effect of washing dilute acid pretreated poplar biomass on ethanol yields. In: Sustainable Degradation of Lignocellulosic Biomass - Techniques, Applications and Commercialization. A. K. Chandel and S. S. da Silva (Eds), InTech Publishing. 2013. p105-118.

Hood E, Cramer C, Medrano G, Xu J.  Protein Targeting: Strategic planning for Optimizing Protein Products through Plant Biotechnology. In: Plant biotechnology and agriculture: Prospects for the 21st century. A. Altman and P.M (Eds), Hasegawa, Elsevier. 2011. p35-54

Bai F, Zhao Q, Xu J. Immobilization Technology: Cells. In: C. Webb (Ed.), Engineering Fundamentals in Biotechnology. Elsevier. 2011. p477-489.

Cheng W, Ding L, Funabashi H, Park N, Um S H, Xu J, Luo D.  Nucleic Acid Engineering. In: Systems biology and synthetic biology. P. Fu and S. Panke (eds.), J.W. Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ. March 2009. p 549-575.


Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Kopchick J J, Okada S, Meyer G. Growth hormone and interferon-alpha 2 glycoproteins produced in plants. U.S. Patent, No. 8,962,811.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Meyer G. Nucleic acid for plant expression of a fusion protein comprising hydroxyproline O-glycosylation glycomodule. U.S. Patent, No. 9,006,410.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Meyer G. Methods of producing peptides/proteins and peptides/proteins produced thereby. U.S. Utility Patent.  Publication No. US-20060026719; European Patent. Publication No. EP1711533; International Patent. Publication No. WO/2005/069845.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Kopchick J J, Okada S. Glycoproteins produced in plants and methods of their use. U.S. Utility Patent.  Publication No. US-20060148680.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Stevens T, Dupree P. Method of predicting hyp-glycosylation sites for proteins expressed and secreted in plant cells and related methods and products. International Patent. Publication No. WO/2007/008708.; U.S. Utility Patent Pending. Application No. 11/995, 063.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Cooper I. Co-expression of proline hydroxylases to facilitate hyp-glycosylation of proteins expressed and secreted in plant cells. International Patent. Publication No. WO/2008/008766; U.S. PCT Patent Applications.  Application No. 60/746,141.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J. Enhanced secretion of human growth hormone from transgenic tobacco cells by introduction of an N-Glycosylation site. U.S. PCT Patent Applications.  Application No. 60/819, 557.

Kieliszewski M, Xu J, Meyer G, Okada S, Kopchick J J. High-yields and extended serum half-life of human interferon alpha-2 and human growth hormone expressed in tobacco cells as arabinogalactan-protein fusion glycoproteins. U.S. PCT Patent Applications.  Application No. 60/746,146.


Dr. Jay Xu is a Professor of Biochemical Engineering at A-State. In 2008, he joined A-State as Assistant Professor in the College of Agriculture & Technology after holding a Research Associate position at Cornell University for 2 years, and a Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist position at Ohio University for 8 years. He has been issued 8 patents and published about 80 peer-reviewed papers.

Jianfeng (Jay) Xu

Contact Information

P: (870) 680-4812
F: (870) 972-2026


Building: Arkansas Biosciences Institute
Room: 306