Basic Information



Zhihui Feng

Professor, Ph.D.


Center for Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine

Sochool of Life Science and Technology

Frontier Institute of Science and Technology

Xi'an Jiaotong University




Tel: 029-82665849


Address: Rm #304,

                School of Life Sci & Tech

                No. 28 West Xianning Rd, Xi'an

                710049, China.

Research Interests

  • Involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in prenatal stress induced offspring cognitive decline and effects of nutritional intervention.


  • Mitochondrial dynamic regulation in obesity, diabetes, NALFD and other accociated metabolic syndromes.


  • Mechanism of hepatic mitochondria-arginine-nitric oxide network regulating systemic insulin sensitivity.


2008-2012, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences,

                      Chinese Acadey of Sciences.

                      Ph.D. Majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2006-2008, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences,

                      Chinese Acadey of Sciences.

                      Master Majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2001-2005, Shandong University, Bachelor Majoring in Biology Science



2016-Present, School of Life Science and Technology / Frontier Institute of Science and Technology,

                          Xi'an Jiaotong University. Professor.

2012-2016,      Frontier Institute of Science and Technology,

                          Xi'an Jiaotong University. Associate Professor.

2015-2018,      UT Southwestern Medical Center, US. Posdoctoral Fellow.

Recent Articles

    # indicates corresponding authors / * indicates first authors

    2010-2021 in reverse chronological order


  1. Cao, K.; Lv, W.; Wang, X.; Dong, S.; Liu, X.; Yang, T.; Xu, J.; Zeng, M.; Zou, X.; Zhao, D.; Ma, Q.; Ling, M.; Long, J.; Zang, W.; Gao, F.; Feng, Z.#; Liu, J.Hypermethylation of hepatic mitochondrial ND6 provokes systemic insulin resistance. Advanced Science. 2021 March. Accepted. (IF: 15.84, #Corresponding Authors)
  2. Zeng, M.; Xu, J.*; Zhang, Z.*; Zou, X.; Wang, X.; Cao, K.; Lv, W.; Cui, Y.; Long, J.; Feng, Z.#; Liu, J.# Htd2 deficiency-associated suppression of α-lipoic acid production provokes mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance in adipocytes. Redox Biology. 2021 March 19, 41: 101948. (IF: 9.986, #Corresponding Authors)

  3. Ke Cao, Weiqiang Lv, Shaoqin Hu, Jing Gao, Jiankang Liu,# and Zhihui Feng#. Punicalagin Activates AMPK/PGC-1α/Nrf2 Cascade in Mice: The Potential Protective Effect against Prenatal Stress. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2020 Jul;64(14):e2000312. (IF: 5.309, #Corresponding Authors)

  4. Yuting Cui, Yuan Li, Na Huang, Yue Xiong, Ruijun Cao, Lingjie Meng, Jiankang Liu#Zhihui Feng#. Structure based modification of chalcone analogue activates Nrf2 in the T human retinal pigment epithelial cell line ARPE-19. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Feb 20;148:52-59. (IF: 6.17, #Corresponding Authors)

  5. Feng, Z.*; Zou, X.*; Chen, Y.; Wang, H.; Duan, Y.; Bruick, R. Modulation of HIF-2α PAS-B domain contributes to physiological responses. PNAS. 2018 Dec; 115(52): 13240-13245. (IF: 9.58, *First Authors)

  6. Li, Y.; Zou, X.; Gao, J.; Cao, K,; Feng, Z.#; Liu, J.# APR3 modulates oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in ARPE-19 cells. FASEB J. 2018 Nov; 32: 5851-5861. (IF: 5.391, #Corresponding Authors)

  7. Jie Xu, Ke Cao, Zhihui Feng#, Jiankang Liu#. Benefits of the soluble and insoluble fractions of bitter gourd in mice fed a high-fat diet. Journal of Functional Foods. 42 (2018) 216–223. (IF: 3.701, #Corresponding Authors)

  8. Jing Gao*, Zhihui Feng*, Xueqiang Wang, Mengqi Zeng, Jing Liu, Shujun Han, Jie Xu, Lei Chen, Ke Cao, Jiangang Long, Zongfang Li, Weili Shen and Jiankang Liu. SIRT3/SOD2 maintains osteoblast differentiation and bone formation by regulating mitochondrial stress. Cell Death Differ. 2018 Feb;25(2):229-240. (IF: 10.717, *First Authors)

  9. Hai‐Tao Yu, Xiao‐Yi Fu, Bing Liang, Shuang Wang, Jian‐Kang Liu, Shu‐Ran Wang#Zhi‐Hui Feng#. Oxidative damage of mitochondrial respiratory chain in different organs of a rat model of diet‐induced obesity. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Aug;57(5):1957-1967. (IF: 4.664, #Corresponding Authors)

  10. Jie Xu, Xiaojie Wang, Ke Cao, Zhizhong Dong, Zhihui Feng# and Jiankang Liu#. Combination of β-glucan and Morus alba L. Leaf Extract Promotes Metabolic Benefits in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 12;9(10):1110. (IF: 4.546, #Corresponding Authors)

  11. Chunhong Yan, Wenyan Sun, Xun Wang, Jiangang Long, Xuebo Liu, Zhihui Feng# and Jiankang Liu#. Punicalagin attenuates palmitate-induced lipotoxicity in HepG2 cells by activating the Keap1-Nrf2 antioxidant defense system. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 May;60(5):1139-49. (IF: 5.309, #Corresponding Authors)

  12. Xun Wang*, Zhihui Feng*, Xueqiang Wang, Liang Yang, Shujun Han, Ke Cao, Jie Xu, Lin Zhao, Yong Zhang, Jiankang Liu. O-GlcNAcase deficiency suppresses skeletal myogenesis and insulin sensitivity in mice through the modulation of mitochondrial homeostasis. Diabetologia. 2016 Jun;59(6):1287-96. (IF: 7.518, *First Authors) 

  13. Gao, J.; Zou, X.; Yang, L.; Feng, Z.#; Liu, J.# Hydroxytyrosol protects against acrolein induced preosteoblast cell toxicity: Involvement of Nrf2/Keap1 pathway. J Funct Foods. 2015 Dec; 19: 28-38. (IF: 3.973, #Corresponding Authors)

  14. Adi Zheng, Hao Li, Jie Xu, Ke Cao, Hua Li, Wenjun Pu, Ziqi Yang, Yunhua Peng, Jiangang Long, Jiankang Liu# and Zhihui Feng#. Hydroxytyrosol improves mitochondrial function and reduces oxidative stress in the brain of db/db mice: role of AMP-activated protein kinase activation. Br J Nutr. 2015 Jun 14;113(11):1667-76. (IF: 3.334, #Corresponding Authors)

  15. Zheng, A.; Li, H.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Zou, X.; Li, Y.; Chen, C.; Liu, J.; Feng, Z.# Maternal hydroxytyrosol administration improves neurogenesis and cognitive function in prenatally stressed offspring. J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Feb; 26(2): 190-9. (IF: 4.873, #Corresponding Authors)

  16. Ke Cao, Jie Xu, Wenjun Pu, Zhizhong Dong, Lei Sun, Weijin Zang, Feng Gao, Yong Zhang, Zhihui Feng# & Jiankang Liu#. Punicalagin, an active component in pomegranate, ameliorates cardiac mitochondrial impairment in obese rats via AMPK activation. Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 15;5:14014. (IF: 4.576, #Corresponding Authors)

  17. Wang, X.; Li, H.; Zheng, A.; Yang, L.; Liu, J.; Chen, C.; Tang, Y.; Zou, X.; Li, Y.; Long, J.; Liu, J.; Zhang, Y.#Feng, Z.# Mitochondrial dysfunction-associated OPA1 cleavage contributes to muscle degeneration: preventative effect of hydroxytyrosol acetate. Cell Death Dis. 2014 Nov 13; 5: e1521. (IF: 6.484, #Corresponding Authors)

  18. Zou, X.; Yan, C.; Shi, Y.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Wang, X.; Chen, C.; Luo, C.; Li, Y.; Gao, J.; Pang, W.; Zhao, J.; Zhao, F.; Li, H.; Zheng, A.; Sun, W.; Long, J.; Szeto, IM.; Zhao, Y.; Dong, Z.; Zhang, P.; Wang, J.; Lu, W.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, J.#Feng, Z.# Mitochondrial dysfunction in obesity associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: The protective effects of pomegranate with its active component punicalagin. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Oct 10; 21(11): 1557-70. (IF: 7.093, #Corresponding Authors) 

  19. Cao, K.; Zhang, A.; Xu, J.; Li, H.; Liu, J.; Peng, Y.; Long, J.; Zou, X.; Li, Y.; Chen, C.; Liu, J.; Feng, Z.# AMPK activation prevents prenatal stress-induced cognitive impairment: modulation of mitochondrial content and oxidative stress. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Oct; 75: 156-66. (IF: 6.170, #Corresponding Authors) 

  20. Chen, C.; Han, X.; Zou, X.; Li, Y.; Yang, L.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Long, J.; Liu, J.; Feng, Z.# 4-Methylene-2-octyl-5-oxotetrahydrofuran-3-carboxylic acid (C75), an inhibitor of fatty-acid synthase, suppresses the mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis pathway and impairs mitochondrial function. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jun 13; 289(24): 17184-94. (IF: 4.258, #Corresponding Authors) 

  21. Zou, X.; Gao, J.; Zheng, Y.; Wang, X.; Chen, C.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Li, Y.; Lu, W.; Liu, J.; Feng, Z.# Zeaxanthin induces Nrf2-mediated phase II enzymes in protection of cell death. Cell Death Dis. 2014 May 8; 5: e1218. (IF: 6.484, #Corresponding Authors) 

  22. Xu, J.; Cao, K.; Li, Y.; Zou, X.; Chen, C.; Szeto IM.; Dong, Z.; Zhao, Y.; Shi, Y.; Wang, J.; Liu, J.#Feng, Z.# Bitter gourd inhibits the development of obesity-associated fatty liver in C57BL/6mice fed a high-fat diet. Journal of Nutrition. 2014 Apr; 144(4):475-83. (IF: 4.281, #Corresponding Authors) 

  23. Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Zou, X.; Li, Y.; Chen, C.; Zheng, A.; Li, H.; Li, H.; Man-Yau Szeto I.; Shi, Y.; Long, J.; Liu, J.#Feng, Z.# Hydroxytyrosol prevents diet-induced metabolic syndrome and attenuates mitochondrial abnormalities in obese mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Feb; 67: 396-407. (IF: 6.170, #Corresponding Authors) 

  24. Zhao, L.; Feng, Z.#; Zou, X.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Liu, J.# Aging leads to elevation of O-GlcNAcylation and disruption of mitochondrial homeostasis in retina. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014; 2014: 425705. (IF: 5.076, #Corresponding Authors) 

  25. Li, Y.; Zou, X.; Cao, K.; Xu, J.; Yue, T.; Dai, F.; Zhou, B.; Lu, W.; Feng, Z.#; Liu, J.# Curcumin analog 1, 5-bis (2-trifluoromethylphenyl)-1, 4-pentadien-3-one exhibits enhanced ability on Nrf2 activation and protection against acrolein-induced ARPE-19 cell toxicity. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013 Nov 1; 272(3): 726-35. (IF: 3.847, #Corresponding Authors) 

  26. Feng, Z.*; Zou, X.*; Jia, H.; Li, X.; Zhu, Z.; Liu, X.; Bucheli, P.; Ballevre, O.; Hou, Y.; Zhang, W.; Wang, J.; Chen, Y.; Liu, J. Maternal docosahexaenoic acid feeding protects against impairment of learning and memory and oxidative stress in prenatally stressed rats: possible role of neuronal mitochondria metabolism. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2012 Feb 1; 16(3): 275-89. (IF: 8.209, *First Authors)

  27. Jiong Yan*, Zhihui Feng*, Jia Liua, Weili Shenc, Ying Wangd, Karin Wertzd, Peter Weberd, Jiangang Longa, Jiankang Liu. Enhanced autophagy plays a cardinal role in mitochondrial dysfunction in type 2 diabetic Goto–Kakizaki (GK) rats: ameliorating effects of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Jul;23(7):716-24. (IF: 4.873, *First Authors)

  28. Zhihui Feng*, Liyuan Bai*, Jiong Yan, Yuan Li, Weili Shen, Ying Wang, Karin Wertz, Peter Weber, Yong Zhang, Yan Chen, Jiankang Liu. Mitochondrial dynamic remodeling in strenuous exercise-induced muscle and mitochondrial dysfunction: Regulatory effects of hydroxytyrosol. Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 May 15;50(10):1437-46. (IF: 6.170, *First Authors)

  29. Zhihui Feng*, Zhongbo Liu, Xuesen Li, Haiqun Jia, Lijuan Sun, Chuan Tian, Lihong Jia, Jiankang Liu. α-Tocopherol is an effective Phase II enzyme inducer: protective effects on acrolein-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in human retinal pigment epithelial cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Dec;21(12):1222-31. (IF: 4.873, *First Authors)

  30. Zhihui Feng*, Haiqun Jia, Xuesen Li, Zhuanli Bai, Zhongbo Liu, Lijuan Sun, Zhongliang Zhu, Peter Bucheli, Olivier Ballèvre, Junkuan Wang, Jiankang Liu. A milk-based wolfberry preparation prevents prenatal stress-induced cognitive impairment of offspring rats, and inhibits oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro. Neurochem Res. 2010 May;35(5):702-11. (IF: 3.038, *First Authors)