Publications by authors named "Wing-Lim Chan"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

TEC kinase stabilizes PLK4 to promote liver cancer metastasis.

Cancer Lett 2021 Oct 9. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China; State Key Laboratory of Liver Research (The University of Hong Kong), The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Aberrated PLK4 expression has been reported in different malignancies and causes centrosome amplification, aneuploidy, and genomic instability. However, the mechanism by which PLK4 is regulated in carcinogenesis remains not fully characterised. Here, we showed that PLK4 was overexpressed in human HCC and overexpression of PLK4 predicted poorer patient prognosis. Unexpectedly, we found that induced expression of PLK4 promotes, but knockdown of PLK4 inhibits, HCC cell migration and invasion. Mechanistically, we found that TEC tyrosine kinase, which also promotes HCC cell migration, stabilizes PLK4 by phosphorylation. TEC directly phosphorylates PLK4 at tyrosine 86 residue, which not only stabilizes the protein but also enhances PLK4-mediated HCC cell invasion. Further investigation by transcriptome sequencing indicated that PLK4 promotes the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase to regulate the focal adhesion pathway in HCC cell migration. Taken together, our results demonstrated that PLK4 plays an important role in HCC metastasis and revealed for the first time the mechanism by which PLK4 promotes HCC metastasis via TEC phosphorylation.
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October 2021

Centrosomal protein TAX1BP2 inhibits centrosome-microtubules aberrations induced by hepatitis B virus X oncoprotein.

Cancer Lett 2020 11 19;492:147-161. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Hong Kong; State Key Laboratory of Liver Research (The University of Hong Kong), The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Electronic address:

Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. Several etiological factors of HCC, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection, liver cirrhosis and aflatoxin B1 intake has been identified. HBx, which is an oncogenic protein encoded by the hepatitis B virus, is strongly associated with hepatocarcinogenesis. Using stable HBx-expressing cell, we showed that HBx induced chromosome gain, with amplification of centrosomes numbers and deregulation of centrosome ultrastructure. To dissect the mechanism for chromosome instability, our result revealed that HBx contributed to a hyperactive centrosome-microtubule dynamics by accelerating microtubule nucleation and polymerization. Further investigations suggested that HBx interacted with a centrosome linker protein TAX1BP2, which has previously been shown to function as an intrinsic block of centrosome amplification and a tumour suppressor in HCC. Restoring TAX1BP2 was able to block HBx-mediated centrosome amplification and abolish the HBx-mediated centrosome aberration, thereby suppressing chromosome instability. Thus, we demonstrate here a mechanism by which HBx deregulates centrosome-microtubule dynamics through interacting with TAX1BP2, which underlines the possibility of restoration of TAX1BP2 to rescue cells from chromosome instability.
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November 2020

Ezrin interacts with the SARS coronavirus Spike protein and restrains infection at the entry stage.

PLoS One 2012 21;7(11):e49566. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

HKU-Pasteur Research Centre, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Background: Entry of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and its envelope fusion with host cell membrane are controlled by a series of complex molecular mechanisms, largely dependent on the viral envelope glycoprotein Spike (S). There are still many unknowns on the implication of cellular factors that regulate the entry process.

Methodology/principal Findings: We performed a yeast two-hybrid screen using as bait the carboxy-terminal endodomain of S, which faces the cytosol during and after opening of the fusion pore at early stages of the virus life cycle. Here we show that the ezrin membrane-actin linker interacts with S endodomain through the F1 lobe of its FERM domain and that both the eight carboxy-terminal amino-acids and a membrane-proximal cysteine cluster of S endodomain are important for this interaction in vitro. Interestingly, we found that ezrin is present at the site of entry of S-pseudotyped lentiviral particles in Vero E6 cells. Targeting ezrin function by small interfering RNA increased S-mediated entry of pseudotyped particles in epithelial cells. Furthermore, deletion of the eight carboxy-terminal amino acids of S enhanced S-pseudotyped particles infection. Expression of the ezrin dominant negative FERM domain enhanced cell susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV and S-pseudotyped particles and potentiated S-dependent membrane fusion.

Conclusions/significance: Ezrin interacts with SARS-CoV S endodomain and limits virus entry and fusion. Our data present a novel mechanism involving a cellular factor in the regulation of S-dependent early events of infection.
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May 2013

The SARS coronavirus E protein interacts with PALS1 and alters tight junction formation and epithelial morphogenesis.

Mol Biol Cell 2010 Nov 22;21(22):3838-52. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

HKU-Pasteur Research Centre, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR China.

Intercellular tight junctions define epithelial apicobasal polarity and form a physical fence which protects underlying tissues from pathogen invasions. PALS1, a tight junction-associated protein, is a member of the CRUMBS3-PALS1-PATJ polarity complex, which is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of epithelial polarity in mammals. Here we report that the carboxy-terminal domain of the SARS-CoV E small envelope protein (E) binds to human PALS1. Using coimmunoprecipitation and pull-down assays, we show that E interacts with PALS1 in mammalian cells and further demonstrate that the last four carboxy-terminal amino acids of E form a novel PDZ-binding motif that binds to PALS1 PDZ domain. PALS1 redistributes to the ERGIC/Golgi region, where E accumulates, in SARS-CoV-infected Vero E6 cells. Ectopic expression of E in MDCKII epithelial cells significantly alters cyst morphogenesis and, furthermore, delays formation of tight junctions, affects polarity, and modifies the subcellular distribution of PALS1, in a PDZ-binding motif-dependent manner. We speculate that hijacking of PALS1 by SARS-CoV E plays a determinant role in the disruption of the lung epithelium in SARS patients.
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November 2010