Kai-Yau Wong

Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (9)77.73 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nasal-type NK/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) is an aggressive disease characterized by frequent deletions on 6q and constitutive activation of STAT3. Phosphorylation at Tyr705 activates STAT3, inducing dimerization, nuclear translocation, and DNA binding. Here, we investigated whether PTPRK, the only protein tyrosine phosphatase at 6q that contains a STAT3-specifying motif, negatively regulates STAT3 activation in NKTCL. PTPRK was highly expressed in normal NK cells but was underexpressed in 4 of 5 (80%) NKTCL cell lines and 15 of 27 (55.6%) primary tumors. Significantly, PTPRK protein expression was inversely correlated with nuclear phospho-STAT3(Tyr705) expression in NKTCL cell lines (p=0.025) and tumors (p=0.040). PTPRK restoration decreased nuclear phospho-STAT3(Tyr705) levels, while knockdown of PTPRK increased such levels in NKTCL cells. Phosphatase substrate-trapping mutant assays demonstrated the binding of PTPRK to STAT3, and phosphatase assays showed that PTPRK directly dephosphorylated phospho-STAT3(Tyr705). Restoration of PTPRK inhibited tumor cell growth and reduced the migration and invasion ability of NKTCL cells. Monoallelic deletion and promoter hypermethylation caused underexpression of PTPRK mRNA in NKTCL, and methylation of PTPRK promoter significantly correlated with inferior overall survival (p=0.049) in NKTCL patients treated with the SMILE regimen. Altogether, our findings show that PTPRK underexpression leads to STAT3 activation and contributes to NKTCL pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    Blood 01/2015; 125(10). DOI:10.1182/blood-2014-07-588970 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the major histologic subtype of esophageal cancer, is a devastating disease characterized by distinctly high incidences and mortality rates. However, there remains limited understanding of molecular events leading to development and progression of the disease, which are of paramount importance to defining biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and personalized treatment. By high-throughout transcriptome sequence profiling of non-tumor and ESCC clinical samples, we identified a subset of significantly differentially expressed genes involved in integrin signaling. The Rab25 gene implicated in endocytic recycling of integrins was the only gene in this group significantly downregulated and its downregulation was confirmed as a frequent event in a second larger cohort of ESCC tumor specimens by qPCR and immunohistochemical analyses. Reduced expression of Rab25 correlated with decreased overall survival and was also documented in ESCC cell lines compared to pooled normal tissues. Demethylation treatment and bisulfite genomic sequencing analyses revealed that downregulation of Rab25 expression in both ESCC cell lines and clinical samples was associated with promoter hypermethylation. Functional studies using lentiviral-based overexpression and suppression systems lent direct support of Rab25 to function as an important tumor suppressor with both anti-invasive and anti-angiogenic abilities, through a deregulated FAK-Raf-MEK1/2-ERK signaling pathway. Further characterization of Rab25 may provide a prognostic biomarker for ESCC outcome prediction and a novel therapeutic target in ESCC treatment.
    Cancer Research 09/2012; 72(22). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-1269 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deregulation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signalling is common in cancers and is essential for tumourigenesis. Constitutive NF-kappaB activation in extranodal natural killer (NK)-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKL) is known to be associated with aberrant nuclear translocation of BCL10. Here we investigated the mechanisms leading to NF-kappaB activation and BCL10 nuclear localization in ENKLs. Given that ENKLs are dependent on T-cell-derived interleukin-2 (IL2) for cytotoxicity and proliferation, we investigated whether IL2 modulates NF-kappaB activation and BCL10 subcellular localization in ENKLs. In the present study, IL2-activated NK lymphoma cells were found to induce NF-kappaB activation via the PI3K/Akt pathway, leading to an increase in the entry of G(2)/M phase and concomitant transcription of NF-kappaB-responsive genes. We also found that BCL10, a key mediator of NF-kappaB signalling, participates in the cytokine receptor-induced activation of NF-kappaB. Knockdown of BCL10 expression resulted in deficient NF-kappaB signalling, whereas Akt activation was unaffected. Our results suggest that BCL10 plays a role downstream of Akt in the IL2-triggered NF-kappaB signalling pathway. Moreover, the addition of IL2 to NK cells led to aberrant nuclear translocation of BCL10, which is a pathological feature of ENKLs. We further show that BCL10 can bind to BCL3, a transcriptional co-activator and nuclear protein. Up-regulation of BCL3 expression was observed in response to IL2. Similar to BCL10, the expression and nuclear translocation of BCL3 were induced by IL2 in an Akt-dependent manner. The nuclear translocation of BCL10 was also dependent on BCL3 because silencing BCL3 by RNA interference abrogated this translocation. We identified a critical role for BCL10 in the cytokine receptor-induced NF-kappaB signalling pathway, which is essential for NK cell activation. We also revealed the underlying mechanism that controls BCL10 nuclear translocation in NK cells. Our findings provide insight into a molecular network within the NF-kappaB signalling pathway that promotes the pathogenesis of NK cell lymphomas.
    The Journal of Pathology 06/2010; 221(2):164-74. DOI:10.1002/path.2699 · 7.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using inverse polymerase chain reaction, we identified CD44, located on chromosome 11p13, as a novel translocation partner of IGH in 9 of 114 cases of gastric, nongastric extranodal, follicular, and nodal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Notably, these translocations involving IGHSmu were detected in follicular lymphomas and exclusively in germinal center B cell-ike (GCB)-DLBCLs. CD44 is not expressed in reactive GC B cells. The IGHSmu/CD44 translocations substitute Smu for the CD44 promoter and remove exon 1 of CD44, resulting in the overexpression of Imu-CD44 hybrid mRNA transcripts activated from derivative 11 that encode a new CD44 variant lacking the leader peptide and with a unique C-terminus (CD44DeltaEx1). When overexpressed in vitro in the CD44(-) GCB-DLBCL cell line BJAB, CD44DeltaEx1-green fluorescent protein localized to the cytoplasm and nucleus, whereas CD44s-green fluorescent protein (standard form) localized to the plasma membrane. The ectopic expression of CD44DeltaEx1 in BJAB cells enhanced their proliferation rate and clonogenic ability, indicating a possible pathogenic role of the translocation.
    Blood 03/2010; 115(12):2458-61. DOI:10.1182/blood-2009-09-238782 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (PS-341/Velcade) is used for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma and mantle-cell lymphoma. We recently reported its therapeutic potential against natural killer (NK)-cell neoplasms. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms of bortezomib-induced cell death in NK lymphoma cells. NK lymphoma cell lines (SNK-6 and NK-YS) and primary cultures of NK lymphomas treated with bortezomib were examined for alterations in cell viability, apoptosis, cellular senescence, and cell cycle status. Bortezomib primarily induced mitochondrial apoptosis in NK-YS cells and in primary lymphoma cells at the same concentration as reported in myeloma cells. Unexpectedly, SNK-6 cells required a significantly higher median inhibitory concentration of bortezomib (23 nmol/L) than NK-YS and primary lymphoma cells (6-13 nmol/L). Apoptosis was limited in SNK-6 cells due to the extensively delayed turnover of Bcl-2 family members. These cells were killed by bortezomib, albeit at higher pharmacologic concentrations, via mitotic catastrophe-a mitotic cell death associated with M-phase arrest, cyclin B1 accumulation, and increased CDC2/CDK1 activity. Our results suggest that, in addition to cell death by apoptosis at lower bortezomib concentrations, NK lymphoma cells resistant to bortezomib-induced apoptosis can be killed via mitotic catastrophe, an alternative cell death mechanism, at higher pharmacologic concentrations of bortezomib. Hence, activating mitotic catastrophe by bortezomib may provide a novel therapeutic approach for treating apoptosis-resistant NK-cell malignancies and other cancers.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 01/2009; 7(12):3807-15. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0641 · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • Blood 08/2007; 110(1):469-70. DOI:10.1182/blood-2007-02-072900 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 3p21 is an important locus harbouring critical tumour suppressor genes (TSG), which are implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple tumours, including oesophageal carcinoma. RASSF1A is a 3p21.3 candidate TSG frequently inactivated by promoter methylation in multiple tumours. We investigated RASSF1A promoter methylation and gene expression in Chinese oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) to compare it to data from Japanese patients. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) showed that RASSF1A was partially methylated in 3/7 (43%) cell lines; 22/64 (34%) primary tumours and 3/64 (5%) corresponding non-tumour samples; and was not methylated in 2 immortalized normal oesophageal epithelial cell lines and 6 normal oesophageal epithelium samples. Bisulfite genome sequencing confirmed the MSP results. Promoter hypermethylation correlated well with RASSF1A mRNA down-regulation. Treatment of cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine activated RASSF1A mRNA expression along with promoter demethylation. RASSF1A hypermethylation in the Chinese cohort was much lower than in a published report of Japanese ESCC patients (52%) and cell lines (74%). Our own analysis of Japanese ESCC cell lines for direct comparison also detected a high frequency of RASSF1A hypermethylation (8/10; 80%) and high levels of hypermethylation at each CpG site. No significant association between RASSF1A hypermethylation and histological differentiation (p=0.953), tumour staging (p=0.117), or survival (p=0.7571) was found in Chinese ESCC, unlike the results of Japanese patients. The incidence of oesophageal cancer shows marked variation by geographic area and ethnic group; it is almost three times higher in China than in Japan, indicating possible different pathogenetic mechanisms. Our results show that RASSF1A hypermethylation in ESCC has epidemiological/ethnic differences, and suggest that Chinese ESCC may result from different pathogenetic mechanisms.
    International Journal of Oncology 04/2006; 28(3):767-73. DOI:10.3892/ijo.28.3.767 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    Blood 10/2003; 102(5):1931-2; author reply 1932. DOI:10.1182/blood-2003-06-1786 · 10.45 Impact Factor
  • Blood 09/2003; 102(4):1553-4. DOI:10.1182/blood-2003-04-1286 · 10.45 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

123 Citations
77.73 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2015
    • Queen Mary Hospital
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2003–2012
    • The University of Hong Kong
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2006
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Clinical Oncology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong