Siu-Kai Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (26)61.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel formation, is critical to tumour growth. The importance of angiogenesis in tumour development has lead to the development of anti-angiogenic strategies to inhibit tumour growth. In this study, polyphyllin D (PD), an active component in Chinese herb, Paris polyphylla, was evaluated for its potential anti-angiogenic effects. The inhibitory effects of PD on three important processes involved in angiogenesis, i.e. proliferation, migration and differentiation were examined using human microvascular endothelial cell line HMEC-1 by MTT assay, scratch assay and tube formation assay, respectively. Using zebrafish embryos as an animal model of angiogenesis, the anti-angiogenic effect of PD was further verified in vivo. PD suppressed the growth of HMEC-1 cells at 0.1-0.4 μM without toxic effects. At 0.3 μM and 0.4 μM, PD significantly inhibited endothelial cell migration and capillary tube formation. About 70% of the zebrafish embryos showed defects in intersegmental vessel formation upon treatment with PD at concentrations of 0.156 μM and 0.313 μM. The anti-angiogenic effects of PD have been explored in the study which implied a potential therapeutic development of PD in cancer treatment.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 05/2011; 137(1):64-9. · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Hao He, Siu-Kai Kong, Kam Tai Chan
    Journal of Biomedical Optics 01/2010; 15(5):059803. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multidrug resistance (MDR) is frequently observed after prolonged treatment in human hepatoma with conventional anti-tumor drugs, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a recently suggested alternative to overcome MDR. The therapeutic potential of PDT was evaluated in a multidrug resistance (MDR) human hepatoma cell line R-HepG2 with photosensitizer pheophorbide a (Pa). Our results demonstrated that intracellular accumulation of Pa was not reduced by the overexpression of P-glycoprotein. Pa-based PDT (Pa-PDT) significantly inhibited the growth of R-HepG2 cells with an IC50 value of 0.6 microM. Mechanistic study demonstrated that genomic DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine externalization occurred where increase of intracellular singlet oxygen level triggers the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) and leads to activation of intrinsic apoptotic caspases cascade during the Pa-PDT treatment. The cytotoxicity of Pa-PDT, accumulation of sub-G1 population, and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane could be inhibited by JNK inhibitor in the Pa-PDT treated cells. Interestingly, the Pa-PDT induced JNK activation showed inhibitory effect on MDR by the down-regulation of P-glycoprotein in R-HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, significant reduction of tumor size was obtained in Pa-PDT treated R-HepG2-bearing nude mice with no significant damages in liver and heart. In summary, our findings provided the first evidence that PDT could inhibit the MDR activity by down-regulating the expression of P-glycoprotein via JNK activation using pheophorbide a as the photosensitizer, and our work proved that Pa-PDT inhibited the growth of MDR hepatoma cells by mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis induction.
    Molecular Cancer 08/2009; 8:56. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRalpha) is primarily thought to regulate energy homeostasis through interacting with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha and -1beta (PGC-1alpha and -1beta). They coordinately control the transcription of genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. In addition to its role in energy metabolism, ERRalpha has also been implicated as a prognostic marker for breast, ovarian, colon and prostate cancers. In this study, we found that an ERRalpha inverse agonist XCT-790 induced cell death in HepG2 hepatocarcinoma and its multi-drug resistance (MDR) sub-line R-HepG2. Using a dye Mitotracker Green which stains mitochondrion independent of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)), we found that XCT-790 dose-dependently decreased mitochondrial mass. Intriguingly, XCT-790 increased DeltaPsi(m) upon short term treatment but decreased DeltaPsi(m) upon longer term treatment. The changes of DeltaPsi(m) in turn promoted the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and led to ROS-mediated caspases 3/7, 8, 9 activation and cell death. Importantly, we established that an anti-oxidative compound Mn(III) Tetra(4-benzoic acid) porphyrin chloride (MnTBAP) blocked the caspases activities and cell death increased by XCT-790 treatment. Finally, we found that XCT-790 synergized with paclitaxel to induce cell death in multi-drug resistance sub-line R-HepG2. Our results provide a conceptual framework for further developing chemotherapeutics based on suppressing ERRalpha activity.
    Chemico-biological interactions 06/2009; 181(2):236-42. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the transfection of human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells by femtosecond (fs) laser pulses at 1554 nm. It was found that HepG2 cells could be perforated transiently to admit propidium iodide by that laser. This photoporation was safe, as the membrane resealed itself within a short time and no mitochondrial depolarization was detected. The cells were next photoporated in the presence of DNA plasmids for the expression of green fluorescence protein, and about 80% of the exposed cells showed green fluorescence 24 h later. Thus it could be concluded that it is safe and efficient to use fs laser at 1554 nm to transfect foreign molecules into cells under a standard microscope.
    Optics Letters 01/2009; 33(24):2961-3. · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Localized laser beams had been observed to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). The oxidative stress and thermal effect generated depended on the nature of the laser beam used. It was found that the ROS-induced fluorescence signal caused by femtosecond (fs) laser pulses were much smaller than that due to continuous-wave laser radiation around 1550nm. This implies fs laser pulses are relatively harmless to cells.
    01/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: Raman scattering of glycerol in a liquid-core optical fiber based on hollow-core photonic crystal fiber was demonstrated. Compared with conventional method, the Raman signal was enhanced over 20 times in a 2.5-cm liquid-core fiber.
    Optical Fiber Communication and Optoelectronics Conference, 2007 Asia; 11/2007
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    ABSTRACT: Scutellaria barbata, a Traditional Chinese Medicine native in southern China, has been widely used for treating liver diseases. In this study, the anti-proliferative effect of Pheophorbide a (Pa), an active component from S. barbata, was examined on a multi-drug resistant (MDR) human hepatoma cell line R-HepG2. Our study showed that Pa could significantly inhibit the growth of R-HepG2 cells with an IC50 value at 25.0 microM after 48 hours treatment. When compared with the parental HepG2 cells, Pa showed weak resistance to R-HepG2. Efflux of Pa out of R-HepG2 cells was not observed as its cellular uptake level showed no significant difference comparing with HepG2 cells. Interestingly, significant reduction of P-glycoprotein expression on Pa-treated R-HepG2 cells was found at both transcriptional and translational levels, leading to reduction of P-glycoprotein activity. In addition, mechanistic study elucidated that Pa induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and inhibited the expressions of G2/M phase cell cycle regulatory proteins, cyclin-A1 and cdc2 in a dose-dependent manner.
    Cancer biology & therapy 05/2007; 6(4):504-9. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports an automated polymer based microfluidic analysis system integrated with a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor that demonstrates the detection of specific binding of biomolecules and that qualitatively monitors cell adhesion on the sensor surface. Micropumps, microchannels, and an SPR biosensor were integrated into a single polymer (PMMA) based microfluidic system. The integrated system has been studied for its potential applications in bio-molecules detection and drugs discovery. Two experiments, (1) monitoring the reaction between the BSA-BSA antibody, and (2) monitoring the activities of living cells in the presence or absence of trypsin in a RPMI-1640 medium, were conducted to show the biomedical application capability. Because SPR based bio-detection requires optically transparent substrates, PMMA is a potential replacement for glass and silicon-glass in microfluidic systems, if bio-compatibility and low-cost are desired. Hence, our work has shown the feasibility of commercializing an SPR based bio-medical/chemical analysis system in the near future.
    Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine 03/2007; 221(2):129-41. · 1.14 Impact Factor
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    Julian Chun-Kin Lui, Siu-Kai Kong
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) and release of AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor) from mitochondria are key steps in apoptosis. In TF-1 model, DeltaPsi(m) was depolarized with AIF release during erythroid development. Yet, no DNA fragmentation was observed. When DeltaPsi(m) depolarization had been blocked, erythropoiesis was suppressed. Interestingly, heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) was found transiently upregulated during depolarization and it retained AIF in the cytosol to avoid DNA damages. When Hsp inhibitor was added, DNA fragmentation occurred. We show this mechanism for the first time in erythropoiesis how cells with DeltaPsi(m) depolarization and AIF release escape apoptosis.
    FEBS Letters 02/2007; 581(1):109-17. · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Cancer biology & therapy 01/2007; 6(9):1381-1389. · 3.63 Impact Factor
  • Wing-Pui Tsang, Siu-Kai Kong, Tim-Tak Kwok
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    ABSTRACT: Alteration of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling pathway occurs frequently in human cancer cells and may subsequently affect the cell survival towards anti-cancer agents. To elucidate the effect of long-term EGF treatment on the chemo-sensitivity of human cancer cells, human squamous carcinoma A431 cells (AP) were incubated continuously with 50 ng/ml EGF for 30 weeks and these cells were designated as the AC cells. The long-term EGF treatment did not alter the EGFR level and the EGF-induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation pattern in the AC cells. By MTT assay, the AC cells were shown to be more resistant than the AP cells to doxorubicin, etoposide and amsacrine but not to cisplatin. Among the drug-resistant proteins, topoisomerase IIalpha (topoII) was downregulated in the AC cells while there was no apparent change in the levels of P-glycoprotein, MRP-1 or glutathione- S-transferase-pi as compared to the AP cells. Furthermore, knockdown of topoII by antisense topoII oligonucleotide transfection decreased the sensitivity to doxorubicin, etoposide and amsacrine in the A431 cells. Results from the present study support an idea that long-term treatment with EGF may induce drug resistance in cells through the downregulation of topoII.
    Oncology Reports 11/2006; 16(4):789-93. · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment for cancer by inducing apoptosis or necrosis in the target cells. Pheophorbide a (Pa), a chlorophyll derivative, is a photosensitzier which can induce significant anti-proliferative effects in a number of human cancer cell lines. This study investigated the action mechanism of Pa-mediated photodynamic therapy (Pa-PDT) on the human hepatocellular carcinoma, Hep3B cells. Pa-PDT significantly inhibited the growth of Hep3B cells with an IC50 value of 1.5 microM. Intracellular ROS level was increased in Pa-PDT treated cells and the cytotoxic effect could be reversed when ascorbic acid was applied. Pa was found to be localized in the mitochondria and then induced the target cells to undergo apoptosis, which was confirmed by propidium iodide staining and DNA fragmentation assay. Pa-PDT treatment also led to the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapim) and a release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to the cytosol. The caspase cascade was activated as shown by a significant decrease of procaspase-3 and -9 in Pa-PDT treated cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, in nude mice model, Pa-PDT treatment could reduce the tumor size by 57% after 14 days treatment.
    Cancer biology & therapy 10/2006; 5(9):1111-6. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    Julian Chun-Kin Lui, Siu-Kai Kong
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    ABSTRACT: The involvement of caspase-3 and its failure in the induction of DNA fragmentation during erythropoiesis were investigated with TF-1 cells. During erythroid differentiation, caspase-3 activation and cleavage of caspase-3 substrates such as ICAD (inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase) were detected without concomitant phosphatidyl-serine (PS) externalization and DNA fragmentation. These observations are in contrast to our understanding that DNA is degraded by CAD (caspase-activated DNase) when ICAD is cleaved by caspase-3. Our study demonstrates that CAD is downregulated at the mRNA and protein level during the erythroid differentiation in TF-1 cells. This provides a mechanism for the first time how cells avoid DNA fragmentation with activated caspase-3.
    FEBS Letters 05/2006; 580(8):1965-70. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Scutellaria barbata has long been used as a Chinese medicine for the treatment of liver diseases such as hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In the present study, a bioassay-guided method was used to isolate the most active components from Scutellaria barbata. The anti-proliferative effects on human hepatoma HepG2 and Hep3B cells of each fraction at every stage of the purification were monitored. An active component, which is 97% pure by high performance liquid chromatographic analysis, was isolated. Based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrophotometric (MS) analysis, this active component was identified to be pheophorbide a (C35H36N4O5). Mechanistic studies showed that pheophorbide a induced apoptosis in Hep3B cells, a viral-induced hepatoma cell line. However, it was found to be non-toxic in normal human liver cells WRL-68. DNA fragmentation, sub-G1 cell cycle arrest, as well as suppression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, release of cytochrome c to the cytosol, and activation of pro-caspase 3 and pro-caspase 9 were observed when Hep3B cells were treated with 40 microg/mL (i. e., 67.5 microM) pheophorbide a for 48 hours. In conclusion, this is the first report describing the isolation of pheophorbide a from Scutellaria barbata using a bioassay-guided isolation method. The anti-proliferative activity and possible mechanisms of action of pheophorbide a on hepatoma Hep3B cells are also discussed.
    Planta Medica 02/2006; 72(1):28-33. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Paris polyphylla is a traditional Chinese Medical herb that has been used in treating cancer for thousands of year. Without studies on the anticancer effects of Paris polyphylla being initiated before, we have first studied the component of Paris polyphylla and have spotted out a steroidal saponin, polyphyllin D. As long as the chemical structure and the improved synthesis of polyphyllin D were ascertained, both in vitro to in vivo studies were performed. It was found that treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells with polyphyllin D resulted in the inhibition of viability and induction of apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 5 microM and 2.5 microM, respectively, after 48 hours of incubations. Apoptosis of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells by polyphyllin D was evidenced by the occurrence of DNA fragmentation, formation of a hypodiploid peak in the cell cycle analysis, phosphatidyl-serine externalization and a late loss of membrane integrity. Mechanistically, polyphyllin D dissipates the mitochondrial membrane potential, induces a downregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and an up-regulation of pro-apoptotic Bax expression, and activates caspase-9. These results suggest that polyphyllin D elicits apoptosis through mitochondria dysfunction. In vivo study demonstrated that daily administration of polyphyllin D (2.73 mg/kg body weight) through intravenous injection for ten days in nude mice bearing MCF-7 cells effectively reduced tumor growth for 50% in terms of tumor weight and size, given no significant toxicity in heart and liver to the host. All these findings provide novel insights that polyphyllin D could serve as a candidate in breast cancer treatment.
    Cancer biology & therapy 12/2005; 4(11):1248-54. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports an automated polymer based microfluidic analysis system integrated with a surface plasm on resonance (SPR) biosensor for detecting the specific binding of biomolecules and qualitatively monitoring of cell adhesion on the sensor surface. Micropumps, microchannels, and a SPR biosensor were integrated into a single polymer (PMMA) based microfluidic system. Because SPR based bio-detection requires optically transparent substrates, PMMA is a potential replacement for glass and silicon-glass microfluidic systems, if bio-compatibility and low-cost are desired. The integrated system has been studied for its potential applications in bio-molecules detection and drug-discovery. Two experiments, 1) monitoring the reaction between BSA-BSA antibody, and 2) monitoring the activities of living cells in the presence or absence of trypsin in RPMI-1640 medium, were conducted to show its biomedical applications. The experimental setup and results of these tests are presented in this paper
    Nanotechnology, 2005. 5th IEEE Conference on; 08/2005
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    ABSTRACT: An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred in China and the first case emerged in mid-November 2002. The aetiological agent of this disease was found to be a previously unknown coronavirus, SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The detailed pathology of SARS-CoV infection and the host response to the viral infection are still not known. The 3a gene encodes a non-structural viral protein, which is predicted to be a transmembrane protein. In this study, it was shown that the 3a protein was expressed in the lungs and intestinal tissues of SARS patients and that the protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in 3a-transfected monkey kidney Vero E6 cells. In vitro experiments of chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation suggested that the 3a protein may trigger apoptosis. These data showed that overexpression of a single SARS-CoV protein can induce apoptosis in vitro.
    Journal of General Virology 08/2005; 86(Pt 7):1921-30. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutation of tumor suppressor p53 gene gains new function in regulation of DNA damage-induced apoptotic response in tumor cells, which may lead to a poor response in cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Transfection of mutant p53 (R175H) to p53-null osteosarcoma Saos-2 cells suppressed apoptosis induced by doxorubicin (DOX), cisplatin and gamma radiation. Downregulation of caspase-3 but not -8 or -9 basal protein levels was also observed in Saos-2 cells transfected with p53-R175H. After 48 hr of DOX treatment, the rate of procasapse-3 activation into 17 kDa active form was about 3-fold higher in the control cells than that in the p53-R175H counterpart. Gene silencing of p53-R175H expression by p53 siRNA upregulate the procaspase-3 protein level and restored DOX-induced apoptosis in p53-R175H cells. Our results suggest that p53-R175H mutation may gain new function in decreasing DOX-induced apoptotic response through suppression of caspase-3 level and its activation.
    International Journal of Cancer 05/2005; 114(3):331-6. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Not Available
    Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. Proceedings, 2005 IEEE/ASME International Conference on; 02/2005