Contact Information
Research Team
Samson Ian Sam LOKResearch Assistant (Lab Representative)N22-3039+853 8822
Qingyu ZHANGPhD Student
Shan YUPhD Student
Ran KEPhD Student
Yunfang XIONGPhD Student
Chiteng LEIPhD Student
Lab Photo
PhDDepartment of Zoology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
MPhilDepartment of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
BScDepartment of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2015-presentAssistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau
2007-2015Research Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2005-2007Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Research Interests
(1) Using optogenetic approach to study GPCR dimerization in hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis;

(2) To study the role of GPCR and bias cell signaling in ovarian cancer and the potential clinical application

(3) Using dendrimer nanotechnology to modulate the signaling pathway of Angiotensin II and related receptors in ovarian cancer cells

Representative Publications
* Co-first author publication  # Corresponding author publication

  1. SS Li, CKM Ip, MYH Tang, Y Tong, J Zhang, AA Hassan, ASC Mak, S Yung, TM Chan, PP Ip, CL Lee, PCN Chiu, LTO Lee, HC Lai, HZ Zeng, HC Shum, AST Wong 2019 Sialyl Lewisx-P-selectin cascade mediates tumor-mesothelial adhesion in ascitic fluid shear flow Nat Commun 10(1):2406
  2. QY Zhang, S Yu, MMT Lam, TCW Poon, LT Sun, Y Jiao, AST Wong, LTO Lee# 2019 Angiotensin II promotes ovarian cancer spheroid formation and metastasis by upregulation of lipid desaturation and suppression of endoplasmic reticulum stress. J Exp Clin Canc Res, 38(1):116
  3. QY Zhang, S Yu, SIS Lok, AST Wong, Y Jiao, LTO Lee# 2019 FAM83D promotes ovarian cancer progression and its potential application in diagnosis of invasive ovarian cancer J Cell Mol Med, 23(7): 4569-4581
  4. R Ke, X Ma, LTO Lee# 2018 Understanding the functions of kisspeptin and kisspeptin receptor (Kiss1R) from clinical case studies. Peptides, S0196-9781(18)30176-1
  5. X Ma, YF Xiong, LTO Lee# 2018 Application of Nanoparticles for Targeting G Protein-Coupled Receptors. Int J Mol Sci, 19(7), E2006
  6. S Yu, L Sun, Y Jiao, LTO Lee# 2018 The Role of G Protein-coupled Receptor Kinases in Cancer. Int J Biol Sci 14, 189-203
  7. Q Zhang, NE Madden, AST Wong, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2017 The role of endocrine G protein-coupled receptors in ovarian cancer progression. Front Endocrinol 8:66 doi: 10.3389/fendo.2017.00066
  8. KG Harikumar, ML Augustine, LTO Lee, BKC Chow, LJ Miller 2016 Structure and function of cross-class complexes of G protein-coupled secretin and angiotensin 1a receptors. J Biol Chem 291(33):17332-17344
  9. OWH Chua, KKL Wong, BC Ko, SK Chung, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2016 Role of nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 in regulating hypertonic-mediated secretin receptor expression in kidney collecting duct cells, BBA-Gene Regul Mech, 1859 (7): 922-932.
  10. JSW On, C Duan, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2015 Functional pairing of class B1 ligand-GPCR in cephalochordate provides evidence of the origin of PTH and PACAP/glucagon receptor family Mol Biol Evo 32(8):2048-59.
  11. JSW On, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2015 Evolution of parathyroid hormone receptor family and their ligands in vertebrate. Front Endocrinol 6: 1-6.
  12. LTO Lee*, SYL Ng*, JYS Chu, R Sekar, KG Harikumar, LJ Miller, BKC Chow 2014 Transmembrane peptides as unique tools to show in vivo action on water intake of a GPCR hetero-complex FASEB J 28(6): 2632-2644.
  13. JKV Tam, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2013 Structural and functional divergence of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors in early sarcopterygians: lungfish and Xenopus. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53482.
  14. Y Yuan, BKC Chow, VHY Lee, LTO Lee# 2012 Neuron-restrictive silencer factor functions to suppress Sp1-mediated transactivation of human secretin receptor gene. BBA-Gene Regul Mech 1829(2):231-238.
  15. SYL Ng, Billy K.C. Chow, J Kasamatsu, M Kasahara, LTO Lee# 2012 Agnathan VIP, PACAP and their receptors: ancestral origins of today’s highly diversified forms. PLoS ONE 7(9) e44691.
  16. VHY Lee, IPY Lam, HS Choi, BKC Chow, LTO Lee# 2012 The estrogen-related receptor alpha upregulates secretin expressions in response to hypertonicity and angiotensin II stimulation. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39913.
  17. JKV Tam*, KW Lau*, LTO Lee*, JYS Chu, KM Ng, A Fournier, H Vaudry, BKC Chow 2011 Origin of secretin receptor precedes the advent of tetrapoda: evidence on the separated origins of secretin and orexin. PLoS ONE 6(4): e19384.
  18. KKY Wong, SYL Ng, LTO Lee, HK Ng, BKC Chow 2011 Orexins and their receptors from fish to mammals: a comparative approach. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 1171(2):124-130.
  19. VHY Lee*, LTO Lee*, Chu JYS, IPY Lam, FKY Siu, H Vaudry, BKC Chow 2010 An indispensable role of secretin in mediating the osmoregulatory functions of angiotensin II. FASEB J 24(12):5024-5032.
    Recommended by Faculty 1000 as must read paper:
  20. JYS Chu, LTO Lee, CH Lai, H Vaudry, YS Chan, WH Yung, BKC Chow 2009 Secretin as a neurohypophysial factor regulating body fluid homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A.  106(37):15961-6.
    Awarded Research Output Prize by HKU
  21. VHY Lee, BKC Chow, KW Lo, LS Chow, C Man, SW Tsao, LTO Lee# 2009 Regulation of RASSF1A in nasopharyngeal cells and its response to UV irradiation. Gene 443(1-2):55-63
  22. IPY Lam*, LTO Lee*, Choi HS, Alpini G, Chow BKC 2009 Bile acids inhibit duodenal secretin expression via orphan nuclear receptor small heterodimer partner (SHP). Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 297(1):G90-97.
  23. LTO Lee, JKV Tam, DW Chan, BKC Chow 2009 Molecular cloning and mRNA distribution of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/ PACAP-related peptide in the lungfish. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1163: 204-214.
  24. LTO Lee, IPY Lam, BKC Chow 2008 A functional variable number of tandem repeats is located at the 5’ flanking region of the human secretin gene plays a down regulatory role in expression. J Mol Neurosci. 36(1-3):125-131.
  25. FKY Siu*, LTO Lee*, BKC Chow 2008 Southwestern blotting in investigating transcriptional regulation. Nat Protoc. 3(1): 51-58.
  26. LTO Lee, FKY Siu, JKV Tam, ITY Lau, H Vaudry, MCM Lin, AOL Wong, BKC Chow 2007 Discovery of growth hormone-releasing hormones and receptors in non-mammalian vertebrates. Proc Natl Acad Sci. U.S.A. 104(7):2133-2138.
    Communicated by Nobel laureate, R Guillemin
  27. C Man, J Rosa, LTO Lee, VHY Lee, BKC Chow, KW Lo, S Doxsey, ZG Wu, YL Kwong, DY Jin, ALM Cheung, SW Tsao 2007 Latent membrane protein 1 suppresses RASSF1A expression, disrupts microtubule structures and induces chromosomal aberrations in human epithelial cells. Oncogene. 26(21):3069-3080.
  28. LTO Lee, Tan-Un KC, BKC Chow 2006 Retinoic acid-induced human secretin gene expression in neuronal cells is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1070: 393-398.
  29. LTO Lee, KC Tan-Un, MCM Lin, BKC Chow 2005 Retinoic acid activates human secretin gene expression by Sp-proteins and Nuclear Factor I in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells.  J Neurochem 93:339-350.
  30. LTO Lee, TU Tan, RTK Pang, DTW Lam, BKC Chow 2004 Regulation of the human secretin gene is controlled by the combined effects of CpG methylation, Sp1/Sp3 ratio and the E-Box element. Mol Endocrinol 18(7):1740-1755.
  31. RTK Pang, LTO Lee, SSM Ng, WH Yung, BKC Chow 2004 CpG methylation and transcription factors Sp1 and Sp3 regulate the expression of the human secretin receptor gene. Mol Endocrinol 18(2): 471-483.

(full publications:

Research Grants
External research grants

  1. Fundo para o Desenvolvimento das Ciências e da Tecnologia (FDCT), 134/2016/A3, 2017
    Optogenetic analysis of kisspeptin receptor hetero-complexes in the hypothalamus.
  2. Fundo para o Desenvolvimento das Ciências e da Tecnologia (FDCT), 101/2015/A3, 2016
    Investigation of the signaling mechanism and therapeutic potential of angiotensin II type 1 receptor in ovarian cancer.
Internal research grants

  1. Multi-Year Research Grant, MYRG2018-00161-FHS, 2018
    Using dendrimer nanotechnology to suppress ovarian cancer metastasis via manipulating angiotensin II-related signaling pathways
  2. Multi-Year Research Grant, MYRG2016-00075-FHS, 2016
    Assessment of the role of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heterodimerization in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and gonadotropin release regulation.
  3. Start-up Research Grant, SRG2015-00048-FHS, 2016
    Construction of a G protein-coupled receptor – yellow fluorescence protein (GPCR-YFP) expression library to identify potential GPCR hetero-dimerization in reproductive system.
Professional Activities
Journal Editor :Associate Editor: Frontiers in Endocrinology, since 2018
Guest editor of special issue: Peptides 2018
Guest Associated Editor Frontiers in Neurosciences 2018
Academic Editor: PLoS One, since 2012
Journal Reviewer :Evolution and Development; Molecular Biology and Evolution; Frontiers in Physiology; Scientific Reports; Cancer Letters; Journal of Molecular Endocrinology; PLoS One; General and Comparative Endocrinology; International Journal of Molecular Sciences; Gene; Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A; International Scholarly Research Notices; International Journal of Brain Science; Article in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics