Prof Tsim has chosen the vertebrate neuromuscular junctions as the model system to study the cellular and molecular events that lead to the formation of synapses during development and regeneration. The post-synaptic specializations, induced by motor neuron, include the expression and aggregation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and other synaptic molecules in the muscle cell. Results from our laboratory have indicated that adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), co-released with acetylcholine from the motor neurons, induces the expression of AChR/AChE by activating its receptors, P2Y subtype. Prof Tsim intends to use molecular genetic methods to: (i) determine the role of ATP and P2Y receptors in directing the formation of post-synaptic specializations; (ii) reveal the signaling pathway of P2Y receptor-mediated AChR/AChE gene activation in muscle; (iii) map the transcriptional elements of the catalytic subunit and the collagen-tail (ColQ) subunit of AChE during muscle development.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM):
In addition, Prof Tsim has developed molecular technique to determine the genetic and chemical properties of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). A systematic approach with integration of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), biosciences and engineering has been developed for the manufacture of quality-assured TCM products. The study of molecular pharmacology can reveal the pharmacological basis of TCM decoctions to build a solid foundation for the internationalization and modernization of TCM.
Hair Testing for Drug abuse:
Laboratory for Molecular Testing (LMT) patented a unique LC-MS/MS technology through the use of hair and it is far superior, in terms of reliability and efficiency, to traditional drug testing methodologies. Hair Drug Test can be used in the prevention of drug abuse and drug rehabilitation work. LMT is collaborating with Wah Kin Holdings Limited, one of the member companies established in 2010 in the Entrepreneurship Center of HKUST and targeting to utilize advanced hair drug technology to mitigate the increasing trend of drug abuse issues in Hong Kong, and in turn creating a harmonious society. Moreover, we could also detect harmful chemicals in hairs, providing an easy healthcare service to public.
Yan L, Wei M, Gong AG, Song P, Lou J, Bi CW, Xu SL, Xiong A, Dong TT, Tsim KW (2018): A modified Kai-Xin-San, a Chinese herbal decoction containing Ginseng Radix et Rhizoma, Polygalae Radix, Acori Tatarinowii Rhizoma and Poria, promotes NGF-induced neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells via up-regulating Trk A signaling. Frontier Cell Dev Biol.5:118-127.
Gong AGW, Duan R, Wang HY, Dong TTX, Tsim KWK (2018): Calycosin orchestrates osteogenesis of Danggui Buxue Tang in cultured osteoblasts: evaluating the mechanism of action by omics and chemical knock-out methodologies. Frontiers in Pharmacology 9:36-45.
Wong ZCF, Chan GKL, Dong TTX, Tsim KWK (2018): Origin of red color in edible bird’s nests directed by the binding of Fe Ions to acidic mammalian chitinase-like protein. J Agric Food Chem 66:5644-5653.
Hu WH, Wang HY, Kong XP, Xiong QP, Poon KK, Xu L, Duan R, Chan GK, Dong TT, Tsim KWK (2018): Polydatin suppresses the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis through binding with VEGF and inhibiting its receptor signaling. FASEB doi: 10.1096/fj.201800750R.
Wu Q, Fung AHY, Xu ML, Poon K, Liu EYL, Kong XP, Yao P, Xiong QP, Dong TTX, Tsim KWK (2018): Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor up-regulates acetylcholinesterase expression during melanogenesis of murine melanoma cells. J Biol Chem pii: jbc.RA118.003729. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.003729.