School of Biomedical Sciences
The Chinese University of Hong Kong 香港中文大學

KO Wing HungAssociate Professor

B.Sc., Ph.D., C. Biol.

Telephone:  3943 6781

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Rm 607A, 6/F., Lo Kwee Seong Integrated Biomedical Sci. Bldg, Area 39, CUHK







Prof. KO Wing Hung (高永雄) obtained his PhD from the Department of Physiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 1992.  Following postdoctoral training at the Institute of Physiology, University of Glasgow, he joined his alma mater as lecturer in 1993.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences.  Dr. Ko’s recent research examines P2Y receptor-regulated Ca2+ signaling and ion transport in human airway epithelia, with a focus on the role of P2Y receptors in airway inflammation.  Dr. Ko’s laboratory is one of the few in the world that is capable of simultaneously measuring real-time (1) Ca2+ and ISC (short circuit current; an index of electrogenic ion transport), (2) cAMP and ISC, or (3) Ca2+ and cAMP in polarized epithelia.  This technically demanding approach is being employed to unravel novel molecular mechanisms of stimulus-secretion coupling in polarized epithelia.  He has over 70 articles published in reputable international journals, such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Communications and Mucosal Immunology.

  1. Cellular signalling mechanisms and ion transport regulation in the mammalian epithelia, such as sweat gland, intestinal and airway epithelia.
  2. Purinergic receptors and signaling pathways in epithelia.
  3. Pathophysiological mechanisms of epithelial-related inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and ulcerative colitis.
  4. Effect of Traditional Chinese Medicines and natural flavonoids on epithelial functions.
  5. Development of a “trimultaneous” measurement technique for real-time monitoring of bioelectric properties, intracellular cAMP and Ca2+ in polarized epithelia.
  1. Zhang, R.G., Yip, C.Y., Pan, K., Cai, M., & Ko, W.H. (2020). β2 adrenoceptor signaling regulates ion transport in 16HBE14o- human airway epithelial cells Journal of Cellular Physiology , 235 (11), 8387-8401.
  2. Zhang, R.G., Pan, K., Yip, C.Y., & Ko, W.H. (2019). Anti-inflamamtory action of HO-1/CO in human bronchial epithelium in reposne to cationic polypeptide challenge. Molecular Immunology, 105, 205-212.
  3. Zhang, R.G., Yip, C.Y., & Ko, W.H. (2018). Carbon monoxide inhibits cytokine and chloride secretion in human bronchial epithelia. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 49(2), 626-637.
  4. Zhang, Y.L., Chen, P.X., Guan, W.J., Guo, H.M., Qiu, Z.E., Xu, J.W., Luo, Y.L., Lan, C.F., Xu, J.B., Hao, Y., Tan, Y.X., Ye, K.N., Lun, Z.R., Zhao, L., Zhu, Y.X., Huang, J., Ko, W.H., Zhong, W.D., Zhou, W.L., & Zhong, N.S. (2018). Increased intracellular Cl- concentration promotes ongoing inflammation in airway epithelium. Mucosal Immunology, 11(4), 1149-1157.
  5. Zhang, R.G., Yip, C.Y., & Ko, W.H. (2017). Regulation of intracellular calcium by carbon monoxide in human bronchial epithelial cells. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 42(6), 2377-2390.
  6. Hao, Y., Chow, A.W., Yip, W.C., Li, C.H., Wan, T.F., Tong, B.C., Cheung, K.H., Chan, W.Y., Chen, Y., Cheng, C.H., & Ko, W.H. (2016). G protein-coupled estrogen receptor inhibits the P2Y receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling pathway in human airway epithelia. Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology, 468(8), 1489-1503.
  7. Liu, P.Y., Li, S.T., Shen, F.F., Ko, W.H.*, Yao, X.Q.*, & Yang, D.* (2016). A small synthetic molecule functions as a chloride-bicarbonate dual-transporter and induces chloride secretion in cells. Chemical Communications, 52(46): 7380-7383.
  8. Hao, Y., Cheung, C.S., Yip, W. C., & Ko, W.H. (2015). Nobiletin Stimulates Chloride Secretion in Human Bronchial Epithelia via a cAMP/PKA-Dependent Pathway. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 37(1), 306-320.
  9. Hao, Y., & Ko, W.H. (2014). Purinergic P2Y receptors in airway epithelia: from ion transport to immune functions. Sheng Li Xue Bao, 66(1), 16-22.
  10. Hao, Y., Liang, J.F., Chow, A.W., Cheung, W.T., & Ko, W.H. (2014). P2Y6 Receptor-Mediated Proinflammatory Signaling in Human Bronchial Epithelia. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e106235.
  11. Bovell, D.L., Riggs, C.M., Sidlow, G., Troester, S., MacLaren, W., Yip, W., & Ko, W.H. (2013). Evidence of purinergic neurotransmission in isolated, intact horse sweat glands. Veterinary Dermatology, 24(4), 398-6.
  12. Alzamora, R., O'Mahony, F., Ko, W.H., Yip, T.W., Carter, D., Irnaten, M., & Harvey, B.J. (2011). Berberine reduces cAMP-induced chloride secretion in T84 human colonic carcinoma cells through inhibition of basolateral KCNQ1 channels. Frontiers in Physiology, 2, 33.
  13. Fung, J.C., Yue, G.G., Fung, K.P., Ma, X., Yao, X., & Ko, W.H. (2011). Cordyceps militaris extract stimulates Cl- secretion across human bronchial epithelia by both Ca2+- and cAMP- dependent pathways. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 138(1), 201-211.
  14. Lau, W.K., Chow, A.W., Au, S.C., & Ko, W.H. (2011). Differential Inhibitory Effects of CysLT1 Receptor Antagonists on P2Y6 Receptor-Mediated Signaling and Ion Transport in Human Bronchial Epithelia. PLoS ONE, 6(7), e22363.
  15. Chow, A.W., Liang, J.F., Wong, J.S., Fu, Y., Tang, N.L., & Ko, W.H. (2010). Polarized Secretion of Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 by Human Airway Epithelia 16HBE14o- Cells in Response to Cationic Polypeptide Challenge. PLoS ONE, 5(8), e12091.
  16. Wong, A.M., Chow, A.W., Au, S.C., Wong, C.C., & Ko, W.H. (2009). Apical versus basolateral P2Y6 receptor-mediated Cl- secretion in immortalized bronchial epithelia. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 40(6), 733-745.
  17. Yue, G.G., Lau, C.B., Fung, K.P., Leung, P.C., & Ko, W.H. (2008). Effects of Cordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps militaris and their isolated compounds on ion transport in Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 92-101.
  18. Chung, H.L., Yue, G.G., To, K.F., Su, Y.L., Huang, Y., & Ko, W.H. (2007). Effect of Scutellariae Radix extract on experimental dextran-sulfate sodium-induced colitis in rats. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 13(42), 5605-5611.
  19. Ko, W.H., Law, V.W., Yip, W.C., Yue, G.G., Lau, C.W., Chen, Z.Y., & Huang, Y. (2002). Stimulation of chloride secretion by baicalein in isolated rat distal colon. Amerian Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestestinal and Liver Physiology, 282(3), G508-G518.
  20. Yue, G.G., Yip, T.W., Huang, Y., & Ko, W.H. (2004). Cellular mechanism for potentiation of Ca2+-mediated Cl--secretion by the flavonoid baicalein in intestinal epithelia. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(38), 39310-39316.
  21. Wong, C.H., & Ko, W.H. (2002). Stimulation of Cl- secretion via membrane-restricted Ca2+ signaling mediated by P2Y receptors in polarized epithelia. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(11), 9016-9021.
  22. Ko, W.H., Law, V.W., Wong, H.Y., & Wilson, S.M. (1999). The simultaneous measurement of epithelial ion transport and intracellular free Ca2+ in cultured equine sweat gland secretory epithelium. Journal of Membrane Biology, 170(3), 205-211.
  23. Wilson, S.M., Law, V.W., Pediani, J.D., Allen, E.A., Wilson, G., Khan, Z.E., & Ko, W.H. (1998). Nucleotide-evoked calcium signals and anion secretion in equine cultured epithelia that express apical P2Y2 receptors and pyrimidine nucleotide receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology, 124(4), 832-838.
  24. Ko, W.H., Chan, H.C., Chew, S.B.C., & Wong, P.Y.D. (1996). Ionic mechanisms of Ca2+-dependent electrolyte transport across equine sweat gland epithelium. Journal of Physiology, 493(Pt 3), 885–894.
  25. Ko, W.H., Chan, H.C., & Wong, P.Y. (1996). Anion secretion induced by capacitative Ca2+ entry through apical and basolateral membranes of cultured equine sweat gland epithelium. Journal of Physiology, 497(Pt 1), 19-29.

    * Co-corresponding author
  1. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-21 to 31-Dec-23]: "Role of the heme oxygenase-1/carbon monoxide axis in the regulation of ion transport and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion in airway epithelia: in vitro and in vivo studies" (HK$996,285).
  2. Health and Medical Research Fund [PI; 15-Sep-20 to 14-Sep-22]: "Effect of electronic cigarettes on calcium- and cAMP-dependent ion transport in the human bronchial epithelia using a simultaneous electrophysiological and fluorescence technique" (HK$1,170,072).
  3. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-14 to 31-Dec-16]: "Anti-inflammatory action of carbon monoxide via interaction with purinergic receptor-mediated cell signaling pathways in human bronchial epithelia" (HK$848,712).