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Ka Wing Fong, PhD


760 Press Ave, Research Building 2 Room341, Lexington KY40536


  • Assistant Professor

College Unit(s)

Biography and Education


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Ph.D


My research interest is to understand aberrant epigenetic regulation and cell signaling in prostate cancer. The approaches we are taking include high-throughput genomic techniques (i.e., ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq) in combination with bioinformatics analysis, proteomics, molecular biology and pre-clinical mouse models. Based on our findings from basic research, we pursue translational research to characterize biomarkers and pursue novel therapeutics strategies for castration-resistant prostate cancer. A major focus of my work is on the regulation of androgen receptor activity by CCN3 (Fong et al, 2017 Can Res) or TRIM28 (Fong et al., 2018 Nat Commun) and the mechanism of anti-androgen resistance through CXCR7-mediated MAPK-ERK signaling in castration-resistance prostate cancer (Li* & Fong* et al., 2019 Can Res). Recently, we report a novel PRC2 subunit PALI1 promotes tumor growth through competitive recruitment of PRC2 to G9A-target chromatin for dual epigenetic silencing (Fong et al, 2022 Mol Cell). The current research focus of my lab is to elucidate the mechanism underlying castration-resistant and drug-resistant prostate cancer and to translate such knowledge into clinical applications with the use of Epigenetics, Proteomics and Metabolomics approaches.

Selected Publications

  1. Fong KW, Zhao JC, Lu X, Kim J, Piunti A, Shilatifard A, Yu J. PALI1 promotes tumor growth through competitive recruitment of PRC2 to G9A-target chromatin for dual epigenetic silencing. Mol Cell. 2022 Dec 15;82(24):4611-4626.e7.
  2. Resurreccion EP, Fong KW. The Integration of Metabolomics with Other Omics: Insights into Understanding Prostate Cancer. Metabolites. 2022, 12(6), 488
  3. Lu X, Fong KW, Gritsina, Wang F, Baca SC, Brea LT, Berchuck JE, Spisak S, Ross J, Morrissey C, Corey E, Chandel NS, Catalona WJ, Yang X, Freedman ML, Zhao JC, Yu J. HOXB13 suppresses de novo lipogenesis through HDAC3-mediated epigenetic reprogramming in prostate cancer. Nat Genet. 2022 May;54(5):670-683
  4. Park SH, Fong KW, Mong E, Martin MC, Schiltz GE, Yu J.Going beyond Polycomb: EZH2 functions in prostate cancer. Oncogene. 2021 Aug 4.
  5. Park SH, Fong KW, Kim J, Lu X, Wang F, Lee Y, Brea LT, Wadosky K, Guo C, Abdulkadir SA, Crispino JD, Fang D, Ntziachristos P, Li X, Wan Y, Goodrich DW, Zhao JC, Yu J. Polycomb group protein EZH2 methylates FOXA1 and increases its stability via the BUB3/USP7 deubiquitination complex in prostate cancer. Science Advances. 2021 Apr 7;7(15).
  6. Li S*, Fong KW*, Gritsina G, Zhang A, Zhao JC, Kim J, Sharp A, Yuan W, Aversa C, Yang XJ, Nelson PS, Feng FY, Chinnaiyan AM, de Bono JS, Morrissey C, Rettig MB, Yu J. Activation of MAPK signaling by CXCR7 leads to Prostate cancer enzalutamide resistance. Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 5. *co-first author (Cover image of May 15, 2019 issue of Cancer Research)
  7. Song B, Park SH, Zhao JC, Fong KW, Li S, Lee Y, Yang YA, Sridhar S, Lu X, Abdulkadir SA, Vessella RL, Morrissey C, Kuzel TM, Catalona W, Yang X, Yu J. Targeting FOXA1-mediated repression of TGF-β signaling suppresses castration-resistant prostate cancer progression. The Journal of clinical investigation. 2019; 129(2):569-582.
  8. Kim J, Lee Y, Lu X, Song B, Fong KW, Cao Q, Licht JD, Zhao JC, Yu J. Cell reports. 2018; 25(10):2808-2820
  9. Fong KW, Zhao JC, Song B, Zheng B, Yu J. TRIM28 protects TRIM24 from SPOP-mediated degradation and promotes prostate cancer progression. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 27;9(1):5007.
  10. Fong KW, Au FKC, Jia Y, Yang S, Zhou L, Qi RZ. Microtubule plus-end tracking of end-binding protein 1 (EB1) is regulated by CDK5 regulatory subunit-associated protein 2. J Biol Chem. 2017 May 5;292(18):7675-7687.
  11. Fong KW, Zhao JC, Kim J, Li S, Yang YA, Song B, Rittie L, Hu M, Yang X, Perbal B, Yu J. Polycomb-Mediated Disruption of an Androgen Receptor Feedback Loop Drives Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Cancer Res. 2017 Jan 15;77(2):412-422.
  12. Yang YA, Zhao JC, Fong KW, Kim J, Li S, Song C, Song B, Zheng B, He C, Yu J. FOXA1 potentiates lineage-specific enhancer activation through modulating TET1 expression and function. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Sep 30;44(17):8153-64.
  13. Zhao JC, Fong KW, Jin HJ, Yang YA, Kim J, Yu J. FOXA1 acts upstream of GATA2 and AR in hormonal regulation of gene expression. Oncogene. 2016 Aug 18;35(33):4335-44.
  14. Xue X, Yang YA, Zhang A, Fong KW, Kim J, Song B, Li S, Zhao JC, Yu J. LncRNA HOTAIR enhances ER signaling and confers tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer. Oncogene. 2016; 35(21):2746-55
  15. Zhang A, Zhao JC, Kim J, Fong KW, Yang YA, Chakravarti D, Mo YY, Yu J. LncRNA HOTAIR Enhances the Androgen-Receptor-Mediated Transcriptional Program and Drives Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Cell reports. 2015; 13(1):209-221.
  16. Li Y*, Fong KW*, Tang M, Han X, Gong Z, Ma W, Hebert M, Songyang Z, Chen J. Fam118B, a newly identified component of Cajal bodies, is required for Cajal body formation, snRNP biogenesis and cell viability. J Cell Sci. 2014 May 1;127(Pt 9):2029-39. * co-first author
  17. Cleaver JE, Brennan-Minnella AM, Swanson RA, Fong KW, Chen J, Chou KM, Chen YW, Revet I, Bezrookove V. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species are scavenged by Cockayne syndrome B protein in human fibroblasts without nuclear DNA damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 16;111(37):13487-92.
  18. Fong KW, Li Y, Wang W, Ma W, Li K, Qi RZ, Liu D, Songyang Z, Chen J. Whole-genome screening identifies proteins localized to distinct nuclear bodies. J Cell Biol. 2013 Oct 14;203(1):149-64. (Rated “Good” by Faculty of 1000 Biology)
  19. Feng L, Fong KW, Wang J, Wang W, Chen J. RIF1 counteracts BRCA1-mediated end resection during DNA repair. J Biol Chem. 2013 Apr 19;288(16):11135-43.
  20. Fong KW, Leung JW, Li Y, Wang W, Feng L, Ma W, Liu D, Songyang Z, Chen J. MTR120/KIAA1383, a novel microtubule-associated protein, promotes microtubule stability and ensures cytokinesis. J Cell Sci. 2013 Feb 1;126(Pt 3):825-37. (Highlighted in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology)
  21. Jia Y, Fong KW, Choi YK, See SS, Qi RZ. Dynamic recruitment of CDK5RAP2 to centrosomes requires its association with dynein. PloS one. 2013; 8(7)
  22. Ghosal G, Leung JW, Nair BC, Fong KW, Chen J. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-binding protein C1orf124 is a regulator of translesion synthesis. J Biol Chem. 2012 Oct 5;287(41):34225-33.
  23. Leung JW, Wang Y, Fong KW, Huen MS, Li L, Chen J. Fanconi anemia (FA) binding protein FAAP20 stabilizes FA complementation group A (FANCA) and participates in interstrand cross-link repair. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 20;109(12):4491-6.
  24. Fong KW, Hau SY, Kho YS, Jia Y, He L, Qi RZ. Interaction of CDK5RAP2 with EB1 to track growing microtubule tips and to regulate microtubule dynamics. Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Aug;20(16):3660-70.
  25. Fong KW, Choi YK, Rattner JB, Qi RZ. CDK5RAP2 is a pericentriolar protein that functions in centrosomal attachment of the gamma-tubulin ring complex. Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Jan;19(1):115-25.