Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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KA FAI WILLIAM TSE Last modified date:2018.07.09

Undergraduate School
Other Organization

Academic Degree
Field of Specialization
Developmental Biology; Fish Osmoregulation
Outline Activities
We have four major research themes:
1) Developmental functions of deubiquitylating enzyme: Deconjugation of ubiquitin and/or ubiquitin-like modified protein substrates is essential to modulate protein-protein interactions and, thus, signaling processes in cells. Although deubiquitylating (deubiquitinating) enzymes (DUBs) play a key role in this process, however, their function and regulation remain insufficiently understood. Our group performed the first genome-wide DUBs loss-of-function analysis in zebrafish, and we are now undergoing different experiments on selected DUBs to unfold their regulatory mechanisms and specific developmental functions. In 2013, we have identified that zebrafish transforming growth factor-β-stimulated clone 22 domain 3 (Tsc22d3) could function with two DUBs via the bone morphogenetic protein (bmp) pathway (Tse et al., 2013a). We are now working on the biochemical mechanism of the selected DUBs.

2) Disease model and mechanism: Zebrafish have been widely used in developmental biology, their well-established genome database and transparent embryos shaped them as an excellent developmental model. Recently, they are recruited as a new disease model. The zebrafish genome project identified that over 70% human disease causing genes can be found in the zebrafish genome. We own several organ-specific GFP-lines and mutants for different disease-based studies. Our group has a special interest on the mechanism of cleft lip and/or palate (CLP). CLP is one of the most common birth defects in the world, with an average frequency of 1/700. CLP besides affecting the appearance also causes significant morbidity in form and function. We selected several potential human CLP causing genes to study their functional roles in the facial development, which aim to understand the disease mechanism and thus identify small molecules to treat the disease before birth. Recently, we have identified the pathogenesis of the Type 3 Treacher Collins Syndrome by using a zebrafish model (Lau et al. 2016).

3) Osmoregulation: The capability of animal cells to maintain a constant cell volume is a prerequisite for cellular life. When eukaryotic cells are exposed to extracellular osmotic stress, they undergo rapid regulatory processes to maintain their cellular homeostatic status. The mechanism is particularly important in gill epithelia in fishes. Recently, our group applied the next-generation sequencing (NGS) and proteomics technologies to report the first eel gill specific transcriptome data and osmo-responsive proteins in eel gill (Tse et al. 2013b; Tse et al. 2014; Lai et al. 2015). Furthermore, our group use different fish models (eel, medaka, and zebrafish) to understand the molecular issues in the osmoregulation process (Chow et al. 2013; Lai et al. 2013; Tse et al. 2013c).

4) Developmental toxicity: Our group recently starts to apply developmental biology to environmental toxicology studies. Effects of toxicants on embryogenesis can be easily being tested in zebrafish embryos in a large scale. We have found that the exposure of environmental pollutant bisphenol A (BPA) and Triclosan could influence zebrafish embryos’ early development (Tse et al. 2013d) or lipid metabolism (Ho et al. 2016), respectively. Our group is now testing some other pollutants on their potential hazards on embryonic development.

I have teaching duties in the English-taught International undergraduate program, and am involved in the "Global Human Resource Development Project" (Hong Kong region).
Research Interests
  • disease pathogenesis
    keyword : zebrafish; disease model; disease mechanism
  • developmental toxicology
    keyword : zebrafish; environmental pollutants
  • osmoregulation
    keyword : fish; gill; cellular volume; ion transporters; cytoskeleton
Academic Activities
Educational Activities
I am involved in four courses in the IUP:

Bioresource and Bioenvironment Experiments and Practice 1

Applied Cell Biology

Special Lecture on Advanced Topics of Agriculture 1

Introductory Biology
Professional and Outreach Activities
My group collaborates with different researchers around the world, such as China, Hong Kong, Germany, and Taiwan..