Our Research

Xiaoqiang Yao



Prof Yao Xiaoqiang

Professor: School of Biomedical Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Academic and Professional qualification:

B.S. in Biology. Hangzhou University, China. M.Phil. Chinese Academy of Sciences. China. Ph.D. Department of Biological Sciences. The State University of New York at Buffalo, New York, USA. Postdoctoral Associate: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Research Interest: Our lab's main interest is on Ca2+ signaling and ion channels. These include TRP (transient receptor potential) channels and K+ channels. We are interested in channel protein interaction, phosphorylation regulation, mechanosensation of blood pressure and blood flow, oxidative stress and cell apoptosis, arterioscleriotic development and its treatment, neuronal synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation, learning and memory, cardiac stem cell differentiation and regeneration, multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy.


Selected publications: from a Total of 4 book chapters, 26 review papers, and 181 original articles:

  1. Guo J, Li J, Xia L, Wang Y, Zhu J, Du J, Lu Y, Liu G, Yao X* & Shen B* (2020) Transient receptor potential canonical 5-scramblase signaling complex mediates neuronal phosphatidylserine externalization and apoptosis. Cells, 9:547. (Feathered paper)
  2. Zhu Y, Xie M, Meng Z, Leung LK, Chan FL, Hu X, Chi K, Liu CL, Yao X (2019). Knockdown of TM9SF4 boosts ER stress to trigger cell death of chemoresistant breast cancer cells. Oncogene 38(29), 5778-5791
  3. Liang C, Zhang Y, Zhuo D, Lo CY, Yu L, Lau CW, Kwan YW, Tse G, Huang Y, Yao X (2019). Endothelial cell transient receptor potential channel C5 (TRPC5) is essential for endothelium-dependent contraction in mouse carotid arteries. Biochem Pharmacol. 7;159:11-24.
  4. Sun L, Meng Z, Zhu Y, Lu J, Li Z, Zhao Q, Huang Y, Jiang LW, Yao X (2018). TM9SF4 is a novel factor promoting autophagic flux under amino acid starvation. Cell Death Differ 25(2):368-379.
  5. Li ZC, Meng Z, Lu J, Chen FM, Wong WT, Tse G, Zheng C, Keung W, Tse K, Li RA, Jiang LW, Yao X (2018) TRPV6 protects ER stress-induced apoptosis via ATF6a-TRPV6-JNK pathway in human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 120:1-11.
  6. Lu J, Boheler KR, Jiang LW, Chan CW, Tse WW, Keung W, Poon ENY, Li RA, Yao X (2018) Polycystin-2 Plays an Essential Role in Glucose Starvation Induced Autophagy in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes. Stem Cells 36(4):501-513.
  7. YW Tjong, X Yao (2018) Methods for Evaluation of Vascular Endothelial Cell Function with Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Channel Drugs. Book Chapter. The Surfaceome, 195-210.
  8. Lu J, Lee YK, Ran X, Lai WH, Li RA, Keung W, Tse K, Tse HF, Yao X (2017) An abnormal TRPV4-related cytosolic Ca2+ rise in response to uniaxial stretch in induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes from dilated cardiomyopathy patients. Biochim Biophys Acta - Mol Basis Disease 1863:2964-2972.
  9. Zheng CB, Lo CY, Meng Z, Li Z, Zhong M, Zhang P, Lu J, Yang Z, Yan F, Zhang Y, Huang Y, Yao X (2017) Gastrodin inhibits store-operated Ca2+ entry and alleviates cardiac hypertrophy. Front Pharmacol 8:222.
  10. Zheng CB, Zhong M, Qi Z, Shen F, Zhao Q, Wu L, Huang Y, Tsang SY, Yao X (2017) Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors relax mouse aorta partly through their inhibitory action on L-type Ca2+ channels. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 363(2):211-220.
  11. Lau OC, Shen B, Wong CO, Tjong YW, Lo CY, Wang HC, Huang Y, Yung WH, Chen YC, Fung ML, Rudd JA, Yao X (2016) TRPC5 channels participate in pressure-sensing in aortic baroreceptors. Nature Commun 7:11947.
  12. Liu PY, Li ST, Shen FF, Ko WH, Yao X*, Yang D (2016) A small synthetic molecule functions as a chloride-bicarbonate dual-transporter and induces chloride secretion in cells. Chem Commun 52(46):7380-3 (*Co-corresponding author).
  13. Lau EOC, Lo CY, Yao Y, Mak AFT, Jiang LW, Huang Y, Yao X (2016) Aortic baroreceptors display higher mechanosensitivity than carotid baroreceptors. Front Physiol 7:384.
  14. Wang Y, Li ZC, Zhang P, Poon E, Kong CW, Boheler KR, Huang Y, Li RA, Yao X (2015). Nitric oxide-cGMP-PKG pathway acts on Orai1 to inhibit the hypertrophy of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Stem Cells 33(10):2973-84.
  15. Ru X, Zheng ZB, Zhao Q, Lan HY, Huang Y, Wan S, Mori Y, Yao X (2015) Transient receptor potential channel M2 contributes to neointimal hyperplasia in vascular walls. Biochim Biophys Acta - Mol Basis Disease. 1852:1360-1371.
  16. Qi Y, Li ZC, Kong CW, Tang NL, Huang Y, Li RA, Yao X (2015) Uniaxial cyclic stretch stimulates TRPV4 to induce realignment of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol 87:65-73.
  17. Ma Y, Zhang P, Li J, Lu J, Ge J, Zhao Z, Ma X, Wan S, Yao X*, Shen B*. (2015) Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids act through TRPV4-TRPC1-KCa1.1 complex to induce smooth muscle membrane hyperpolarization and relaxation in human internal mammary arteries. Biochim Biophys Acta - Mol Basis Disease. 1852(3):552-9 (*co-corresponding authors).
  18. Shen B, Wong CO, Lau OC, Woo T, Bai S, Huang Y, Yao X (2015) Plasma membrane mechanical stress activates TRPC5 channels. PLoS One 10:e0122227
  19. Qi Y, Qi ZH, Li ZC, Wong CK, So C, Lo IK, Huang Y, Yao X*, Tsang SY* (2015) Role of TRPV1 in the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes. PLoS One 10:e0133211. (*co-corresponding authors).
  20. Du J, Ma X, Shen B, Huang Y, Birnbaumer L, Yao X (2014) TRPV4, TRPC1 and TRPP2 assemble to form a flow-sensitive heteromeric channel. FASEB J. 28(11):4677-85.
  21. Zhang P, Ma Y, Wang Y, Ma Y, Huang Y, Li RA, Wan S, Yao X (2014) Nitric oxide and protein kinase G act on TRPC1 to inhibit 11,12-EET-induced vascular relaxation. Cardiovascular Research 104(1):138-46.
  22. Ma X, Chen Z, Hua D, He D, Wang L, Zhang P, Wang J, Cai Y, Gao C, Zhang X, Zhang F, Wang T, Hong T, Jin L, Qi X, Chen S, Gu X, Yang D, Pan Q, Zhu Y, Chen Y, Chen D, Jiang L, Han X, Zhang Y, Jin J, Yao X. (2014) Essential role for TrpC5-containing extracellular vesicles in breast cancer with chemotherapeutic resistance. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 111:6389-6394.
  23. Lo CY, Tjong YW, Ho JCY, Siu CW, Cheung SY, Tang NL, Yu S, Tse HF, Yao X (2014) An upregulation in the expression of vanilloid transient potential channels 2 enhances hypotonicity-induced cytosolic Ca2+ rise in human induced pluripotent stem cell model of hutchinson gillford progeria. PLoS one 9(1): e87273.
  24. Ma X, Du J, Zhang P, Deng J, Liu J, Lam FFY, Li RA, Huang Y, Jin J, Yao X (2013) Functional role of TRPV4-KCa2.3 signaling in vascular endothelial cells in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Hypertension 62(1):134-9.
  25. Ma X, Cai Y, He D, Zou C, Zhang P, Lo CY, Xu Z, Chan FL, Shan Yu, Chen Y, Zhu R, Lei J, Jin J, Yao X (2012) Transient receptor potential channel TRPC5 is essential for P-glycoprotein induction in drug-resistant cancer cells. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.109(40):16282-7.
  26. Du J, Wong WY, Sun L, Huang Y, Yao X (2012) Protein kinase G regulates flow-induced Ca2+ entry in M1-CCD cells. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 23:1172-80.
  27. Sun L, Yau HY, Wong WY, Li RA, Huang Y, Yao X . (2012) Role of TRPM2 in H2O2-induced cell apoptosis in endothelial cells. PLoS One.7(8):e43186
  28. Shen B, Li X, Wang F, Yao X*, Yang D* (2012) A synthetic chloride channel restores chloride conductance in human cystic fibrosis epithelial cells. PLoS One. 7(4):e34694. (*, co-corresponding authors)
  29. Shen B, Kwan HY, Ma X, Wong CO, Du J, Huang Y, Yao X (2011) Cyclic AMP activates TRPC6 channels via PI3K-PKB-MEK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(22):19439-45.
  30. Ma X, Nilius B, Wong JWY, Huang Y, Yao X (2011) Electrophysiological properties of heteromeric TRPV4-C1 channels. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembrane.1808:2789-2797.
  31. Sun L, Yau HY, Lau OC, Huang Y, Yao X (2011) Effect of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anions on cytosolic ca: comparison of endothelial cells from large-sized and small-sized arteries. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25432.
  32. Ma X, Cheng KT, Wong CO, O'Neil RG, Birnbaumer L, Ambudkar IS, Yao X (2011) Heteromeric TRPV4-C1 channels contribute to store-operated Ca(2+) entry in vascular endothelial cells. Cell Calcium. 50:502-9.
  33. Ma, X, Cao, JY, Luo, JH, Nilius, B, Huang, Y, Ambudkar, IS, Yao X (2010) Depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores stimulates the translocation of TRPV4-C1 heteromers to the plasma membrane. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 30(11):2249-55.
  34. Ma X, Qiu S, Luo JH, Ma Y, Ngai CY, Shen B, Wong CO, Huang Y, Yao X (2010) Functional role of TRPV4-TRPC1 complex in flow-induced Ca2+ influx. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 30(4):851-8.
  35. Leung YK, Du J, Huang Y, Yao X (2010) Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels contribute to thromboxane A2-induced contraction of rat small mesenteric arteries. PloS One. 5(6):e11098.
  36. Wong CO, Huang Y, Yao X (2010) Genistein potentiates TRPC5 activity independently of tyrosine kinases. Br J Pharmacol. 159:1486-1496.
  37. Wong, CO, Sukumar P, Beech DJ, Yao X (2010) Nitric oxide lacks direct effect on TRPC5 channels but suppresses endogenous TRPC5-containing channels in endothelial cells. Pfluger Arch. 460(1):121-30.
  38. Kwan HY, Shen B, Ma X, Kwok YC, Huang Y, Man YB, Yu S, Yao X (2009) TRPC1 Associates With BKCa Channel to Form a Signal Complex in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Circulation Research. 104:670-678.
  39. Li X, Shen B, Yao X*, Yang D* (2009) A synthetic chloride channel regulates cell membrane potentials and voltage-gated calcium channels Journal of American Chemical Society. 131:13676-13680. (*, co-corresponding authors).
  40. Cheng KT, Leung YK, Shen B, Kwan HY, Kwok YC, Wong CO, Ma X, Huang Y, Yao X (2008) CNGA2 channels mediate adenosine-induced Ca2+ influx in vascular endothelial cells. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 28:913-918.
  41. Shen B, Cheng KT, Leung YK, Kwok YC, Kwan HY, Wong CO, Chen ZY, Huang Y, Yao X (2008) Epinephrine-induced Ca2+ influx in vascular endothelial cells is mediated by CNGA2 channels. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. 45:437-445.
  42. Yao X (2007) Ion channels in vascular endothelial cells. In "Endothelial Biomedicine" edited by Aird WC. Published by Cambridge University Press.
  43. Li X, Shen B, Yao X, Yan D (2007) A small synthetic molecule forms chloride channels to mediate chloride transport across cell membrane. Journal of American Chemical Society. 129:7264-7265.
  44. Kwan HY, Huang Y, Yao X (2007) TRP channels in endothelial function and dysfunction. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease. 1772:907-914.
  45. Yao X (2006) TRPC, cGMP-dependent protein kinases and cytosolic Ca2+. In "Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology" edited by Nilius B and Flockerzi V. Published by the Spinger-Verlag.
  46. Kwan HY, Huang Y, Yao X (2006) Protein kinase C can inhibit TRPC3 channels indirectly via stimulating protein kinase G. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 207:315-321.
  47. Liu CL, Ngai CY, Huang Y, Ko WH, Wu M, He GW, Garland CJ, Dora KA, Yao X (2006) Depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores enhances flow-induced vascular dilatation in rat small mesenteric artery. British Journal of Pharmacology. 147:506-515.
  48. PC Leung, KT Cheng, C Liu, WT Cheung, HY Kwan, KL Lau, Y Huang, Yao X (2006) Mechanism of non-capacitative Ca2+ influx in response to bradykinin in vascular endothelial cells. Journal of Vascular Research. 43:367-376.
  49. Yao X, Kwan HY, Huang Y (2005) Regulation of TRP channels by protein phosphorylation. NeuroSignals. 14:273-280 (Invited Review).
  50. Yao X, Garland CJ (2005) Recent development in endothelial cell TRP channels. Circulation Research. (Invited Review) 97:853-863.
  51. Xu JC, LI GY, Wang PL, Velazquez H, Yao X, Li YY, Wu YL, Peixoto L, Crowley S, Desir GV (2005) Renalase: a novel soluble monoamine oxidase that regulates cardiac function and blood pressure. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 115:1275-1280.
  52. Kwan HY, Huang Y, Yao X (2004) Regulation of canonical transient receptor potential channel isoforms 3 (TRPC3) by protein kinase G. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 101:2625-2630.
  53. Liu CL, Mather S, Huang Y, Garland CJ, Yao X (2004) Extracellular ATP facilitates flow-induced vasodilatation in rat small mesenteric arteries. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 286:H1688-H1695.
  54. Yip H, Chan WY, Leung PC, Kwan HY, Liu C, Huang Y, Villaz M, Yew DTW, Yao X (2004) The expression of TRPC homologs in endothelial cells and smooth muscle layers of human arteries. Histochemistry and Cell Biology. 122:552-561.
  55. Yao X, Huang Y (2003) From nitric oxide to endothelial cytosolic Ca2+, a negative feedback control. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. (review) 24:263-266.
  56. Kwan HY, Leung PC, Huang Y, Yao X (2003) Depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores sensitizes the flow-induced Ca2+ influx in rat endothelial cells. Circulation Research. 92:286-292
  57. Huang Y, Chan FL, Lau CW, Chen ZY, He GW, Tsang SY, Yao X (2003) Urocortin-induced relaxation of the rat coronary artery. In "EDHF 2002" edited by Vanhoutte PM. Published by Taylor and Francis Company.
  58. Huang Y, Chan FL, Lau CW, Tsang SY, Chen ZY, He GW, Yao X (2003) Roles of cyclic AMP and Ca-activated channels in endothelial-independent relaxation by urocortin in the rat coronary artery. Cardiovascular Research. 57:824-833.
  59. Cheng KT, Chan FL, Huang Y, Chan WY, Yao X (2003) Expression of olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGA2) in vascular tissues. Histochemistry and Cell Biology. 120:475-481.
  60. Huang Y, Chan FL, Lau CW, Tsang SY, He GW, Chen ZY, Yao X (2002) Urocortin-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation of rat coronary artery: Role of nitric oxide and K+ channels. British Journal of Pharmacology. 135:1467-1476.
  61. Cheng CH, Yew DTW, Kwan HY, Zhou Q, Huang Y, Liu Y, Chan WY, Yao X (2002) An endogenous RNA transcript antisense to CNGalpha1 cation channel mRNA. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 13:3696-3705.
  62. Yao X, Tian S, Chan HY, Biemesderfer D, Desir GV (2002) Expression of KCNA10, a voltage-gated K channel, in glomerular endothelium and at the apical membrane of the renal proximal tubule. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 13:2831-2839 (One Figure was chosen as Cover page of the Journal).
  63. Dora KA, Garland CJ, Kwan HY, Yao X (2001) Endothelial cell protein kinase G inhibits release of EDHF through a PKG-sensitive cation channel. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 280:H1272-H1277.
  64. Yao X, Kwan HY, Huang Y (2001) Stretch-sensitive switching among different channel sublevels of an endothelial cation channel. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1511:381-390.
  65. Kwan HY, Huang Y, Kong SK, Yao X (2001) cGMP abolishes agonist-induced [Ca2+]i oscillations in human bladder epithelial cells. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology. 281:F1067-F1074.
  66. Kwan HY, Huang Y, Yao X (2000) Store-operated Ca++ entry in vascular endothelial cells is inhibited by cGMP via a protein kinase G-dependent mechanism. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275:6758-6773.
  67. Yao X, WM Liu, SL Tian, H Rafi, AS Segal, GV Desir (2000) Close association of the amino terminus of Kv1.3 with the pore region. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275:10859-10863.
  68. Yao X, Kwan HY, Chan FL, Chan NWK, Huang Y (2000) A protein kinase G-sensitive channel mediates flow-induced Ca2+ entry in endothelial cells. FASEB Journal. 14: 932-938.
  69. Yao X, Leung PS, Kwan HY, Wong TP, Fong MW (1999) Rod-type cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel is expressed in vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscle cells. Cardiovascular Research. 41:282-290.
  70. Yao X, Kwan HY (1999) Activity of voltage-gated K+ channel is associated with cell proliferation and Ca++ influx in carcinoma cells of colon cancer. Life Sciences. 65:55-62.
  71. Yao X, Huang Y, Kwan HY, Chan P, Desir GV (1998) Characterization of a regulatory region in the N-terminus of rabbit Kv1.3. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 249:492-498.
  72. Yao X, Chang A, Boulpaep EL, Segal AS, Desir GV (1996) Molecular cloning of a glibenclamide-sensitive, voltage-gated potassium channel preferentially expressed in rabbit kidney medulla. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 97:2525-2533.
  73. Yao X, Liu Y, Tung F, Desir GV (1996). Genomic structure and regulation of Kcn1, a cyclic GMP-gated potassium channel. American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology. 271: F37-41.
  74. Yao X, Segal AS, Welling P, Zhang X, Engel D, Boulpaep EL, Desir GV (1995) Primary structure and functional expression of a cGMP-gated potassium channel. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 92:11711-11715.