Prof. CHEN Honglin





HKU Scholars Hub:


Professor Honglin Chen finishied his PhD study in Microbiology from The University of Hong Kong, focusing on the molecular biology of Epstein-Barrvirus (EBV) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). He continued his post-doctoral research on EBV at the School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. Prof. Chen re-joined the Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong in 2003 and has since expanded his research scopes to RNA viruses including emerging influenza viruses and coronaviruses. He has established several strong research programmes and platform technologies which focus on studying the molecular determinants for crosss-pecies transmission of avian influenza viruses and coronavirus. His research  on influenza virus has led to important publications and the establishment of a unique DelNS1 live attenuated influenza vaccine system which has been used to develop vaccines for COVID-19, and become an important technology for the pandemic preparedness for future emerging respiratory viral diseases. 

research focus

  1. Molecular mechanism for host restriction of virus replication and cross species transmission of animal RNA viruses;
  2. Regulation of Epstein-Barr virus gene expression and aberrant cellular signaling in EBV associated cancers.

selected publications

  1. Lin W, Yip YL, Jia L, Deng W, Zheng H, Dai W, Ko JMY, Lo KW, Chung GTY, Yip KY, Lee SD, Kwan JS, Zhang J, Liu T, Chan JY, Kwong DL, Lee VH, Nicholls JM, Busson P, Liu X, Chiang AKS, Hui KF, Kwok H, Cheung ST, Cheung YC, Chan CK, Li B, Cheung AL, Hau PM, Zhou Y, Tsang CM, Middeldorp J, Chen H, Lung ML, Tsao SW. Establishment and characterization of new tumor xenografts and cancer cell lines from EBV-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 7;9(1):4663. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06889-5.
  2. Zhou J, Li C, Sachs N, Chiu MC, Wong BH, Chu H, Poon VK, Wang D, Zhao X, Wen L, Song W, Yuan S, Wong KK, Chan JF, To KK, Chen H, Clevers H, Yuen KY. Differentiated human airway organoids to assess infectivity of emerging influenza virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jun 11. pii: 201806308. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1806308115. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Wen L, Chu H, Wong BH, Wang D, Li C, Zhao X, Chiu MC, Yuan S, Fan Y, Chen H, Zhou J, Yuen KY. Large-scale sequence analysis reveals novel human-adaptive markers in PB2 egment of seasonal influenza A viruses. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Mar 29;7(1):47. doi: 10.1038/ s41426-018-0050-0. PMID:29593225
  4. Zhu H, Lee ACY, Li C, Mak WWN, Chen YY, Chan KH, Zhang AJX, Fung WF, Zhang RQ, Fung YF, Poon RWS, Lam JY, Tam S, Hung IFN, Chen H, Yuen KY, To KKW. Low population serum microneutralization antibody titer against the predominating influenza A(H3N2) N121K virus during the severe influenza summer peak of Hong Kong in 2017. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Mar 6;7(1):23. doi: 10.1038/s41426-018-0041-1.
  5. Woo PCY, Lau SKP, Chen Y, Wong EYM, Chan KH, Chen H, Zhang L, Xia N, Yuen KY. Rapid detection of MERS coronavirus-like viruses in bats: pote1ntial for tracking MERS coronavirus transmission and animal origin. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Mar 7;7(1):18. doi: 10.1038/s41426-017-0016-7.
  6. Mok BW, Liu H, Chen P, Liu S, Lau SY, Huang X, Liu YC, Wang P, Yuen KY, Chen H. The role of nuclear NS1 protein in highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. Microbes Infect. 2017 Dec;19(12):587-596. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf. 2017. 08.011. Epub 2017 Sep 10.PMID: 28903072
  7. Shen C, Chen J, Li R, Zhang M, Wang G, Stegalkina S, Zhang L, Chen J, Cao J, Bi X, Anderson SF, Alefantis T, Zhang M, Cai X, Yang K, Zheng Q, Fang M, Yu H, Luo W, Zheng Z, Yuan Q, Zhang J, Wai-Kuo Shih J, Kleanthous H, Chen H, Chen Y, Xia N. A multimechanistic antibody targeting the receptor binding site potently cross-protects against influenza B viruses. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Oct 18;9(412). pii: eaam5752. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam5752.
  8. Chen J, Yang K, Zhang M, Shen C, Chen J, Wang G, Huang S, Zhang M, Xiong H, Chen H, Chen Y, Xia N. Rapid identification of imported influenza viruses at Xiamen International Airport via an active surveillance program. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Jun 3. pii: S1198-43X(17)30288-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2017.05.027. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28587905
  9. Huang X, Zheng M, Wang P, Mok BW, Liu S, Lau SY, Chen P, Liu YC, Liu H, Chen Y, Song W, Yuen KY, Chen H. An NS-segment exonic splicing enhancer regulates influenza A virus replication in mammalian cells. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 21;8: 14751. doi: 10.1038/ncomms 14751.
  10. Verhoeven RJ, Tong S, Zhang G, Zong J, Chen Y, Jin DY, Chen MR, Pan J, Chen H. NF-κB Signaling Regulates Expression of Epstein-Barr Virus BART MicroRNAs and Long noncoding RNAs in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. J Virol. 2016 Jun 24;90(14):6475-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00613-16. Print 2016 Jul 15. 
  11. Zheng M, Wang P, Song W, Lau SY, Liu S, Huang X, Mok BW, Liu YC, Chen Y, Yuen KY, Chen H*. A14U Substitution in 3′ Non-Coding Region of M vRNA Supports Replication of NS1-Deleted Influenza Virus by Modulating Alternative Splicing of M mRNAs, J. Virol 89(20):10273-85. doi: 10.1128/ J. Virol .00919-15. 
  12. Song W, Wang P, Mok B W-Y, Lau S-Y Lau, Huang X, Wu W-L, Zheng M, Wen X , Yang S, Chen Y, Li L, Yuen KY, Chen H*. K526R substitution in viral protein PB2 enhances the effects of E627K on influenza replication. 2014, Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 20;5:5509. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6509NCOMMS6509.(11)
  13. Zhang G, Zong J, Lin S, Verhoeven RJ, Tong S, Chen Y, Ji M, Cheng W, Tsao SW, Lung M, Pan J, Chen H*. Circulating Epstein-Barr virus microRNAs miR-BART7 and miR-BART13 as biomarkers for nasopharyngeal carcinoma diagnosis and treatment. Int J Cancer. 2014 Sep 12. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29206. 
  14. Wen X, X Huang, BWY Mok, Y Chen, MiZheng, S-Y Lau, P Wang, W Song, D-Y Jin, KY Yuen, H Chen. NF90 exerts antiviral activity through regulation of PKR phosphorylation and stress granules in infected cells. J Immunology, 192 (8). April 15, 2014.
  15. Mok BW, Song W, Wang P, Tai H, Chen Y, Zheng M, Wen X, Lau SY, Wu WL, Matsumoto K, Yuen KY, Chen H. TheNS1 protein of influenza A virus interacts with cellular processing bodies (P-bodies) and stress granules through RNA-associated protein 55 (RAP55) during virus infection. J Virol. 86(23):12695-707; 2012 Sep 12.
  16. Wu WL, SY Lau, Y Chen, G. Wang, B. Mok, X. Wen, P. Wang, W. Song, T. Lin, KH. Chan, KY Yuen and H. Chen*. 2008-2009 H1N1 influenza virus exhibits reduced susceptibility to antibody inhibition: implications for the prevalence of oseltamivir resistant variant viruses. Antiviral Research. 93(1):144-53. 2011 Nov 25. 
  17. Lai AC, WU WL, Lau SY, Guan Y, Chen H(2011). Two-dimension antigenic dendrogram and phylogenetic tree of avian influenza virus H5N1. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 64(2):205-11. 2011 Oct 31. 
  18. Chen H, X Wen, KKW To, P Wang, H Tse, JFW Chan, HW Tsoi, KSC Fung, C WS Tse, R A Lee, KH Chan, KY Yuen (2010). Quasispecies of the D225G substitution in the hemagglutinin of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus from severe cases in Hong Kong, China. J. Infectious Diseases, 201(10):1517-2 2010 Apr 2.
  19. Liu N, W. Song, P. Wang, K-C Lee, Z. Cai and H. Chen* (2010). Identification of Unusual Truncated Forms of Nucleocapsid Protein in MDCK Cells Infected by Avian Influenza Virus (H9N2). Proteomics, 10:1875-1879
  20. Chen H., CL Cheung, Hung Tai, P. Zhao, Jasper, FW Chan, V Cheng, KY Yuen (2009). Oseltamivir-resistant influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, Hong Kong, China. Emerg Infect Dis. 15(12):1970-2. (48) 
  21. Chen H, Y. Wang, W. Liu, J. Zhang, B. Dong, X. Fan, M de Jong, J Farrar, S. Riley, G. Smith and Y Guan (2009). Serology survey of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, Guangxi Province, China. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15(11):1849-50. DOI:10.3210/eid1511.090868. 2009 Nov.
  22. Wang P, W. Song, Bobo WY Mok, P. Zhao, K. Qin, A. Lai, G. Smith, J.Zhang, T. Lin, Y. Guan andH. Chen* (2009). Nuclear factor 90, NF90, negatively regulates influenza virus replication by interacting with viral nucleoprotein. J. Virol. 83(16):7850-61. 2009 Jun 3. 
  23. Wu W, Y. Chen, P. Wang, W. Song, S-Y Lau, J. M. Rayner, G. Smith, R. Webster, M. Peiris, T. Lin, N. Xia, Y. Guan and H. Chen* (2008). Antigenic profile of avian H5N1 viruses in Asia from 2002 to 2007. J. Virol. 82:1798-1807.
  24. Cheung C. L., J. M. Rayner, G. J. D. Smith, P. Wang, T. S. P. Naipospos, J. Zhang, K. Y Yuen, R. G. Webster, J. S. M. Peiris,Y Guan, and H. Chen*(2006). Distribution of Amantadine-Resistant H5N1 Avian Influenza Variants in Asia. The Journal of Infectious Diseases Vol. 193:1626-1629.
  25. Chen H, G. J. D. Smith, K. S. Li, J. Wang, X. F. Fan, J. M. Rayner, J Zhang, D. Vijaykrishna, C. T. Guo, C. L. Cheung, K. M. Xu, L. Duan, K Huang, K. Qin, Y. H. C. Leung, W. L. Wu, H. R. Lu, Y. Chen, N. S. Xiao, T. S. P. Naipospos, S. S. Hassan, T. D. Nguyen, L. J. Zhang, K. Y. Yuen, R. G. Webster, J. S. M. Peiris & Y. Guan (2006). Establishment of multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: implications for pandemic control. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol. 103: 2845-2850. 
  26. Chen, H., G. J. D. Smith , S. Y. Zhang, K. Qin, J. Wang, K. S. Li, R. G. Webster, J. S. M. Peiris and Y. Guan (2005). H5N1 virus outbreak in migratory waterfowl. Nature, 436, 191-192.| doi: 10.1038/nature03974. 
  27. Chen, H., J. Huang, F. Wu, Lindsey Hutt-Fletcher and S. Diane Hayward.(2005). Regulation of Expression of the Epstein-Barr virus BamHI-A Rightward Transcripts. J. Virol. 79: 1724-1733. (16)
  28. H. Chen, Lindsey Hutt-Fletcher, L. Cao, and D. S Hayward.(2003). A positive Autoregulatory Loop of LMP1 Expression and STAT Activation in Latently EBV Infected Epithelial Cells. J. Virol. 77(7):4139-4148. 
  29. Chen, H., J. M. Lee, Y. Zong, M. H. Ng, M. Borowitz, R. Ambinder and S. D. Hayward (2001). A linkage between STAT regulation and Epstein-Barr virus gene expression in tumors. J. Virology (USA), 75(6):2929-2937.
  30. Chen, H., J.M.Lee, Y.Wang, T, Hoey, D.P. Huang, R.F. Ambinder and S. D. Hayward(1999). The Epstein-Barr virus latency Qp promoter is positively regulated by STATs and Zta interference with Jak-STAT activation leads to loss of Qp activity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96:9339-9344.
  31. H. Chen, P. Smith, R. Ambinder and S. D. Hayward(1999). Expression of BamHI A rightward transcript(BART) in resting B cells in peripheral blood. Blood(USA), 93(9):3026-3032. 
  32. Chen, H., M.L.Lung, K.H.Chan, B.E.Griffin and M.H.Ng.(1996).Tissue Distribution of Epstein-Barr virus Genotypes. J. Virol.,(USA) 70: 7301-7305. 
  33. H. Chen, M. L. Lung, B.E. Griffin and M.H.Ng (1992) Transcription of BamHI A region of the EBV genome in NPC tissues and B cells. Virology (USA) ,191:193-201.