- Scholarship in 1992 at the University of Cambridge
Protein NMR and folding
Dr Mok's general interest is on the elucidation of protein structure-function relationship using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) or X-ray crystallography, particularly on proteins related to human diseases. An understanding of the role played by a protein in human disease requires a detailed picture of its three-dimensional structure and how it interacts with its target ligand as well as an appreciation of how the structure varies as a function of time due to molecular dynamics. Protein structural and dynamical data obtained will aid the design of protein mutants and subsequent activity or binding assays, as well as rational design of drug or therapeutic methods.
Two main themes related to human diseases are currently being studied in his laboratory: (a) Proteins involved in dust mite allergy, asthma and atopic dermatitis. He and his team have determined the structure and mapped IgE epitopes of dust mite and cockroach allergens including Blo t 13, Blo t 5, Blo t 21, Bla g 4, Per a 4 and Der f 7. Currently, they are investigating on structural characterization of wild type and SNP mutants of proteins involved atopic dermatitis, including dermcidin antibacterial peptides and filaggrin S100 proteins; (b) Structural characterization of the complexes of chaperone and apparatus/translocator of bacterial type III and VI secretion systems. In addition, regulation of the expression of the type III and VI secretion systems by two-component systems, such as PhoP/PhoQ and PhoQ/PhoR, in response to host and environmental factors are also being studied.