Academic Appointments


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  • Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase regulates p53 activity NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Lee, J., Kang, S., Jeon, Y., Park, J. W., You, J., Ha, S., Bae, N., Lubec, G., Kwon, S. H., Lee, J., Cho, E., Han, J. 2012; 3


    Protein methylation plays important roles in most, if not all, cellular processes. Lysine and arginine methyltransferases are known to regulate the function of histones and non-histone proteins through the methylation of specific sites. However, the role of the carboxyl-methyltransferase protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) in the regulation of protein functions is relatively less understood. Here we show that PIMT negatively regulates the tumour suppressor protein p53 by reducing p53 protein levels, thereby suppressing the p53-mediated transcription of target genes. In addition, PIMT depletion upregulates the proapoptotic and checkpoint activation functions of p53. Moreover, PIMT destabilizes p53 by enhancing the p53-HDM2 interaction. These PIMT effects on p53 stability and activity are attributed to the PIMT-mediated methylation of p53 at isoaspartate residues 29 and 30. Our study provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms by which PIMT suppresses the p53 activity through carboxyl methylation, and suggests a therapeutic target for cancers.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms1933

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306099900054

    View details for PubMedID 22735455

  • Requirement of protein L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase for transcriptional activation of trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) gene by estrogen receptor alpha BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Park, J. W., Lee, J. C., Ha, S. W., Bang, S. y., Park, E. K., Yi, S. A., Lee, M. G., Kim, D. S., Nam, K. H., Yoo, J. H., Kwon, S. H., Han, J. 2012; 420 (2): 223-229


    Lysine- and arginine-specific methyltransferases have been shown to act as either direct or secondary transcriptional co-activator of the estrogen receptor (ER?). However, little is known about the role of protein l-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) on transcriptional regulation. Here, we show that PIMT acts as a co-activator for ER?-mediated transcription. Activation of the estrogen response element (ERE) promoter by ?-estradiol (E(2)) was suppressed by knockdown of PIMT, and enhanced by overexpression of wild-type PIMT. However, the ERE promoter activity was resistant to E(2) stimulation in cells overexpressing a catalytically inactive PIMT mutant, G88A. Consistent with these results, the expression of the endogenous ER? response gene trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) by E(2) was completely abrogated by PIMT depletion and decreased to approximately 50% when PIMT mutant G88A was expressed. In addition, over-expression of PIMT significantly increased the levels of TFF1 mRNA in the presence or absence of E(2). Interestingly, PIMT interacted with ER? and was distributed to the cytosol and the nucleus. The chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that PIMT was recruited to the promoter of TFF1 gene together with ER? in an E(2)-dependent manner, which was accompanied by uploading of RNA polymerase II on the promoter. Taken together, the results suggest that PIMT may act as a co-activator in ER?-mediated transcription through its recruitment to the promoter via interacting with ER?.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.02.072

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306042100002

    View details for PubMedID 22382029

  • Destabilization of TNF-α mRNA by Rapamycin Biomolecules & Therapeutics Park JW, J., Lee JC, Ahn SR, Ha SW, Bang SY, Park EK, Yi SA, Lee MG, Han JW 2012; 20 (1): 43-49
  • A Fermented Ginseng Extract, BST204, Inhibits Proliferation and Motility of Human Colon Cancer Cells Biomolecules & Therapeutics Park JW, L., Ahn SR, Seo DW, Choi WS, Yoo YH, Park SK, Choi JY, Um SH, Ahn SH, Han JW 2011; 19 (2): 211-217
  • Depletion of Embryonic Stem Cell Signature by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor in NCCIT Cells: Involvement of Nanog Suppression CANCER RESEARCH You, J. S., Kang, J. K., Seo, D., Park, J. H., Park, J. W., Lee, J. C., Jeon, Y. J., Cho, E. J., Han, J. 2009; 69 (14): 5716-5725


    The embryonic stem cell-like gene expression signature has been shown to be associated with poorly differentiated aggressive human tumors and has attracted great attention as a potential target for future cancer therapies. Here, we investigate the potential of the embryonic stem cell signature as molecular target for the therapy and the strategy to suppress the embryonic stem cell signature. The core stemness gene Nanog is abnormally overexpressed in human embryonic carcinoma NCCIT cells showing gene expression profiles similar to embryonic stem cells. Down-regulation of the gene by either small interfering RNAs targeting Nanog or histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin causes reversion of expression pattern of embryonic stem cell signature including Oct4, Sox2, and their target genes, leading to cell cycle arrest, inhibition of colony formation in soft agar, and induction of differentiation into all three germ layers. These effects are antagonized by reintroduction of Nanog. Interestingly, embryonic carcinoma cells (NCCIT, NTERA2, and P19) exhibit a higher sensitivity to apicidin in down-regulation of Nanog compared with embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, the down-regulation of Nanog expression by apicidin is mediated by a coordinated change in recruitment of epigenetic modulators and transcription factors to the promoter region. These findings indicate that overexpression of stemness gene Nanog in NCCIT cells is associated with maintaining stem cell-like phenotype and suggest that targeting Nanog might be an approach for improved therapy of poorly differentiated tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4953

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268360300016

    View details for PubMedID 19567677

  • Rapamycin Down-Regulates Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase by Inducing Proteasomal Degradation BIOLOGICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL BULLETIN Jin, H. K., Ahn, S. H., Yoon, J. W., Park, J. W., Lee, E. K., Yoo, J. S., Lee, J. C., Choi, W. S., Han, J. 2009; 32 (6): 988-992


    We investigated the effect of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of the mammalian serine/threonine kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), on the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Pretreatment of cells with rapamycin significantly inhibited LPS-induced nitrite production and the expression of iNOS protein in a dose-dependent manner. However, LPS-induced mRNA expression of iNOS and its concomitant activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB remained unchanged by rapamycin. Intriguingly, LPS-induced nitrite production and iNOS protein expression were partially blocked at nanomolar concentrations of rapamycin, whereas phosphorylation of both p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 was completely abolished. The suppression of LPS-induced iNOS expression by rapamycin was reversed by the protease inhibitor lactacystin. Furthermore, rapamycin treatment stimulated 20S proteasome activity, which was slightly elevated by LPS. Taken together, our findings strongly suggest that rapamycin down-regulates LPS-induced iNOS protein expression via proteasomal activation, as well as through inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266483500006

    View details for PubMedID 19483303

  • Reversine Increases the Plasticity of Lineage-committed Cells toward Neuroectodermal Lineage JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Lee, E. K., Bae, G., You, J. S., Lee, J. C., Jeon, Y. J., Park, J. W., Park, J. H., Ahn, S. H., Kim, Y. K., Choi, W. S., Kang, J., Han, G., Han, J. 2009; 284 (5): 2891-2901


    Functional dedifferentiation of lineage-committed cells toward pluripotency may have a great potential in regenerative medicine. Reversine has been shown to induce dedifferentiation of multiple terminally differentiated mesodermal origin cells, which are capable of being directed to differentiate into other cell types within mesodermal lineages. However, the possibilities of these cells to give rise to other lineages have not been examined. Here we show that large scale gene expression profiling of reversine-treated C2C12 myoblasts identifies a subset of up-regulated genes involved in specification of neuroectodermal as well as mesodermal lineages. Reversine treatment leads to up-regulation of priming genes of neuroectodermal lineages, such as Ngn2, Nts, Irx3, Pax7, Hes1, and Hes6, through active histone modifications in the promoter regions of these genes. Additionally, reversine increases the expression of markers for other cell types of mesodermal lineages, Ogn and apoE, via inducing active histone modifications, while down-regulating the myogenic basic helix-loop-helix factor, MyoD, via repressive histone modifications. Consistent with up-regulation of these genes, reversine-treated C2C12 myoblasts redifferentiate into neural as well as mesodermal lineages, under appropriate stimuli. Taken together, these results indicate that reversine induces a multipotency of C2C12 myoblasts via inducing a specific combination of active histone modifications. Collectively, our findings provide a mechanistic rationale for the application of reversine to dedifferentiation of somatic cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M804055200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262700900033

    View details for PubMedID 19015271

  • Histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin downregulates DNA methyltransferase 1 expression and induces repressive histone modifications via recruitment of corepressor complex to promoter region in human cervix cancer cells ONCOGENE You, J. S., Kang, J. K., Lee, E. K., Lee, J. C., Lee, S. H., Jeon, Y. J., Koh, D. H., Ahn, S. H., Seo, D., Lee, H. Y., Cho, E., Han, J. 2008; 27 (10): 1376-1386


    Dysregulation of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)1 expression is associated with cellular transformation, and inhibition of DNMT1 exerts antitumorigenic effects. Here, we report that DNMT1 abnormally expressed in HeLa cells is downregulated by a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor apicidin, which is correlated with induction of repressive histone modifications on the promoter site. Apicidin selectively represses the expression of DNMT1 among DNMTs in HeLa cells, independent of cell cycle arrest at G0/G1. Furthermore, apicidin causes a significant reduction in the recruitment of RNA polymerase II into the promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis shows that even though apicidin causes global hyperacetylation of histone H3 and H4, localized deacetylation of histone H3 and H4 occurs at the E2F binding site, which is accompanied by the recruitment of pRB and the replacement of P/CAF with HDAC1 into the sites. In addition, K4-trimethylated H3 on nucleosomes associated with the transcriptional start site is depleted following apicidin treatment, whereas repressive markers, K9- and K27-trimethylation of H3 are enriched on the site. The downregulation of DNMT1 expression seems to require de novo protein synthesis, because the apicidin effect is antagonized by cycloheximide treatment. Moreover, knock down of DNMT1 with siRNA induces the apoptosis of HeLa cells, indicating that downregulation of DNMT1 might be a good strategy for therapeutics of human cervix cancer. Collectively, our findings will provide a mechanistic rationale for the use of HDAC inhibitors in cancer therapeutics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1210776

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253548200004

    View details for PubMedID 17828306

  • Suppression of the NF-kappa B signalling pathway by ergolide, sesquiterpene lactone, in HeLa cells JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACOLOGY Chun, J. K., Seo, D., Ahn, S. H., Park, J. H., You, J., Lee, C., Lee, J. C., Kim, Y. K., Han, J. 2007; 59 (4): 561-566


    We have previously reported that ergolide, a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Inula britannica, suppresses inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in RAW 264.7 macrophages. In this study, we show that ergolide suppresses the DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB and nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB p65 subunit, leading to the inhibition of NF-kappaB-dependent gene transcription in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13acetate (TPA)-stimulated HeLa cells. We also show that ergolide decreases the degradation and phosphorylation of IkappaB, an inhibitory protein of NF-kappaB, and this effect is accompanied by a simultaneous reduction of IkappaB kinase (IKK) activity. However, ergolide does not inhibit in-vitro IKK activity directly, suggesting the possible involvement of upstream IKK kinases in the regulation of NF-kappaB activation. Furthermore, ergolide-mediated protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha) inhibition is involved in reduction of NF-kappaB inhibition, as demonstrated by the observation that dominant negative PKCalpha, but not p44/42 MAPK and p38 MAPK, inhibits TPA-stimulated reporter gene expression. Taken together, our results suggest that ergolide suppresses NF-kappaB activation through the inhibition of PKCalpha-IKK activity, providing insight for PKCalpha as a molecular target for anti-inflammatory drugs.

    View details for DOI 10.1211/jpp.59.4.0011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245395100011

    View details for PubMedID 17430640

  • PKC epsilon is essential for gelsolin expression by histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin in human cervix cancer cells BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Eun, D., Ahn, S. H., You, J. S., Park, J. W., Lee, E. K., Lee, H. N., Kang, G. M., Lee, J. C., Choi, W. S., Seo, D., Han, J. 2007; 354 (3): 769-775


    Down-regulation of gelsolin expression is associated with cellular transformation and induction of gelsolin exerts antitumorigenic effects. In this study, we show that protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathway is required for the induction of gelsolin by the histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin in HeLa cells. Apicidin induces gelsolin mRNA independently of the de novo protein synthesis. Inhibitor study has revealed that the PKC signaling pathway is involved in the gelsolin expression. Furthermore, inhibition of PKCepsilon by either siRNA or dominant-negative mutant completely abrogates the expression of gelsolin by apicidin, indicating that PKCepsilon is the major isoform for this process. In parallel, apicidin induction of gelsolin is antagonized by the inhibition of Sp1 using dominant-negative Sp1 or specific Sp1 inhibitor mithramycin, and inhibition of PKC leads to suppression of Sp1 promoter activity. Our results provide mechanistic insights into molecular mechanisms of gelsolin induction by apicidin.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.01.046

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244284300023

    View details for PubMedID 17257588

  • Histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin induces cyclin E expression through Sp1 sites BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Kim, S., Kang, J. K., Kim, Y. K., Seo, D. W., Ahn, S. H., Lee, J. C., Lee, C. H., You, J. S., Cho, E. J., Lee, H. W., Han, J. W. 2006; 342 (4): 1168-1173


    We show that a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor apicidin increases the transcriptional activity of cyclin E gene, which results in accumulation of cyclin E mRNA and protein in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, apicidin induction of cyclin E gene is found to be mediated by Sp1- rather than E2F-binding sites in the cyclin E promoter, as evidenced by the fact that specific inhibition of Sp1 leads to a decrease in apicidin activation of cyclin E promoter activity and protein expression, but mutation of E2F-binding sites of cyclin E promoter region fails to inhibit the ability of apicidin to activate cyclin E transcription. In addition, this transcriptional activation of cyclin E by apicidin is associated with histone hyperacetylation of cyclin E promoter region containing Sp1-binding sites. Our results demonstrate that regulation of histone modification by an HDAC inhibitor apicidin contributes to induction of cyclin E expression and this effect is Sp1-dependent.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.02.081

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236316100023

    View details for PubMedID 16516150

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