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author:("kwon, Gi-ryan")
1.  Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation Reserve Is Required for Hormone- and PPARγ Agonist-Induced Adipogenesis 
Molecules and Cells  2013;35(2):134-141.
Adipocyte differentiation requires the coordinated activities of several nuclear transcription factors. Recently, mitochondria biogenesis was reported to occur during adipocyte differentiation and following treatment with thiazolidinediones in vitro and in vivo. Crif1 is a translational factor for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and is important for transcription of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complex. To investigate the role of OXPHOS in adipogenesis, we analyzed adipocyte differentiation following disruption of Crif1 in vitro and in vivo. The adipose-specific Crif1 knockout mouse had a lower body weight and less fat mass than wild-type mice. Furthermore, adipocytes were smaller and had a dysplastic morphology in the adipose-specific Crif1 knockout mouse. 3T3-L1 adipocytes or adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) that lacked Crif1 expressed lower levels of mtDNA-encoded OXPHOS subunits, and adipocyte differentiation was disrupted. Rosiglitazone treatment did not induce adipogenesis or mitochondria biogenesis in Crif1 knockout ADSCs. These results show that mitochondrial OXPHOS and Crif1 are required for rosiglitazone- and hormone-induced adipogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3887907  PMID: 23456335
adipogenesis; CRIF1; mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation
2.  PMA synergistically enhances apicularen A-induced cytotoxicity by disrupting microtubule networks in HeLa cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:36.
Combination therapy is key to improving cancer treatment efficacy. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a well-known PKC activator, increases the cytotoxicity of several anticancer drugs. Apicularen A induces cytotoxicity in tumor cells through disrupting microtubule networks by tubulin down-regulation. In this study, we examined whether PMA increases apicularen A-induced cytotoxicity in HeLa cells.
Cell viability was examined by thiazolyl blue tetrazolium (MTT) assays. To investigate apoptotic potential of apicularen A, DNA fragmentation assays were performed followed by extracting genomic DNA, and caspase-3 activity assays were performed by fluorescence assays using fluorogenic substrate. The cell cycle distribution induced by combination with PMA and apicularen A was examined by flow cytometry after staining with propidium iodide (PI). The expression levels of target proteins were measured by Western blotting analysis using specific antibodies, and α-tubulin mRNA levels were assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). To examine the effect of combination of PMA and apicularen A on the microtubule architecture, α-tubulin protein and nuclei were visualized by immunofluorescence staining using an anti-α-tubulin antibody and PI, respectively.
We found that apicularen A induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in HeLa cells. PMA synergistically increased cytotoxicity and apoptotic sub-G1 population induced by apicularen A. These effects were completely blocked by the PKC inhibitors Ro31-8220 and Go6983, while caspase inhibition by Z-VAD-fmk did not prevent cytotoxicity. RNA interference using siRNA against PKCα, but not PKCβ and PKCγ, inhibited cytotoxicity induced by combination PMA and apicularen A. PMA increased the apicularen A-induced disruption of microtubule networks by further decreasing α- and β-tubulin protein levels in a PKC-dependent manner.
These results suggest that the synergy between PMA and apicularen A is involved by PKCα activation and microtubule disruption, and that may inform the development of novel approaches to treat cancer.
PMCID: PMC3901760  PMID: 24447339
PMA; Apicularen A; PKCα; Cell death; Microtubule disruption
3.  The Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid DHA Induces Simultaneous Apoptosis and Autophagy via Mitochondrial ROS-Mediated Akt-mTOR Signaling in Prostate Cancer Cells Expressing Mutant p53 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:568671.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) induces autophagy-associated apoptotic cell death in wild-type p53 cancer cells via regulation of p53. The present study investigated the effects of DHA on PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cell lines harboring mutant p53. Results show that, in addition to apoptosis, DHA increased the expression levels of lipidated form LC3B and potently stimulated the autophagic flux, suggesting that DHA induces both autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells expressing mutant p53. DHA led to the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), as shown by the mitochondrial ROS-specific probe mitoSOX. Similarly, pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) markedly inhibited both the autophagy and the apoptosis triggered by DHA, indicating that mitochondrial ROS mediate the cytotoxicity of DHA in mutant p53 cells. Further, DHA reduced the levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-mTOR in a concentration-dependent manner, while NAC almost completely blocked that effect. Collectively, these findings present a novel mechanism of ROS-regulated apoptosis and autophagy that involves Akt-mTOR signaling in prostate cancer cells with mutant p53 exposed to DHA.
PMCID: PMC3691929  PMID: 23841076
4.  Dexamethasone Induces FcγRIIb Expression in RBL-2H3 Cells 
Mast cells are involved in allergic responses, protection against pathogens and autoimmune diseases. Dexamethasone (Dex) and other glucocorticoids suppress FcεRI-mediated release of inflammatory mediators from mast cells. The inhibition mechanisms were mainly investigated on the downstream signaling of Fc receptor activations. Here, we addressed the effects of Dex on Fc receptor expressions in rat mast cell line RBL-2H3. We measured mRNA levels of Fc receptors by real-time PCR. As expected, Dex decreased the mRNA levels of activating Fc receptor for IgE (FcεR) I and increased the mRNA levels of the inhibitory Fc receptor for IgG FcγRIIb. Interestingly, Dex stimulated transcriptions of other activating receptors such as Fc receptors for IgG (FcγR) I and FcγRIII. To investigate the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation, we employed a transcription inhibitor actinomycin D and a translation inhibitor cycloheximide. The inhibition of protein synthesis without Dex treatment enhanced FcγRI and FcγRIII mRNA levels potently, while FcεRI and FcγRIIb were minimally affected. Next, we examined expressions of the Fc receptors on cell surfaces by the flow cytometric method. Only FcγRIIb protein expression was significantly enhanced by Dex treatment, while FcγRI, FcγRIII and FcεRI expression levels were marginally changed. Our data showed, for the first time, that Dex regulates Fc receptor expressions resulting in augmentation of the inhibitory receptor FcγRIIb.
PMCID: PMC3526743  PMID: 23269901
Degranulation; Fc receptor; Glucocorticoid; Mast cells; Transcription
5.  Fenofibrate differentially regulates PAI-1 gene expression via AMPK-dependent induction of orphan nuclear receptor SHP 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2009;50(3):880-892.
Plasminogen activator inhibitor type I (PAI-1) is a marker of the fibrinolytic system, and serves as a possible predictor for hepatic metabolic syndromes. Fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonist, is a drug used for treatments of hyperlipidemia. Orphan nuclear receptor small heterodimer partner (SHP) plays a key role in transcriptional repression of crucial genes involved in various metabolic pathways. In this study, we show that fenofibrate increased SHP gene expression in cultured liver cells and in the normal and diabetic mouse liver by activating the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα)-independent manner. Administration of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) or a methionine and choline deficient (MCD) diet to induce the progressive fibrosing steatohepatitis model in C57BL/6 mice was significantly reversed by fenofibrate via AMPK-mediated induction of SHP gene expression with a dramatic decrease in PAI-1 mRNA and protein expression along with other fibrotic marker genes. No reversal was observed in SHP null mice treated with fenofibrate. Treatment with another PPARα agonist, WY14643, showed contrasting effects on these marker genes expressions in wild type and SHP null mice, demonstrating the specificity of fenofibrate in activating AMPK signaling. Fenofibrate exhibited a differential inhibitory pattern on PAI-1 gene expression depending on the transcription factors inhibited by SHP.
By demonstrating that a PPARα-independent fenofibrate-AMPK-SHP regulatory cascade can play a key role in PAI-1 gene down-regulation and reversal of fibrosis, our study suggests that various AMPK activators regulating SHP might provide a novel pharmacologic option in ameliorating hepatic metabolic syndromes.
PMCID: PMC2737064  PMID: 19593819
SHP; AMPK; PAI-1; Fenofibrate
6.  Prevention of TNF-induced necrotic cell death by rottlerin through a Nox1 NADPH oxidase 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2008;40(2):186-195.
Previous studies have demonstrated that rottlerin, a specific PKCδ inhibitor, potentiates death receptormediated apoptosis through a cytochrome c-dependent or -independent pathway. However, its ability to regulate necrotic cell death, as well as the underlying mechanism, remains unknown. We found that in murine fibrosarcoma L929 cells, treatment with rottlerin protected the cells against TNF-induced necrosis, whereas it sensitized the cells to apoptosis induced by co-treatment with Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin and TNF, in a manner independent of its ability to inhibit PKC-δ. TNF treatment induced rapid accumulation of mitochondrial superoxide (O2-) through the Nox1 NADPH oxidase when cells undergo necrosis. Moreover, pretreatment with rottlerin failed to induce the GTP-bound form of small GTPase Rac1 by TNF treatment, and subsequently suppressed mitochondrial O2- production and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation, thus inhibiting necrotic cell death. Therefore, our study suggests that Nox1 NADPH oxidase is a new molecular target for anti-necrotic activity of rottlerin upon death-receptor ligation.
PMCID: PMC2679309  PMID: 18446057
cell death; necrosis; NADPH oxidase 1; rottlerin; superoxidase; tumor necrosis factor-α
7.  Crif1 Deficiency Reduces Adipose OXPHOS Capacity and Triggers Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Mice 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(3):e1003356.
Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) has been proposed as an etiological mechanism underlying insulin resistance. However, the initiating organ of OXPHOS dysfunction during the development of systemic insulin resistance has yet to be identified. To determine whether adipose OXPHOS deficiency plays an etiological role in systemic insulin resistance, the metabolic phenotype of mice with OXPHOS–deficient adipose tissue was examined. Crif1 is a protein required for the intramitochondrial production of mtDNA–encoded OXPHOS subunits; therefore, Crif1 haploinsufficient deficiency in mice results in a mild, but specific, failure of OXPHOS capacity in vivo. Although adipose-specific Crif1-haploinsufficient mice showed normal growth and development, they became insulin-resistant. Crif1-silenced adipocytes showed higher expression of chemokines, the expression of which is dependent upon stress kinases and antioxidant. Accordingly, examination of adipose tissue from Crif1-haploinsufficient mice revealed increased secretion of MCP1 and TNFα, as well as marked infiltration by macrophages. These findings indicate that the OXPHOS status of adipose tissue determines its metabolic and inflammatory responses, and may cause systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.
Author Summary
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st century. Although insulin resistance is regarded as a fundamental defect that precedes the development of type 2 diabetes, the nature and cause of insulin resistance remain unknown. Adipose tissue is an important organ that determines whole-body energy metabolism, and its dysfunction is a critical element in the development of systemic insulin resistance. Adipose mitochondrial function is suppressed in the insulin-resistant state, and increased adipose mitochondrial biogenesis is associated with the reversal of insulin resistance by a PPARγ agonist. However, despite these important observations, little is known about how mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction in white adipose tissue (WAT) causes insulin resistance. To determine whether adipose deficiency of mitochondrial respiratory capacity plays an etiological role in systemic insulin resistance, the metabolic phenotype of mice with mitochondrial OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation)–deficient adipose tissue was examined. Crif1 is a protein required for the translation of mtDNA–encoded OXPHOS subunits. Interestingly, mice haploinsufficient for Crif1 in adipose tissue showed reduced OXPHOS capacity and developed marked insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3597503  PMID: 23516375
8.  Docosahexaenoic acid induces autophagy through p53/AMPK/mTOR signaling and promotes apoptosis in human cancer cells harboring wild-type p53 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1348-1358.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been reported to induce tumor cell death by apoptosis. However, little is known about the effects of DHA on autophagy, another complex well-programmed process characterized by the sequestration of cytoplasmic material within autophagosomes. Here we show that DHA increased both the level of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 and the number of autophagic vacuoles without impairing autophagic vesicle turnover, indicating that DHA induces not only apoptosis but also autophagy. We also observed that DHA-induced autophagy was accompanied by p53 loss. Inhibition of p53 increased DHA-induced autophagy and prevention of p53 degradation significantly led to the attenuation of DHA-induced autophagy, suggesting that DHA-induced autophagy is mediated by p53. Further experiments showed that the mechanism of DHA-induced autophagy associated with p53 attenuation involved an increase in the active form of AMP-activated protein kinase and a decrease in the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin. In addition, compelling evidence for the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis induced by DHA is supported by the findings that autophagy inhibition suppressed apoptosis and further autophagy induction enhanced apoptosis in response to DHA treatment. Overall, our results demonstrate that autophagy contributes to the cytotoxicity of DHA in cancer cells harboring wild-type p53.
PMCID: PMC3242799  PMID: 21811093
DHA; autophagy; apoptosis; p53; cancer; mTOR; AMPK; p27
9.  DJ-1 Null Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells Exhibit Defects in Mitochondrial Function and Structure: Involvement of Mitochondrial Complex I Assembly 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32629.
DJ-1 is a Parkinson's disease-associated gene whose protein product has a protective role in cellular homeostasis by removing cytosolic reactive oxygen species and maintaining mitochondrial function. However, it is not clear how DJ-1 regulates mitochondrial function and why mitochondrial dysfunction is induced by DJ-1 deficiency. In a previous study we showed that DJ-1 null dopaminergic neuronal cells exhibit defective mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I activity. In the present article we investigated the role of DJ-1 in complex I formation by using blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and 2-dimensional gel analysis to assess native complex status. On the basis of these experiments, we concluded that DJ-1 null cells have a defect in the assembly of complex I. Concomitant with abnormal complex I formation, DJ-1 null cells show defective supercomplex formation. It is known that aberrant formation of the supercomplex impairs the flow of electrons through the channels between respiratory chain complexes, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. We took two approaches to study these mitochondrial defects. The first approach assessed the structural defect by using both confocal microscopy with MitoTracker staining and electron microscopy. The second approach assessed the functional defect by measuring ATP production, O2 consumption, and mitochondrial membrane potential. Finally, we showed that the assembly defect as well as the structural and functional abnormalities in DJ-1 null cells could be reversed by adenovirus-mediated overexpression of DJ-1, demonstrating the specificity of DJ-1 on these mitochondrial properties. These mitochondrial defects induced by DJ-1mutation may be a pathological mechanism for the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC3293835  PMID: 22403686
10.  Pharmacological Stimulation of NADH Oxidation Ameliorates Obesity and Related Phenotypes in Mice 
Diabetes  2009;58(4):965-974.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (NAD+ and NADH) play a crucial role in cellular energy metabolism, and a dysregulated NAD+-to-NADH ratio is implicated in metabolic syndrome. However, it is still unknown whether a modulating intracellular NAD+-to-NADH ratio is beneficial in treating metabolic syndrome. We tried to determine whether pharmacological stimulation of NADH oxidation provides therapeutic effects in rodent models of metabolic syndrome.
We used β-lapachone (βL), a natural substrate of NADH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), to stimulate NADH oxidation. The βL-induced pharmacological effect on cellular energy metabolism was evaluated in cells derived from NQO1-deficient mice. In vivo therapeutic effects of βL on metabolic syndrome were examined in diet-induced obesity (DIO) and ob/ob mice.
NQO1-dependent NADH oxidation by βL strongly provoked mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in vitro and in vivo. These effects were accompanied by activation of AMP-activated protein kinase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase and suppression of acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase activity. Consistently, systemic βL administration in rodent models of metabolic syndrome dramatically ameliorated their key symptoms such as increased adiposity, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver. The treated mice also showed higher expressions of the genes related to mitochondrial energy metabolism (PPARγ coactivator-1α, nuclear respiratory factor-1) and caloric restriction (Sirt1) consistent with the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and energy expenditure.
Pharmacological activation of NADH oxidation by NQO1 resolves obesity and related phenotypes in mice, opening the possibility that it may provide the basis for a new therapy for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2661596  PMID: 19136651
11.  Heat shock protein 70-mediated sensitization of cells to apoptosis by Carboxyl-Terminal Modulator Protein 
BMC Cell Biology  2009;10:53.
The serine/threonine protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) is involved in insulin signaling, cellular survival, and transformation. Carboxyl-terminal modulator protein (CTMP) has been identified as a novel PKB binding partner in a yeast two-hybrid screen, and appears to be a negative PKB regulator with tumor suppressor-like properties. In the present study we investigate novel mechanisms by which CTMP plays a role in apoptosis process.
CTMP is localized to mitochondria. Furthermore, CTMP becomes phosphorylated following the treatment of cells with pervanadate, an insulin-mimetic. Two serine residues (Ser37 and Ser38) were identified as novel in vivo phosphorylation sites of CTMP. Association of CTMP and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) inhibits the formation of complexes containing apoptotic protease activating factor 1 and Hsp70. Overexpression of CTMP increased the sensitivity of cells to apoptosis, most likely due to the inhibition of Hsp70 function.
Our data suggest that phosphorylation on Ser37/Ser38 of CTMP is important for the prevention of mitochondrial localization of CTMP, eventually leading to cell death by binding to Hsp70. In addition to its role in PKB inhibition, CTMP may therefore play a key role in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis by localizing to mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC2729731  PMID: 19604401

Results 1-11 (11)