Doctor of Philosophy, Hanyang University (2021)
Bachelor of Science, Hanyang University (2015)
B.S., Hanyang University, Life Science (2015)
Ph.D., Hanyang University, Life Science (2021)
Edgar Engleman, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
MHC II immunogenicity shapes the neoepitope landscape in human tumors.
2023; 55 (2): 221-231
Despite advances in predicting physical peptide-major histocompatibility complex I (pMHC I) binding, it remains challenging to identify functionally immunogenic neoepitopes, especially for MHC II. By using the results of >36,000 immunogenicity assay, we developed a method to identify pMHC whose structural alignment facilitates T cell reaction. Our method predicted neoepitopes for MHC II and MHC I that were responsive to checkpoint blockade when applied to >1,200 samples of various tumor types. To investigate selection by spontaneous immunity at the single epitope level, we analyzed the frequency spectrum of >25 million mutations in >9,000 treatment-naive tumors with >100 immune phenotypes. MHC II immunogenicity specifically lowered variant frequencies in tumors under high immune pressure, particularly with high TCR clonality and MHC II expression. A similar trend was shown for MHC I neoepitopes, but only in particular tissue types. In summary, we report immune selection imposed by MHC II-restricted natural or therapeutic T cell reactivity.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41588-022-01273-y
View details for PubMedID 36624345
View details for PubMedCentralID 7075463
Immune Checkpoint Blockades in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Current State and Molecular Mechanisms of Resistance.
2022; 10 (5)
Immune checkpoint blockades (ICBs) have revolutionized cancer treatment. Recent studies have revealed a subset of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to be considered as an immunogenic breast cancer subtype. Characteristics of TNBC, such as higher mutation rates and number of tumor-infiltrating immune cells, render the immunogenic phenotypes. Consequently, TNBCs have shown durable responses to ICBs such as atezolizumab and pembrolizumab in clinic. However, a significant number of TNBC patients do not benefit from these therapies, and mechanisms of resistance are poorly understood. Here, we review biomarkers that predict the responsiveness of TNBCs to ICB and recent advances in delineating molecular mechanisms of resistance to ICBs.
View details for DOI 10.3390/biomedicines10051130
View details for PubMedID 35625867
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9138553
YAP, CTGF and Cyr61 are overexpressed in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer and induce transcriptional repression of ERα.
Journal of cell science
2021; 134 (11)
About 70% of breast cancers overexpress estrogen receptor α (ERα, encoded by ESR1). Tamoxifen, a competitive inhibitor of estrogen that binds to ER, has been widely used as a treatment for ER-positive breast cancer. However, 20-30% of breast cancer is resistant to tamoxifen treatment. The mechanisms underlying tamoxifen resistance remain elusive. We found that Yes-associated protein (YAP; also known as YAP1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF; also known as CCN2) and cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (Cyr61; also known as CCN1) are overexpressed, while ERα is downregulated in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer. Inhibition of YAP, CTGF and Cyr61 restored ERα expression and increased sensitivity to tamoxifen. Overexpression of YAP, CTGF, and Cyr61 led to downregulation of ERα and conferred resistance to tamoxifen in ER-positive breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, CTGF and Cyr61 downregulated ERα expression at the transcriptional level by directly binding to the regulatory regions of the ERα-encoding gene, leading to increased tamoxifen resistance. Also, CTGF induced Glut3 (also known as SLC2A3) expression, leading to increased glycolysis, which enhanced cell proliferation and migration in tamoxifen-resistant cells. Together, these results demonstrate a novel role of YAP, CTGF and Cyr61 in tamoxifen resistance and provide a molecular basis for their function in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1242/jcs.256503
View details for PubMedID 34096606
CTGF regulates cell proliferation, migration, and glucose metabolism through activation of FAK signaling in triple-negative breast cancer.
2021; 40 (15): 2667-2681
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), also known as CCN2, is a member of the CCN protein family of secreted proteins with roles in diverse biological processes. CTGF regulates biological functions such as cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, wound healing, and angiogenesis. In this study, we demonstrate a mechanistic link between CTGF and enhanced aerobic glycolysis in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We found that CTGF is overexpressed in TNBC and high CTGF expression is correlated with a poor prognosis. Also, CTGF was required for in vivo tumorigenesis and in vitro proliferation, migration, invasion, and adhesion of TNBC cells. Our results indicate that extracellular CTGF binds directly to integrin αvβ3, activating the FAK/Src/NF-κB p65 signaling axis, which results in transcriptional upregulation of Glut3. Neutralization of CTGF decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion through downregulation of Glut3-mediated glycolytic phenotypes. Overall, our work suggests a novel function for CTGF as a modulator of cancer metabolism, indicating that CTGF is a potential therapeutic target in TNBC.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41388-021-01731-7
View details for PubMedID 33692467
View details for PubMedCentralID 3670951
Silencing of CD133 inhibits GLUT1-mediated glucose transport through downregulation of the HER3/Akt/mTOR pathway in colon cancer.
2020; 594 (6): 1021-1035
Cluster of differentiation 133 (CD133) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that has been reported as a marker of cancer stem cells or cancer-initiating cells in various cancers. However, its contribution to tumorigenesis and differentiation remains to be elucidated. To determine the role of CD133 in colon cancer, we silenced CD133 in human colon cancer cells. Silencing of CD133 results in decreased cell proliferation, survival, migration, invasion, and glucose transport. These effects are mediated by downregulation of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3)/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, culminating in reduced expression of the glucose transporter GLUT1. We also confirm that the cellular phenotypes of CD133-silenced cells are mediated by GLUT1 downregulation. We conclude that CD133 is a potential tumor initiator that positively regulates GLUT1 expression through modulation of HER3/Akt/mTOR signaling.
View details for DOI 10.1002/1873-3468.13686
View details for PubMedID 31736063
Toxicological assessment of phthalates and their alternatives using human keratinocytes.
2019; 175: 316-322
Phthalates are mainly used as binders and plasticizers in various industrial products including detergents, surfactants, waxes, paints, pharmaceuticals, food products, and cosmetics. However, they have been reported to be endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals that can mimic or disturb endocrines, causing interference to the endocrine system. Recently, there have been numerous reports showing that phthalates have negative health impacts such as asthma, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, and male infertility. Due to these effects, there is an urgent need for phthalate alternatives. In this study, the potential cytotoxicity of phthalates and their substitutes were screened in HaCaT cells, a human keratinocyte cell line, using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) thiazolyl blue assay, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometric analysis, and western blotting. We confirmed that common phthalates such as butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) have genotoxic effects, leading to cell death. Among the known phthalate substitutes, tributyl O-acetylcitrate (ATBC), triethyl 2-acetylcitrate (ATEC), and trihexyl O-acetylcitrate (ATHC) were tested for cytotoxicity. As a result, ATEC showed similar levels of cytotoxicity with the phthalates whereas ATBC and ATHC did not show significant cytotoxicity even in high doses (5 mg/ml).
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.007
View details for PubMedID 31146103
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles induce apoptosis by interfering with EGFR signaling in human breast cancer cells.
2019; 175: 117-123
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, due to their smaller size and increased surface area comparted to the bulk form, are known to be bioreactive and have unexpected toxicological outcomes. Previous studies have shown that nanoscale titanium dioxide induces reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Although many reports have discussed the ROS-mediated cytotoxic effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs), their effects on the receptor-ligand association are unknown. In this study, the possibility that TiO2-NPs can interfere with the receptor-ligand binding was assessed by monitoring alterations in the phosphorylation status of proteins downstream of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling cascade. TiO2-NPs blocked ligand-induced EGFR autophosphorylation, leading to the deactivation of EGFR downstream effectors such as Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling, inducing cell death.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.001
View details for PubMedID 31112848
Role of the CCN protein family in cancer.
2018; 51 (10): 486-492
The CCN protein family is composed of six matricellular proteins, which serve regulatory roles rather than structural roles in the extracellular matrix. First identified as secreted proteins which are induced by oncogenes, the acronym CCN came from the names of the first three members: CYR61, CTGF, and NOV. All six members of the CCN family consist of four cysteine-rich modular domains. CCN proteins are known to regulate cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In addition, CCN proteins are associated with cardiovascular and skeletal development, injury repair, inflammation, and cancer. They function either through binding to integrin receptors or by regulating the expression and activity of growth factors and cytokines. Given their diverse roles related to the pathology of certain diseases such as fibrosis, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, and cancer, there are many emerging studies targeting CCN protein signaling pathways in attempts to elucidate their potentials as therapeutic targets. [BMB Reports 2018; 51(10): 486-493].
View details for DOI 10.5483/BMBRep.2018.51.10.192
View details for PubMedID 30158025
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6235088
Comparative toxicological evaluation of nonylphenol and nonylphenol polyethoxylates using human keratinocytes.
Drug and chemical toxicology
2018; 41 (4): 486-491
Nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEOs) are a major group of nonionic surfactants widely used in various detergents, cleaners, plastics, papers, and agro-chemical products. Nonylphenol (NP), which is a final degraded metabolite derived from NPEOs, has been reported as an endocrine disrupter, known to mimic or disturb reproductive hormone functions. Concern about the hazards of NP and NPEOs has generated legal restrictions and action plans worldwide. Considering the fact that NP and NPEOs are majorly used in the production of products such as detergents, shampoos, and cosmetics which frequently come into contact with the skin, we investigated the effects of NP and NPEOs on a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). In this study, the toxicity of NP and NPEOs was screened in HaCaT cells using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide thiazolyl blue assay and Western blotting. The potential cytotoxicity of substitutes was assessed by dose-response assays, relative cell viability, and genotoxicity caused by specific alterations in DNA damage response proteins (including ataxia-telangiectasia mutated, p53, Chk1, Chk2, and Histone H2A.X). We demonstrated that NP and NPEOs are toxic to HaCaT cells, as revealed by the decreased cell viability after 24 h treatment. NPs and NPEOs also induced apoptosis and DNA damage as shown by the activation of Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, Caspase-3, and Histone H2A.X.
View details for DOI 10.1080/01480545.2017.1391829
View details for PubMedID 29124983
Cytotoxicity measurement of Bisphenol A (BPA) and its substitutes using human keratinocytes.
2018; 164: 655-659
Bisphenol-A (BPA) was first synthesized in the 1890s and has been used in many plastic products. However, BPA is known to act as an endocrine disruptor and has been found to be toxic to human health. Many alternative substances have been developed to replace BPA, but it is still widely used worldwide. In this study, we identified the potential cytotoxicity of BPA by evaluating toxicity using human keratinocytes. Also, we evaluated cytotoxicity of BPA substitutes to determine their suitability as an alternative to BPA. The proliferation assay using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, flow cytometry and western blot analysis showed that BPA significantly affect cell viability, induction of apoptotic fraction and increased activation of DNA-damage marker protein. In addition, through the same experiments, the substitutes of BPA were shown to be significantly less toxic than BPA, and the least toxicity was observed with 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) and terephthalic acid (TPA). In conclusion, this study suggests that cytotoxicity of BPA induces apoptosis of human keratinocytes, and that CHDM and TPA are the most suitable substitutes for BPA.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2018.03.043
View details for PubMedID 29631224
Egr-1 is required for neu/HER2-induced mammary tumors.
2018; 45: 102-109
Egr-1 is known to function mainly as a tumor suppressor through direct regulation of multiple tumor suppressor genes. To determine the role of Egr-1 in breast tumors in vivo, we used mouse models of breast cancer induced by HER2/neu. We compared neu-overexpressing Egr-1 knockout mice (neu/Egr-1 KO) to neu-overexpressing Egr-1 wild type or heterozygote mice (neu/Egr-1 WT or neu/Egr-1 het) with regard to onset of tumor appearance and number of tumors per mouse. In addition, to examine the role of Egr-1 in vitro, we established neu/Egr-1 WT and KO tumor cell lines derived from breast tumors developed in each mouse. Egr-1 deletion delayed tumor development in vivo and decreased the rate of cell growth in vitro. These results suggest that Egr-1 plays an oncogenic role in HER2/neu-driven mammary tumorigenesis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cellsig.2018.02.003
View details for PubMedID 29408223
Silencing of Glut1 induces chemoresistance via modulation of Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin/survivin signaling pathway in breast cancer cells.
Archives of biochemistry and biophysics
2017; 636: 110-122
Cancer cells require increased aerobic glycolysis to support rapid cell proliferation. For their increased energy demands, cancer cells express glucose transporter (Glut) proteins at a high level. Glut1 is associated with basal-like breast cancer and is considered a potential therapeutic target. To investigate the possibility of Glut1 as a therapeutic target in breast cancer cells, we downregulated Glut1 in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines using a short hairpin system. We determined whether Glut1 silencing might enhance anti-proliferative effect of chemotherapeutic agents. Contrary to our hypothesis, ablation of Glut1 attenuated apoptosis and increased drug resistance via upregulation of p-Akt/p-GSK-3β (Ser9)/β-catenin/survivin. These results indicated that the potential of Glut1 as a therapeutic target should be carefully reevaluated.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.abb.2017.08.009
View details for PubMedID 28803837
Cytotoxic Effect of Nano-SiO2 in Human Breast Cancer Cells via Modulation of EGFR Signaling Cascades.
2017; 37 (11): 6189-6197
Silica nanoparticles (nano-SiO2) are widely used in many industrial areas and there is much controversy surrounding cytotoxic effects of such nanoparticles. In order to determine the toxicity and possible molecular mechanisms involved, we conducted several tests with two breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T.After exposure to nano-SiO2, growth, apoptosis, motility of breast cancer cells were monitored. In addition, modulation of signal transduction induced by nano-SiO2 was detected through western blot analysis.Treatment of nano-SiO2 repressed the growth of breast cancer cell lines. It also increased apoptosis and reduced cell motility. Moreover, exposure to nano-SiO2 significantly disturbed the dimerization of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), followed by down-regulation of its downstream cellular sarcoma kinase (c-SRC) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling cascades.Nano-SiO2 has a cytotoxic effect on MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T breast cancer cells via modulation of EGFR signaling cascades.
View details for DOI 10.21873/anticanres.12068
View details for PubMedID 29061800
Binding of galectin-1 to integrin β1 potentiates drug resistance by promoting survivin expression in breast cancer cells.
2017; 8 (22): 35804-35823
Galectin-1 is a β-galactoside binding protein secreted by many types of aggressive cancer cells. Although many studies have focused on the role of galectin-1 in cancer progression, relatively little attention has been paid to galectin-1 as an extracellular therapeutic target. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying galectin-1-mediated cancer progression, we established galectin-1 knock-down cells via retroviral delivery of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) against galectin-1 in two triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T. Ablation of galectin-1 expression decreased cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and doxorubicin resistance. We found that these effects were caused by decreased galectin-1-integrin β1 interactions and suppression of the downstream focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/c-Src pathway. We also found that silencing of galectin-1 inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling, thereby down-regulating survivin expression. This finding implicates STAT3 as a transcription factor for survivin. Finally, rescue of endogenous galectin-1 knock-down and recombinant galectin-1 treatment both recovered signaling through the FAK/c-Src/ERK/STAT3/survivin pathway. Taken together, these results suggest that extracellular galectin-1 contributes to cancer progression and doxorubicin resistance in TNBC cells. These effects appear to be mediated by galectin-1-induced up-regulation of the integrin β1/FAK/c-Src/ERK/STAT3/survivin pathway. Our results imply that extracellular galectin-1 has potential as a therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancer.
View details for DOI 10.18632/oncotarget.16208
View details for PubMedID 28415760
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5482619
Glut1 promotes cell proliferation, migration and invasion by regulating epidermal growth factor receptor and integrin signaling in triple-negative breast cancer cells.
2017; 50 (3): 132-137
Elevated glucose levels in cancer cells can be attributed to increased levels of glucose transporter (GLUT) proteins. Glut1 expression is increased in human malignant cells. To investigate alternative roles of Glut1 in breast cancer, we silenced Glut1 in triple-negative breast-cancer cell lines using a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) system. Glut1 silencing was verified by Western blotting and qRT-PCR. Knockdown of Glut1 resulted in decreased cell proliferation, glucose uptake, migration, and invasion through modulation of the EGFR/ MAPK signaling pathway and integrin β1/Src/FAK signaling pathways. These results suggest that Glut1 not only plays a role as a glucose transporter, but also acts as a regulator of signaling cascades in the tumorigenesis of breast cancer. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(3): 132-137].
View details for DOI 10.5483/bmbrep.2017.50.3.189
View details for PubMedID 27931517
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5422025