Dr. Jung received her B.S. in Medical Science from University Sydney in Australia and completed her Ph.D. in Human Biology at University of Tsukuba in Japan. Following her Ph.D., she has joined Dr. Katrin J Svensson's lab in Stanford for her postdoctoral training, in the field of molecular endocrinology and metabolism. Her research focus is especially in understanding of fatty liver disease.
Honors & Awards
Graduation Award, Tsukuba University (2018)
Special Fellow at University of Tsukuba, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan (2013 – 2018)
Doctor of Philosophy, Tsukuba University (2018)
Regulation of Energy Metabolism by Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Ligands.
Frontiers in physiology
2020; 11: 354
Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease, have now reached epidemic proportions. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are a family of cell surface receptors responding to growth factors, hormones, and cytokines to mediate a diverse set of fundamental cellular and metabolic signaling pathways. These ligands signal by endocrine, paracrine, or autocrine means in peripheral organs and in the central nervous system to control cellular and tissue-specific metabolic processes. Interestingly, the expression of many RTKs and their ligands are controlled by changes in metabolic demand, for example, during starvation, feeding, or obesity. In addition, studies of RTKs and their ligands in regulating energy homeostasis have revealed unexpected diversity in the mechanisms of action and their specific metabolic functions. Our current understanding of the molecular, biochemical and genetic control of energy homeostasis by the endocrine RTK ligands insulin, FGF21 and FGF19 are now relatively well understood. In addition to these classical endocrine signals, non-endocrine ligands can govern local energy regulation, and the intriguing crosstalk between the RTK family and the TGFβ receptor family demonstrates a signaling network that diversifies metabolic process between tissues. Thus, there is a need to increase our molecular and mechanistic understanding of signal diversification of RTK actions in metabolic disease. Here we review the known and emerging molecular mechanisms of RTK signaling that regulate systemic glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as highlighting unexpected roles of non-classical RTK ligands that crosstalk with other receptor pathways.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fphys.2020.00354
View details for PubMedID 32372975
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7186430
High-phytate/low-calcium diet is a risk factor for crystal nephropathies, renal phosphate wasting, and bone loss.
Phosphate overload contributes to mineral bone disorders that are associated with crystal nephropathies. Phytate, the major form of phosphorus in plant seeds, is known as an indigestible and of negligible nutritional value in humans. However, the mechanism and adverse effects of high-phytate intake on Ca2+ and phosphate absorption and homeostasis are unknown. Here, we show that excessive intake of phytate along with a low-Ca2+ diet fed to rats contributed to the development of crystal nephropathies, renal phosphate wasting, and bone loss through tubular dysfunction secondary to dysregulation of intestinal calcium and phosphate absorption. Moreover, Ca2+ supplementation alleviated the detrimental effects of excess dietary phytate on bone and kidney through excretion of undigested Ca2+-phytate, which prevented a vicious cycle of intestinal phosphate overload and renal phosphate wasting while improving intestinal Ca2+ bioavailability. Thus, we demonstrate that phytate is digestible without a high-Ca2+ diet and is a risk factor for phosphate overloading and for the development of crystal nephropathies and bone disease.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.52709
View details for PubMedID 32271147
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7145417
The conserved metalloprotease invadolysin is present in invertebrate haemolymph and vertebrate blood
2019; 8 (11)
We identified invadolysin, a novel essential metalloprotease, for functions in chromosome structure, cell proliferation and migration. Invadolysin also plays an important metabolic role in insulin signalling and is the only protease known to localise to lipid droplets, the main lipid storage organelle in the cell. In silico examination of the protein sequence of invadolysin predicts not only protease and lipase catalytic motifs, but also post-translational modifications and the secretion of invadolysin. Here we show that the protease motif of invadolysin is important for its role in lipid accumulation, but not in glycogen accumulation. The lipase motif does not appear to be functionally important for the accumulation of lipids or glycogen. Post-translational modifications likely contribute to modulating the level, localisation or activity of invadolysin. We identified a secreted form of invadolysin in the soluble fraction of invertebrate hemolymph (where we observe sexually dimorphic forms) and also vertebrate plasma, including in the extracellular vesicle fraction. Biochemical analysis for various post-translational modifications demonstrated that secreted invadolysin is both N- and O-glycosylated, but not apparently GPI-linked. The discovery of invadolysin in the extracellular milieu suggests a role for invadolysin in normal organismal physiology.
View details for DOI 10.1242/bio.044073
View details for Web of Science ID 000501353400001
View details for PubMedID 31615765
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6899020
MafB Is Critical for Glucagon Production and Secretion in Mouse Pancreatic alpha Cells In Vivo
MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY
2018; 38 (8)
The MafB transcription factor is expressed in pancreatic α and β cells during development but becomes exclusive to α cells in adult rodents. Mafb-null (Mafb-/- ) mice were reported to have reduced α- and β-cell numbers throughout embryonic development. To further analyze the postnatal function of MafB in the pancreas, we generated endocrine cell-specific (MafbΔ Endo ) and tamoxifen-dependent (MafbΔ TAM ) Mafb knockout mice. MafbΔ Endo mice exhibited reduced populations of insulin-positive (insulin+) and glucagon+ cells at postnatal day 0, but the insulin+ cell population recovered by 8 weeks of age. In contrast, the Arx+ glucagon+ cell fraction and glucagon expression remained decreased even in adulthood. MafbΔ TAM mice, with Mafb deleted after pancreas maturation, also demonstrated diminished glucagon+ cells and glucagon content without affecting β cells. A decreased Arx+ glucagon+ cell population in MafbΔ Endo mice was compensated for by an increased Arx+ pancreatic polypeptide+ cell population. Furthermore, gene expression analyses from both MafbΔ Endo and MafbΔ TAM islets revealed that MafB is a key regulator of glucagon expression in α cells. Finally, both mutants failed to respond to arginine, likely due to impaired arginine transporter gene expression and glucagon production ability. Taken together, our findings reveal that MafB is critical for the functional maintenance of mouse α cells in vivo, including glucagon production and secretion, as well as in development.
View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.00504-17
View details for Web of Science ID 000429530200003
View details for PubMedID 29378833
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5879460
Isl1 beta Overexpression With Key beta Cell Transcription Factors Enhances Glucose-Responsive Hepatic Insulin Production and Secretion
2018; 159 (2): 869–82
Adenoviral gene transfer of key β cell developmental regulators including Pdx1, Neurod1, and Mafa (PDA) has been reported to generate insulin-producing cells in the liver. However, PDA insulin secretion is transient and glucose unresponsive. Here, we report that an additional β cell developmental regulator, insulin gene enhancer binding protein splicing variant (Isl1β), improved insulin production and glucose-responsive secretion in PDA mice. Microarray gene expression analysis suggested that adenoviral PDA transfer required an additional element for mature β cell generation, such as Isl1 and Elf3 in the liver. In vitro promoter analysis indicated that splicing variant Isl1, or Isl1β, is an important factor for transcriptional activity of the insulin gene. In vivo bioluminescence monitoring using insulin promoter-luciferase transgenic mice verified that adenoviral PDA + Isl1β transfer produced highly intense luminescence from the liver, which peaked at day 7 and persisted for more than 10 days. Using insulin promoter-GFP transgenic mice, we further confirmed that Isl1β supplementation to PDA augmented insulin-producing cells in the liver, insulin production and secretion, and β cell‒related genes. Finally, the PDA + Isl1β combination ameliorated hyperglycemia in diabetic mice for 28 days and enhanced glucose tolerance and responsiveness. Thus, our results suggest that Isl1β is a key additional transcriptional factor for advancing the generation of insulin-producing cells in the liver in combination with PDA.
View details for DOI 10.1210/en.2017-00663
View details for Web of Science ID 000427226200026
View details for PubMedID 29220426
A context-specific circadian clock in adipocyte precursor cells modulates adipogenesis.
2018; 7 (4): 273–76
The circadian clock is an intricate molecular network that paces a variety of physiological process to ~ 24 hour day/night cycles. Whereas the central circadian clock in the brain is primarily entrained by light signals, peripheral circadian clocks, which are in most cells in the body, receive cues not only from the central pacemaker but also endocrine and other systemic and tissue-specific signals. Prior studies have connected peripheral circadian clocks to metabolism, primarily with studies focused on the robust clock in the liver that responds to feeding/fasting cycles. Adipose tissue is also critical for metabolism and adipocytes have circadian clocks. Yet, the role of the circadian clock in adipocytes is poorly understood. Here we describe our studies that revealed components of the circadian clock in primary adipocyte precursor cells (APCs) in mice. We made the surprising discovery of a particularly prominent role for the circadian gene Period 3 (Per3) in the APC clock. Furthermore, we elucidated that Per3 directly regulates an output pathway of the APC clock to modulate the expression of the Kruppel-like factor 15 (Klf15) gene. Finally, we discovered that this clock-Klf15 pathway regulates adipogenesis in APCs. These finding have important implications for our understanding of adipose tissue biology and metabolism and, we speculate, will generate opportunities to develop novel therapeutic strategies based on the context-specific features of the circadian clock in APCs.
View details for PubMedID 30153756
Co-chaperone BAG2 Determines the Pro-oncogenic Role of Cathepsin B in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells
2017; 21 (10): 2952–64
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered incurable with currently available treatments, highlighting the need for therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers. Here, we report a unique role for Bcl-2-associated athanogene 2 (BAG2), which is significantly overexpressed in TNBC, in regulating the dual functions of cathepsin B as either a pro- or anti-oncogenic enzyme. Silencing BAG2 suppresses tumorigenesis and lung metastasis and induces apoptosis by increasing the intracellular mature form of cathepsin B, whereas BAG2 expression induces metastasis by blocking the auto-cleavage processing of pro-cathepsin B via interaction with the propeptide region. BAG2 regulates pro-cathepsin B/annexin II complex formation and facilitates the trafficking of pro-cathespin-B-containing TGN38-positive vesicles toward the cell periphery, leading to the secretion of pro-cathepsin B, which induces metastasis. Collectively, our results uncover BAG2 as a regulator of the oncogenic function of pro-cathepsin B and a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target that may reduce the burden of metastatic breast cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.026
View details for Web of Science ID 000417146000027
View details for PubMedID 29212038
beta-Cell-Specific Mafk Overexpression Impairs Pancreatic Endocrine Cell Development
2016; 11 (2): e0150010
The MAF family transcription factors are homologs of v-Maf, the oncogenic component of the avian retrovirus AS42. They are subdivided into 2 groups, small and large MAF proteins, according to their structure, function, and molecular size. MAFK is a member of the small MAF family and acts as a dominant negative form of large MAFs. In previous research we generated transgenic mice that overexpress MAFK in order to suppress the function of large MAF proteins in pancreatic β-cells. These mice developed hyperglycemia in adulthood due to impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The aim of the current study is to examine the effects of β-cell-specific Mafk overexpression in endocrine cell development. The developing islets of Mafk-transgenic embryos appeared to be disorganized with an inversion of total numbers of insulin+ and glucagon+ cells due to reduced β-cell proliferation. Gene expression analysis by quantitative RT-PCR revealed decreased levels of β-cell-related genes whose expressions are known to be controlled by large MAF proteins. Additionally, these changes were accompanied with a significant increase in key β-cell transcription factors likely due to compensatory mechanisms that might have been activated in response to the β-cell loss. Finally, microarray comparison of gene expression profiles between wild-type and transgenic pancreata revealed alteration of some uncharacterized genes including Pcbd1, Fam132a, Cryba2, and Npy, which might play important roles during pancreatic endocrine development. Taken together, these results suggest that Mafk overexpression impairs endocrine development through a regulation of numerous β-cell-related genes. The microarray analysis provided a unique data set of differentially expressed genes that might contribute to a better understanding of the molecular basis that governs the development and function of endocrine pancreas.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0150010
View details for Web of Science ID 000371276100198
View details for PubMedID 26901059
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4763111
Generation of Insulin-Producing Cells from the Mouse Liver Using beta Cell-Related Gene Transfer Including Mafa and Mafb
2014; 9 (11): e113022
Recent studies on the large Maf transcription factors have shown that Mafb and Mafa have respective and distinctive roles in β-cell development and maturation. However, whether this difference in roles is due to the timing of the gene expression (roughly, expression of Mafb before birth and of Mafa after birth) or to the specific function of each gene is unclear. Our aim was to examine the functional differences between these genes that are closely related to β cells by using an in vivo model of β-like cell generation. We monitored insulin gene transcription by measuring bioluminescence emitted from the liver of insulin promoter-luciferase transgenic (MIP-Luc-VU) mice. Adenoviral gene transfers of Pdx1/Neurod/Mafa (PDA) and Pdx1/Neurod/Mafb (PDB) combinations generated intense luminescence from the liver that lasted for more than 1 week and peaked at 3 days after transduction. The peak signal intensities of PDA and PDB were comparable. However, PDA but not PDB transfer resulted in significant bioluminescence on day 10, suggesting that Mafa has a more sustainable role in insulin gene activation than does Mafb. Both PDA and PDB transfers ameliorated the glucose levels in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic model for up to 21 days and 7 days, respectively. Furthermore, PDA transfer induced several gene expressions necessary for glucose sensing and insulin secretion in the liver on day 9. However, a glucose tolerance test and liver perfusion experiment did not show glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from intrahepatic β-like cells. These results demonstrate that bioluminescence imaging in MIP-Luc-VU mice provides a noninvasive means of detecting β-like cells in the liver. They also show that Mafa has a markedly intense and sustained role in β-like cell production in comparison with Mafb.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0113022
View details for Web of Science ID 000345558500124
View details for PubMedID 25397325
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4232560
Loss of TBK1 Induces Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in the Breast Cancer Cells by ER alpha Downregulation
2013; 73 (22): 6679–89
Estrogen receptor α (ERα) is the pivotal regulator of proliferation and differentiation in mammary epithelia, where it serves as a crucial prognostic marker and therapeutic target in breast cancer. In this study, we show that the loss of the kinase TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition in ERα-positive breast cancer cells by downregulating ERα expression. TBK1 was overexpressed in ERα-positive breast cancers, where it was associated with distant metastasis-free survival in patients, whereas it was underexpressed in ERα-negative breast cancers. TBK1 silencing decreased expression of epithelial markers and increased expression of mesenchymal markers in ERα-positive breast cancer cells, enhancing tumor growth and lung metastasis in vivo in a manner associated with downregulation of ERα expression. Mechanistically, TBK1 silencing reduced FOXO3A binding to the ERα promoter by inducing the translocation of phosphorylated FOXO3A from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Thus, our results indicate that the loss of TBK1 expression parallels the loss of ERα expression, in turn helping drive an aggressive breast cancer phenotype.
View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-0891
View details for Web of Science ID 000327321700014
View details for PubMedID 24062311
DRAK2 Participates in a Negative Feedback Loop to Control TGF-beta/Smads Signaling by Binding to Type I TGF-beta Receptor
2012; 2 (5): 1286–99
TGF-β1 is a multifunctional cytokine that mediates diverse biological processes. However, the mechanisms by which the intracellular signals of TGF-β1 are terminated are not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that DRAK2 serves as a TGF-β1-inducible antagonist of TGF-β signaling. TGF-β1 stimulation rapidly induces DRAK2 expression and enhances endogenous interaction of the type I TGF-β receptor with DRAK2, thereby blocking R-Smads recruitment. Depletion of DRAK2 expression markedly augmented the intensity and the extent of TGF-β1 responses. Furthermore, a high level of DRAK2 expression was observed in basal-like and HER2-enriched breast tumors and cell lines, and depletion of DRAK2 expression suppressed the tumorigenic ability of breast cancer cells. Thus, these studies define a function for DRAK2 as an intrinsic intracellular antagonist participating in the negative feedback loop to control TGF-β1 responses, and aberrant expression of DRAK2 increases tumorigenic potential, in part, through the inhibition of TGF-β1 tumor suppressor activity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.09.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000314457700024
View details for PubMedID 23122956
In vivo activation of ROCK1 by insulin is impaired in skeletal muscle of humans with type 2 diabetes
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM
2011; 300 (3): E536–E542
To determine whether serine/threonine ROCK1 is activated by insulin in vivo in humans and whether impaired activation of ROCK1 could play a role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, we measured the activity of ROCK1 and the protein content of the Rho family in vastus lateralis muscle of lean, obese nondiabetic, and obese type 2 diabetic subjects. Biopsies were taken after an overnight fast and after a 3-h hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Insulin-stimulated GDR was reduced 38% in obese nondiabetic subjects compared with lean, 62% in obese diabetic subjects compared with lean, and 39% in obese diabetic compared with obese nondiabetic subjects (all comparisons P < 0.001). Insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation is impaired 41-48% in diabetic subjects compared with lean or obese subjects. Basal activity of ROCK1 was similar in all groups. Insulin increased ROCK1 activity 2.1-fold in lean and 1.7-fold in obese nondiabetic subjects in muscle. However, ROCK1 activity did not increase in response to insulin in muscle of obese type 2 diabetic subjects without change in ROCK1 protein levels. Importantly, insulin-stimulated ROCK1 activity was positively correlated with insulin-mediated GDR in lean subjects (P < 0.01) but not in obese or type 2 diabetic subjects. Moreover, RhoE GTPase that inhibits the catalytic activity of ROCK1 by binding to the kinase domain of the enzyme is notably increased in obese type 2 diabetic subjects, accounting for defective ROCK1 activity. Thus, these data suggest that ROCK1 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of resistance to insulin action on glucose disposal in muscle of obese type 2 diabetic subjects.
View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpendo.00538.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000287796200012
View details for PubMedID 21189360
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3064006
beta-Propeller Phytase Hydrolyzes Insoluble Ca2+-Phytate Salts and Completely Abrogates the Ability of Phytate To Chelate Metal Ions
2010; 49 (47): 10216–27
Phytate is an antinutritional factor that influences the bioavailability of essential minerals by forming complexes with them and converting them into insoluble salts. To further our understanding of the chemistry of phytate's binding interactions with biologically important metal cations, we determined the stoichiometry, affinity, and thermodynamics of these interactions by isothermal titration calorimetry. The results suggest that phytate has multiple Ca(2+)-binding sites and forms insoluble tricalcium- or tetracalcium-phytate salts over a wide pH range (pH 3.0-9.0). We overexpressed the β-propeller phytase from Hahella chejuensis (HcBPP) that hydrolyzes insoluble Ca(2+)-phytate salts. Structure-based sequence alignments indicated that the active site of HcBPP may contain multiple calcium-binding sites that provide a favorable electrostatic environment for the binding of Ca(2+)-phytate salts. Biochemical and kinetic studies further confirmed that HcBPP preferentially recognizes its substrate and selectively hydrolyzes insoluble Ca(2+)-phytate salts at three phosphate group sites, yielding the final product, myo-inositol 2,4,6-trisphosphate. More importantly, ITC analysis of this final product with several cations revealed that HcBPP efficiently eliminates the ability of phytate to chelate several divalent cations strongly and thereby provides free minerals and phosphate ions as nutrients for the growth of bacteria. Collectively, our results provide significant new insights into the potential application of HcBPP in enhancing the bioavailability and absorption of divalent cations.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bi1010249
View details for Web of Science ID 000284438800020
View details for PubMedID 20964370