Kihwa Kang

Regeneron, Terryville, New York, United States

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Publications (11)72.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ghrelin is a unique peptide gut hormone that requires post-translational modification to stimulate both feeding and growth hormone release. Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) was identified as a specific acyl-transferase for ghrelin, and recent genetic deletion studies of the Goat gene (Goat(-/-)) uncovered the role of ghrelin in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. To further understand the physiological functions of the GOAT/ghrelin system, we have conducted a metabolomic and microarray profile of Goat-null mice, as well as determined Goat expression in different tissues using the lacZ reporter gene. Serum metabolite profile analysis revealed that Goat(-/-) mice exhibited increased secondary bile acids >2.5-fold. This was attributed to increased mRNA and protein expression of the ileal sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ISBT) in the intestinal and biliary tract. Increased expression of additional solute carrier proteins, including Slc5a12 (>10-fold) were also detected in the small intestine and bile duct. Goat staining was consistently observed in the pituitary glands, stomach, and intestines, and to a lesser extent in the gallbladder and pancreatic duct. This is the first report that the GOAT/ghrelin system regulates bile acid metabolism, and these findings suggest a novel function of GOAT in the regulation of intestinal bile acid reabsorption..
    The FASEB Journal 09/2011; 26(1):259-71. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Kihwa Kang, Erik Zmuda, Mark W Sleeman
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    ABSTRACT: Ghrelin is a gastric hormone that has been shown to regulate food intake and energy metabolism. One unique feature of ghrelin is that its activity is regulated post transcriptionally by ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) through the addition of fatty acid to the serine residue in the N terminal region. Despite much biochemical characterization, to date no other proteins have been shown to be specifically octonylated by GOAT, suggesting a unique matching of the acyl transferase for a single ligand, ghrelin. If this is indeed correct, then genetic deletion of ghrelin or GOAT should produce near identical phenotypes and there should be extensive overlap in expression patterns. This review summarizes the similarities and differences in the phenotypes with the genetic deletion of ghrelin and GOAT in the various knockout mouse lines reported to date. While there is considerable overlap in expression pattern between ghrelin and GOAT, the latter does exhibit some unique tissue expression that could suggest that additional peptides may be acylated and await discovery and characterization.
    Peptides 05/2011; 32(11):2236-41. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ/β (PPARδ/β) improves glucose handling and insulin sensitivity. The target tissues of drug actions remain unclear. We demonstrate here that adenovirus-mediated liver-restricted PPARδ activation reduces fasting glucose levels in chow- and high fat-fed mice. This effect is accompanied by hepatic glycogen and lipid deposition as well as up-regulation of glucose utilization and de novo lipogenesis pathways. Promoter analyses indicate that PPARδ regulates hepatic metabolic programs through both direct and indirect transcriptional mechanisms partly mediated by its co-activator, PPARγ co-activator-1β. Assessment of the lipid composition reveals that PPARδ increases the production of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are PPAR activators, and reduces that of saturated FAs. Despite the increased lipid accumulation, adeno-PPARδ-infected livers exhibit less damage and show a reduction in JNK stress signaling, suggesting that PPARδ-regulated lipogenic program may protect against lipotoxicity. The altered substrate utilization by PPARδ also results in a secondary effect on AMP-activated protein kinase activation, which likely contributes to the glucose-lowering activity. Collectively, our data suggest that PPARδ controls hepatic energy substrate homeostasis by coordinated regulation of glucose and fatty acid metabolism, which provide a molecular basis for developing PPARδ agonists to manage hyperglycemia and insulin resistance.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 286(2):1237-47. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Huntington's disease (HD), an expanded CAG repeat produces characteristic striatal neurodegeneration. Interestingly, the HD CAG repeat, whose length determines age at onset, undergoes tissue-specific somatic instability, predominant in the striatum, suggesting that tissue-specific CAG length changes could modify the disease process. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying the tissue specificity of somatic instability may provide novel routes to therapies. However progress in this area has been hampered by the lack of sensitive high-throughput instability quantification methods and global approaches to identify the underlying factors. Here we describe a novel approach to gain insight into the factors responsible for the tissue specificity of somatic instability. Using accurate genetic knock-in mouse models of HD, we developed a reliable, high-throughput method to quantify tissue HD CAG repeat instability and integrated this with genome-wide bioinformatic approaches. Using tissue instability quantified in 16 tissues as a phenotype and tissue microarray gene expression as a predictor, we built a mathematical model and identified a gene expression signature that accurately predicted tissue instability. Using the predictive ability of this signature we found that somatic instability was not a consequence of pathogenesis. In support of this, genetic crosses with models of accelerated neuropathology failed to induce somatic instability. In addition, we searched for genes and pathways that correlated with tissue instability. We found that expression levels of DNA repair genes did not explain the tissue specificity of somatic instability. Instead, our data implicate other pathways, particularly cell cycle, metabolism and neurotransmitter pathways, acting in combination to generate tissue-specific patterns of instability. Our study clearly demonstrates that multiple tissue factors reflect the level of somatic instability in different tissues. In addition, our quantitative, genome-wide approach is readily applicable to high-throughput assays and opens the door to widespread applications with the potential to accelerate the discovery of drugs that alter tissue instability.
    BMC Systems Biology 03/2010; 4:29. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the longitudinal association of fat mass-and obesity-associated (FTO) variant with obesity, circulating adipokine levels, and FTO expression in various materials from human and mouse. We genotyped rs9939609 in 2,287 men and 3,520 women from two prospective cohorts. Plasma adiponectin and leptin were measured in a subset of diabetic men (n = 854) and women (n = 987). Expression of FTO was tested in adipocytes from db/db mice and mouse macrophages. We observed a trend toward decreasing associations between rs9939609 and BMI at older age (>or=65 years) in men, whereas the associations were constant across different age groups in women. In addition, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs9939609 was associated with lower plasma adiponectin (log[e]--means, 1.82 +/- 0.04, 1.73 +/- 0.03, and 1.68 +/- 0.05 for TT, TA, and AA genotypes, respectively; P for trend = 0.02) and leptin (log[e]--means, 3.56 +/- 0.04, 3.63 +/- 0.04, and 3.70 +/- 0.06; P for trend = 0.06) in diabetic women. Adjustment for BMI attenuated the associations. FTO gene was universally expressed in human and mice tissues, including adipocytes. In an ancillary study of adipocytes from db/db mice, FTO expression was approximately 50% lower than in those from wild-type mice. The association between FTO SNP rs9939609 and obesity risk may decline at older age. The variant affects circulating adiponectin and leptin levels through the changes in BMI. In addition, the expression of FTO gene was reduced in adipocytes from db/db mice.
    Diabetes 11/2008; 57(11):3145-51. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) and Klotho are secretory proteins that regulate mineral-ion metabolism. Fgf-23(-/-) or Klotho(-/-) knockout mice exhibit several pathophysiological processes consistent with premature aging including severe atrophy of tissues. We show that the signal transduction pathways initiated by FGF-23-Klotho prevent tissue atrophy by stimulating proliferation and preventing apoptosis caused by excessive systemic vitamin D. Because serum levels of active vitamin D are greatly increased upon genetic ablation of Fgf-23 or Klotho, we find that these molecules have a dual role in suppression of apoptotic actions of vitamin D through both negative regulation of 1alpha-hydroxylase expression and phosphoinositide-3 kinase-dependent inhibition of caspase activity. These data provide new insights into the physiological roles of FGF-23 and Klotho.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 09/2008; 182(3):459-65. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polarization of adipose tissue-resident macrophages toward the alternatively activated, anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype is believed to improve insulin sensitivity. However, the mechanisms controlling tissue macrophage activation remain unclear. Here we show that adipocytes are a source of Th2 cytokines, including IL-13 and to a lesser extent IL-4, which induce macrophage PPARdelta/beta (Ppard/b) expression through a STAT6 binding site on its promoter to activate alternative activation. Coculture studies indicate that Ppard ablation renders macrophages incapable of transition to the M2 phenotype, which in turns causes inflammation and metabolic derangement in adipocytes. Remarkably, a similar regulatory mechanism by hepatocyte-derived Th2 cytokines and macrophage PPARdelta is found to control hepatic lipid metabolism. The physiological relevance of this paracrine pathway is demonstrated in myeloid-specific PPARdelta(-/-) mice, which develop insulin resistance and show increased adipocyte lipolysis and severe hepatosteatosis. These findings provide a molecular basis to modulate tissue-resident macrophage activation and insulin sensitivity.
    Cell metabolism 06/2008; 7(6):485-95. · 17.35 Impact Factor
  • Kihwa Kang, Ben Hatano, Chih-Hao Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are the key transcription factors regulating lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis. PPARalpha and PPARgamma are known therapeutic targets for hypertriglyceridemia and type 2 diabetes, respectively. The physiologic function of the third member, PPARdelta, has been difficult to define due to its broad tissue distribution. Through the creation of transgenic mouse models and identification of high-affinity synthetic ligands, the diverse activities of PPARdelta in several metabolically active tissues, including skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, liver, and macrophages, have recently been revealed. These metabolic activities of PPARdelta implicate the potential use of PPARdelta agonists to treat metabolic diseases, including atherosclerosis and insulin resistance.
    Current Atherosclerosis Reports 02/2007; 9(1):72-7. · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Kihwa Kang, Ben Hatano, Chih-Hao Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are the key transcription factors regulating lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis. PPARα and PPARγ are known therapeutic targets for hypertriglyceridemia and type 2 diabetes, respectively. The physiologic function of the third member, PPARδ, has been difficult to define due to its broad tissue distribution. Through the creation of transgenic mouse models and identification of high-affinity synthetic ligands, the diverse activities of PPARδ in several metabolically active tissues, including skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, liver, and macrophages, have recently been revealed. These metabolic activities of PPARδ implicate the potential use of PPARδ agonists to treat metabolic diseases, including atherosclerosis and insulin resistance.
    Current Atherosclerosis Reports 12/2006; 9(1):72-77. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Significant attention has focused on the role of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. However, recent advances have identified triglyceride-rich lipoproteins [e.g., very LDL (VLDL)] as independent risk predictors for this disease. We have previously demonstrated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)delta, but not PPARgamma, is the major nuclear VLDL sensor in the macrophage, which is a crucial component of the atherosclerotic lesion. Here, we show that, in addition to beta-oxidation and energy dissipation, activation of PPARdelta by VLDL particles induces key genes involved in carnitine biosynthesis and lipid mobilization mediated by a recently identified TG lipase, transport secretion protein 2 (also named desnutrin, iPLA2zeta, and adipose triglyceride lipase), resulting in increased fatty acid catabolism. Unexpectedly, deletion of PPARdelta results in derepression of target gene expression, a phenotype similar to that of ligand activation, suggesting that unliganded PPARdelta suppresses fatty acid utilization through active repression, which is reversed upon ligand binding. This unique transcriptional mechanism assures a tight control of the homeostasis of VLDL-derived fatty acid and provides a therapeutic target for other lipid-related disorders, including dyslipidemia and diabetes, in addition to coronary artery disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2006; 103(7):2434-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the A class of ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABCA) are causally implicated in three human diseases: Tangier disease (ABCA1), Stargadt's macular degeneration (ABCA4), and neonatal respiratory failure (ABCA3). Both ABCA1 and ABCA4 have been shown to transport lipids across cellular membranes, and ABCA3 may play a similar role in transporting pulmonary surfactant. Although the functions of the other 10 ABCA class transporters identified in the human genome remain obscure, ABCA7-transfected cells have been shown to efflux lipids in response to stimulation by apolipoprotein A-I. In an effort to elucidate the physiologic role of ABCA7, we generated mice lacking this transporter (Abca7-/- mice). Homozygous null mice were produced from intercrosses of heterozygous null mice at the expected Mendelian frequency and developed normally without any obvious phenotypic abnormalities. Cholesterol and phospholipid efflux stimulated by apolipoprotein A-I from macrophages isolated from wild type and Abca7-/- mice did not differ, suggesting that these activities may not be central to the physiological role of the transporter in vivo. Abca7-/- females, but not males, had significantly less visceral fat and lower total serum and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than wild type, gender-matched littermates. ABCA7 expression was detected in hippocampal and cortical neurons by in situ hybridization and in brain and white adipose tissue by Western blotting. Induction of adipocyte differentiation from 3T3 fibroblasts in culture led to a marked increase in ABCA7 expression. These studies suggest that ABCA7 plays a novel role in lipid and fat metabolism that Abca7-/- mice can be used to elucidate.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2005; 280(5):3989-95. · 4.65 Impact Factor