Kyu-Ho Lee

Sogang University, Seoul, Seoul, South Korea

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Publications (34)123.86 Total impact

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Extracellular polysaccharides, such as lipopolysaccharide and loosely-associated exopolysaccharides, are essential for Vibrio vulnificus to form biofilms. The role of another major components of the V. vulnificus extracellular matrix, capsular polysaccharide (CPS), which contributes to colony opacity, has been characterized in biofilm formation. A CPS-deficient mutant, whose wbpP gene encoding UDP-GlcNAc C4-epimerase was knocked out, formed significantly more biofilm than wild type, due to increased hydrophobicity of the cell surface, adherence to abiotic surfaces, and cell aggregation. To elucidate the direct effect of CPS on biofilm structure, extracted CPS and a CPS-degrading enzyme, α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase, were added in biofilm assays, resulting in reduction and increment of biofilm sizes, respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that CPS play a critical role in determining biofilm size by restricting continual growth of mature biofilms. Since CPS is required after maturation, CPS biosynthesis should be controlled in a cell-density dependent manner, e.g., by quorum-sensing (QS) regulation. Analyzing transcription of the CPS gene-cluster revealed that it was activated by SmcR, a QS master regulator, via binding to the upstream region of the cluster. Therefore, CPS was produced when biofilm cell-density reached high enough to turn on QS regulation and limited biofilms to appropriate sizes.
    Molecular Microbiology 09/2013; · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Giardia lamblia is a protozoan pathogen with distinct cytoskeletal structures, including median bodies and eight flagella. In this study, we examined components comprising G. lamblia flagella. Crude flagellar extracts were prepared from G. lamblia trophozoites, and analyzed by two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis. The 19 protein spots were analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, identifying ten metabolic enzymes, six distinct giardins, Giardia trophozoite antigen 1, translational initiation factor eIF-4A, and an extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2. Among the identified proteins, we studied α-11 giardin which belongs to a group of cytoskeletal proteins specific to Giardia. Western blot analysis and real-time PCR indicated that expression of α-11 giardin is not significantly increased during encystation of G. lamblia. Immunofluorescence assays using anti- α-11 giardin antibodies revealed that α-11 giardin protein mainly localized to the plasma membranes and basal bodies of the anterior flagella of G. lamblia trophozoites, suggesting that α-11 giardin is a genuine component of the G. lamblia cytoskeleton.
    Experimental Parasitology 07/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene vvpE, encoding the virulence factor elastase, is a member of the quorum-sensing regulon in Vibrio vulnificus and displays enhanced expression at high cell density. We observed that this gene was repressed under iron-rich conditions and that the repression was due to a Fur (Ferric uptake regulator)-dependent repression of smcR, a gene encoding a quorum-sensing master regulator with similarity to luxR in V. harveyi. A gel mobility shift assay and a footprinting experiment demonstrated that the Fur-iron complex binds directly to two regions upstream of smcR (-82 to -36 and -2 to +27, with respect to the translation start site) with differing affinities. However, binding of the Fur-iron complex is reversible enough to allow expression of smcR to be induced by quorum sensing at high cell density under iron-rich conditions. Under iron-limiting conditions, Fur fails to bind either region and the expression of smcR is regulated solely by quorum sensing. These results suggest that two biologically important environmental signals, iron and quorum sensing, converge to direct the expression of smcR, which then coordinates the expression of virulence factors.
    Infection and immunity 05/2013; · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: VvhA produced by Vibrio vulnificus exhibits cytolytic activity to human cells including erythrocytes. Since hemolysis by VvhA may provide iron for bacterial growth and pathogenicity, we investigated the expression of VvhA to elucidate the regulatory roles of Fur, a major transcription factor controlling iron-homeostasis. Fur repressed the transcription of vvhBA operon via binding to the promoter region. However, hemolysin content and hemolytic activity were lowered in cell-free supernatant of fur mutant. This discrepancy between the levels of vvhA transcript and VvhA protein in fur mutant was caused by exoproteolytic activities of the elastase VvpE and another metalloprotease VvpM, which were also regulated by Fur. vvpE gene expression was repressed by Fur via binding to the Fur-box homologous region. Regulation of VvpM expression by Fur did not occur at the level of vvpM transcription. In vitro proteolysis assays showed that both proteases efficiently degraded VvhA. In addition, the extracellular levels of VvhA were higher in culture supernatants of vvpE or vvpM mutants than in the wild type. Thus this study demonstrates that Fur regulates hemolysin production at the transcription level of the vvhBA operon and at the post-translation level by regulating the expressions of two VvhA-degrading exoproteases, VvpE and VvpM.
    Molecular Microbiology 04/2013; · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a multiplex real-time (RTi) PCR method for the simultaneous detection of Vibrio cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, and V. vulnificus using zot, vmrA, and vuuA as the respective target genes. A set of primer pairs specific for those target genes was designed and employed in the SYBR Green-based multiplex RTi-PCR assay. Quantitative analyses with ten-fold serially diluted genomic DNA of each target organism resulted in a linear correlation between CT values and the amount of each target genome per reaction, with a lower detection level of less than ten genome copies per reaction. Similar sensitivities were observed for Vibrio-spiked seafood samples (oyster, crab meat, and raw fish). After 8 h of enrichment culture of the seafood homogenate in alkaline peptone water, our optimized multiplex RTi-PCR was shown to achieve theoretical maximum sensitivity (ca. 100 CFU/gram food homogenate). Our proposed method is simple, robust and readily adaptable in routine laboratories, allowing for high-throughput surveillance of pathogenic Vibrio species in seafood.
    Food Control. 02/2012; 23(2):491–498.
  • Hyun-Jung Lee, Kyu-Ho Lee
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    ABSTRACT: The Vibrio vulnificus vuuA gene, of which expression is repressed by a complex of iron and ferric uptake regulator (Fur), was characterized to localize the Fur-binding site in its upstream regulatory region. In silico analysis suggested the presence of two possible Fur-binding sites; one is a classical Fur-box and the other is a previously reported distinct Fur-binding site. Site-directed mutagenesis and DNase I protection assays revealed the binding site for the iron-Fur complex, which includes an extended inverted repeat containing a homologous sequence to the classical Fur-box.
    Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 01/2012; 22(1):46-9. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is a pathogenic bacterium causing primary septicemia, which is followed by a classical septic shock pathway including an overwhelming inflammatory cytokine response. V. vulnificus IlpA is a potent immunogenic lipoprotein that triggers cytokine production in human monocytes by activating the toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). In this study, we further defined the IlpA signaling pathways involved in cytokine production in the human monocytic cell line, THP-1. TLR2 was involved in cytokine production by complexing with TLR1, but not with TLR6. MyD88 was necessary for IlpA-induced cytokine expression through TLR1/TLR2. Three mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), p38, ERK1/2, and JNK, were activated in THP-1 cells stimulated with recombinant IlpA (rIlpA). Selective inhibition of each MAPK resulted in significant decrease of rIlpA-induced cytokine production. Especially, functional TLR2 was necessary for IlpA-induced activation of p38 and JNK. IlpA augmented the DNA-binding activity of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcriptional factors to their recognition sites in THP-1 cells. These results suggest that serial activation of TLR1/TLR2, MyD88, the three MAPKs, and NF-κB/AP-1 comprises the signaling pathway responsible for proinflammatory cytokine production by V. vulnificus IlpA.
    Molecular Immunology 09/2011; 49(1-2):143-54. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To gain a better insight into biofilm composition, the exopolysaccharide (EPS) of the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio vulnificus was studied. Monosaccharide composition analysis of the wild-type and mutant V. vulnificus EPS carried out with Bio-liquid chromatography revealed the presence of D-glucosamine, D-galactose, D-glucose and D-xylose in both strains. D-galactosamine was found only in the mutant that formed less biofilm compared to its wild-type. The influence of galactosamine on biofilm formation was then studied by adding this substance gradually to six different Gram-negative/positive bacteria associated with various autoinducers. Four bacterial species known to use the autoinducer type-2 signaling system produced less biofilm in the presence of galactosamine. No significant inhibition of biofilm formation was observed in bacteria that produce autoinducer type-1 signal molecules. Galactosamine was also immobilized on polymeric nanofibers to determine its re-usability for the study of biofilm inhibition. The immobilized galactosamine retained >65% of its initial antifouling activity after 10 repeated uses. The results of this study suggest the antifouling role of galactosamine for bacteria that produce AI-2.
    Biofouling 09/2011; 27(8):851-7. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: EpsC, one of the components comprising the type II secretion system (T2SS), was isolated from a human-pathogenic bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus, to evaluate its role in eliciting virulence. An espC-deleted mutant of V. vulnificus displayed a reduced cytotoxicity to the human cell line HEp-2 and an attenuated virulence in a mouse model. This mutant exhibited dramatic defects in the secretion of diverse extracellular proteins, such as outer membrane proteins, transporters, and the known secreted factors, notably, a hemolysin (VvhA) and an elastase (VvpE). A defect in its secretion of proteins was restored by in trans complementation of the intact epsC gene. Analyses of cellular fractions revealed that VvhA and VvpE of the ΔepsC mutant were not excreted outside the cell but were present mainly in the periplasmic space. Examination of a V. vulnificus mutant deficient in TolC, a component of the T1SS, showed that it is not involved in the secretion of VvhA and VvpE but that it is necessary for the secretion of another major toxin of V. vulnificus, RtxA. Therefore, the T2SS is required for V. vulnificus pathogenicity, which is mediated by at least two secreted factors, VvhA and VvpE, via facilitating the secretion and exposure of these factors to host cells.
    Infection and immunity 07/2011; 79(10):4068-80. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the molecular mechanism for autolysis of Gram-negative bacteria. In the present study, we identified the vvpS gene encoding a serine protease, VvpS, from Vibrio vulnificus, a Gram-negative food-borne pathogen. The amino acid sequence predicted that VvpS consists of two functional domains, an N-terminal protease catalytic domain (PCD) and a C-terminal carbohydrate binding domain (CBD). A null mutation of vvpS significantly enhanced viability during stationary phase, as measured by enumerating CFU and differentially staining viable cells. The vvpS mutant reduced the release of cytoplasmic β-galactosidase and high-molecular-weight extracellular chromosomal DNA into the culture supernatants, indicating that VvpS contributes to the autolysis of V. vulnificus during stationary phase. VvpS is secreted via a type II secretion system (T2SS), and it exerts its effects on autolysis through intracellular accumulation during stationary phase. Consistent with this, a disruption of the T2SS accelerated intracellular accumulation of VvpS and thereby the autolysis of V. vulnificus. VvpS also showed peptidoglycan-hydrolyzing activity, indicating that the autolysis of V. vulnificus is attributed to the self-digestion of the cell wall by VvpS. The functions of the VvpS domains were assessed by C-terminal deletion analysis and demonstrated that the PCD indeed possesses a proteolytic activity and that the CBD is required for hydrolyzing peptidoglycan effectively. Finally, the vvpS mutant exhibited reduced virulence in the infection of mice. In conclusion, VvpS is a serine protease with a modular structure and plays an essential role in the autolysis and pathogenesis of V. vulnificus.
    Journal of bacteriology 06/2011; 193(15):3722-32. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is the causative agent of life-threatening septicemia and severe wound infections. Here, we announce the complete annotated genome sequence of V. vulnificus MO6-24/O, isolated from a patient with septicemia. When it is compared with previously known V. vulnificus genomes, the genome of this bacterium shows a unique genetic makeup, including phagelike elements, carbohydrate metabolism-related genes, and the superintegron.
    Journal of bacteriology 02/2011; 193(8):2062-3. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The interaction between fermentation-respiration switch (FrsA) protein and glucose-specific enzyme IIA(Glc) increases glucose fermentation under oxygen-limited conditions. We show that FrsA converts pyruvate to acetaldehyde and carbon dioxide in a cofactor-independent manner and that its pyruvate decarboxylation activity is enhanced by the dephosphorylated form of IIA(Glc) (d-IIA(Glc)). Crystal structures of FrsA and its complex with d-IIA(Glc) revealed residues required for catalysis as well as the structural basis for the activation by d-IIA(Glc).
    Nature Chemical Biology 01/2011; 7(7):434-6. · 12.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is an opportunistic human pathogen that causes severe infections in susceptible individuals. While the components of the Escherichia coli phosphoenolpyruvate: sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) have been shown to regulate numerous targets, little such information is available for the V. vulnificus PTS. Here we show that enzyme IIA(Glc) of the PTS regulates the peptidase activity of a mammalian insulysin homolog in V. vulnificus. While interaction of IIA(Glc) with the insulysin homolog is independent of the phosphorylation state of IIA(Glc), only unphosphorylated IIA(Glc) activates the insulysin homolog. Taken together, our results suggest that the V. vulnificus insulysin-IIA(Glc) complex plays a role in survival in the host by sensing glucose.
    FEBS letters 10/2010; 584(22):4537-44. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Candida rugosa lipase was immobilized on amino-functionalized magnetic supports via cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEA) and used to enhance the enzymatic degradation of polycaprolactone (PCL). The maximum amounts of lipase immobilized on the magnetic beads using glutaraldehyde as a coupling agent were determined to be 33.7 mg/g of beads with an 81% recovery of activity after immobilization. Compared to the free enzyme, the immobilized lipase showed the optimum pH at 1 unit higher (pH 8.0) and also retained its enzymatic activity at higher temperatures. There was 62.9% retention of lipase activity after 30 consecutive reuses, indicating its stability and reusability in aqueous media. Moreover, the immobilized lipase maintained more than 80% of its initial activity during 30 days storage period, while the free lipase lost all under same condition. In addition, the immobilized lipase showed a more than 6-fold increase in biodegradability over the free lipase when the immobilized lipase was used to degrade PCL in a batch system. Higher thermal and storage stability, as well as good durability after repeated use of the immobilized lipase CLEA, highlights its potential applicability as large scale continuous systems for the enzymatic degradation of PCL.
    Journal of Basic Microbiology 06/2010; 50(3):218-26. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes a fatal septicemia. One of its virulence factors is a membrane-bound lipoprotein, IlpA, which can induce cytokine production in human immune cells. In the present study, the role of IlpA as an adhesion molecule was investigated. An ilpA-deleted V. vulnificus mutant showed significantly decreased adherence to INT-407 human intestinal epithelial cells, which in turn resulted in reduced cytotoxicity. The DeltailpA mutant recovered the adherence ability of the wild type by complementation in trans with the intact ilpA gene. In addition, pretreatment of V. vulnificus with anti-IlpA polyclonal antibodies resulted in a significant reduction of bacterial adherence. To localize the domain of IlpA required for cytoadherence, three truncated recombinant IlpA polypeptides were constructed and tested for the ability to adhere to human cells by a ligand-binding immunoblot assay and fluorescence microscopy. The polypeptide containing the carboxy (C)-terminal hydrophilic domain exhibited direct binding to INT-407 cells. Therefore, the C-terminal domain of IlpA allows this protein to be an adhesion molecule of V. vulnificus.
    Infection and immunity 03/2010; 78(6):2408-17. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The para-nitrobenzyl esterase (PNBE), which was encoded by pnbA gene from Bacillus subtilis, was immobilized on amino-functionalized magnetic supports as cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEA). The maximum amount of PNBE-CLEA immobilized on the magnetic beads using glutaraldehyde as a coupling agent was 31.4mg/g of beads with a 78% activity recovery after the immobilization. The performance of immobilized PNBE-CLEA was evaluated under various conditions. As compared to its free form, the optimal pH and temperature of PNBE-CLEA were 1unit (pH 8.0) and 5°C higher (45°C), respectively. Under different temperature settings, the residual enzyme activity was highest for the PNBE-CLEA, followed by covalently fixed PNBE without further cross-linking and the free PNBE. During 40 days of storage pried, the PNBE-CLEA maintained more than 90% of its initial activity while the free PNBE maintained about 60% under the same condition. PNBE-CLEA also retained more than 80% activity after 30 reuses with 30min of each reaction time, indicating stable reusability under aqueous medium.
    Process Biochemistry - PROCESS BIOCHEM. 01/2010; 45(2):259-263.
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus has been shown to require a global transcription factor, NtrC for mature biofilm development via controlling the biosyntheses of lipopolysaccharide and exopolysaccharide (EPS). Biofilm formation and EPS production were dramatically increased in a medium including a tricarboxylic acid cycle-intermediate as a carbon source. These phenotypes required functional NtrC and were abolished by the addition of ammonium chloride. During the initial stage of biofilm formation, both expression of the ntrC gene and the cellular content of NtrC protein increased. Thus, the regulatory roles of NtrC in EPS biosynthesis were studied with three gene clusters for EPS biosyntheses. Transcriptions of the three clusters were positively controlled by NtrC and showed maximal expression at the early stage of biofilm development. Mutants deficient in one of the genes (VV1_2661, VV2_1579 and VV1_2305) in each cluster showed decreased production of EPS, attenuated ability to form biofilm and lowered cytoadherence to human epithelial cells. However, mutations in VV2_1579 and VV1_2305 resulted in lower cytotoxicity to human cells and mortality to mice than the mutation in VV1_2661. These results demonstrate that NtrC-regulated EPS are crucial in biofilm formation of V. vulnificus, and some EPS components play important roles in interacting with hosts.
    Molecular Microbiology 10/2009; 74(2):436-53. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is a Gram-negative bacterium that multiplies rapidly in host tissue and causes extensive tissue damage. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were shown to be readily killed by exposure to live V. vulnificus. V. vulnificus induced production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) in PBMC. Pretreatment of PBMC with diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) abolished ROS generation upon exposure to V. vulnificus and decreased the bacterial ability to cause cell death. In contrast, pretreatment of these cells with inhibitors of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) blocked V. vunificus-induced NO production, but did not significantly alter cell death by V. vulnificus. V. vulnificus also triggered phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including p38 and ERK1/2 in PBMC. Inactivation of these MAPKs by selective inhibitors caused a reduction both in ROS generation and cell death induced by V. vulnificus. It was further shown that an inhibitor of ROS generation (DPI) blocked V. vulnificus-induced phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK. This study demonstrates that V. vulnificus induces death of PBMC via ROS-dependent activation of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 MAPK.
    Immunological Investigations 02/2009; 38(1):31-48. · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The intracellular level of cyclic 3',5'-AMP (cAMP), a signaling molecule that mediates a variety of cellular processes, is finely modulated by the regulation of its synthesis, excretion, and degradation. In this study, cAMP phosphodiesterase (CpdA), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of cAMP to AMP, was characterized in a pathogenic bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus. The cpdA gene exists in an operon composed of mutT, yqiB, cpdA, and yqiA, the transcription of which was initiated at position -22 upstream of mutT. A cpdA-null mutant of V. vulnificus contained significantly higher levels of cAMP than the wild type but showed no detectable cAMP when a multicopy plasmid of the cpdA gene was provided in trans, suggesting that CpdA is responsible for cAMP degradation. Cellular contents of the CpdA protein decreased dramatically in both cya and crp mutants. In addition, levels of expression of the cpdA::luxAB transcription fusion decreased in cya and crp mutants. The level of expression of cpdA::luxAB in the cya mutant increased in a concentration-dependent manner upon the exogenous addition of cAMP. The cAMP-cAMP receptor protein (CRP) complex bound directly to the upstream region of mutT, which includes a putative CRP-binding sequence centered at position -95.5 relative to the transcription start site. Site-directed mutagenesis or the deletion of this sequence in the cpdA::luxAB transcription fusion resulted in the loss of regulation by cAMP and CRP. Thus, this study demonstrates that CpdA plays a crucial role in determining the intracellular cAMP level and shows for the first time that the expression of cpdA is activated by the cAMP-CRP complex via direct binding to the regulatory region.
    Journal of bacteriology 12/2008; 191(3):922-30. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proteome of Giardia lamblia at its cyst stage was compared with that of trophozoites by using two-dimensional SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis. Protein spots that increased in the extracts of cysts compared to trophozoites were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectroscopy and categorized as cytoskeletal proteins, metabolic enzymes, a cell-cycle-specific kinase, stress resistance proteins, and a protein involved in translation. Expression patterns of five of the identified proteins were examined during encystation by real-time PCR. Expression of cwp1 (encoding cyst wall protein 1), a marker for encystation, was increased 11-fold. In contrast, tim (encoding triose-1-phosphate isomerase) was expressed constitutively during encystation, and its transcription level was therefore used as a mRNA loading control. Expression of three genes encoding beta-tubulin, vacuolar ATPase, and never-in-mitosis-A-related protein kinase did not vary significantly during encystation. Interestingly, genes encoding two heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90) showed increased expression during encystation, suggesting that this differentiation process accompanies a cellular response to stress in G. lamblia.
    Parasitology Research 11/2008; 104(2):475-9. · 2.85 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

358 Citations
123.86 Total Impact Points


  • 2012–2013
    • Sogang University
      • Department of Life Science
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • Yonsei University Hospital
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2011
    • Seoul National University
      • Department of Agricultural Biotechnology
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2010–2011
    • Chungbuk National University
      • Department of Microbiology
      Tyundyu, North Chungcheong, South Korea
  • 2003–2011
    • Chonnam National University
      Gwangju, Gwangju, South Korea
  • 2003–2010
    • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
      • Department of Environmental Science
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2004
    • Yonsei University
      • Institute of Tropical Medicine
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea