Eunyee Kwak

Pohang University of Science and Technology, Geijitsu, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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Publications (10)58.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The daily oscillations observed in most living organisms are endogenously generated with a period of 24 hours, and the underlying structure of periodic oscillation is an autoregulatory transcription-translation feedback loop. The mechanisms of untranslated region (UTR)-mediated post-transcriptional regulation (e.g., mRNA degradation and internal ribosomal entry site (IRES)-mediated translation) have been suggested to fine-tune the expression of clock genes. Mouse Period3 (mPer3) is one of the paralogs of Period gene and its function is important in peripheral clocks and sleep physiology. mPer3 mRNA displays a circadian oscillation as well as a circadian phase-dependent stability, while the stability regulators still remain unknown. In this study, we identify three proteins – heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) K, polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB), and hnRNP D – that bind to mPer3 mRNA 3’-UTR. We show that hnRNP K is a stabilizer that increases the amplitude of circadian mPer3 mRNA oscillation and hnRNP D is a destabilizer that decreases it, while PTB exhibits no effect on mPer3 mRNA expression. Our experiments describe their cytoplasmic roles for the mRNA stability regulation and the circadian amplitude formation. Moreover, our mathematical model suggests a mechanism through which post-transcriptional mRNA stability modulation provides not only the flexibility of oscillation amplitude, but also the robustness of the period and the phase for circadian mPer3 expression.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 01/2015; 132(6). DOI:10.1111/jnc.13027 · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Daily mRNA oscillations of circadian clock genes largely depend on transcriptional regulation. However, several lines of evidence highlight the critical role of post-transcriptional regulation in the oscillations of circadian mRNA oscillations. Clearly, variations in the mRNA decay rate lead to changes in the cycling profiles. However, the mechanisms controlling the mRNA stability of clock genes are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that the turnover rate of mouse Period3 (mPer3) mRNA is dramatically changed in a circadian phase-dependent manner. Furthermore, the circadian regulation of mPer3 mRNA stability requires the cooperative function of 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs). Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein Q (hnRNP Q) binds to both 5'- and 3'-UTR and triggers enhancement of translation and acceleration of mRNA decay. We propose the phase-dependent translation coupled mRNA decay mediated by hnRNP Q as a new regulatory mechanism of the rhythmically regulated decay of mPer3 mRNA.
    Nucleic Acids Research 07/2011; 39(20):8901-14. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkr605 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activating signal cointegrator-2 (ASC-2), a coactivator of multiple transcription factors that include retinoic acid receptor (RAR), associates with histone H3-K4 methyltranferases (H3K4MTs) MLL3 and MLL4 in mixed-lineage leukemia. Here, we show that mice expressing a SET domain mutant of MLL3 share phenotypes with isogenic ASC2+/- mice and that expression and H3-K4 trimethylation of RAR target gene RAR-beta2 are impaired in ASC-2-null mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) or in MEFs expressing siRNAs against both MLL3 and MLL4. We also show that MLL3 and MLL4 are found in distinct ASC-2-containing complexes rather than in a common ASC-2 complex, and they are recruited to RAR-beta2 by ASC-2. In contrast, RAR-beta2 expression is intact in MEFs devoid of menin, a component of MLL1 and MLL2 H3K4MT complexes. These results suggest that ASC-2 confers target gene specificity to MLL3 and MLL4 H3K4MT complexes and that recruitment of H3K4MTs to their target genes generally involves interactions between integral components of H3K4MT complexes and transcription factors.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(42):15392-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0607313103 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotransmitter release is modulated in an activity-dependent manner. We showed previously that repetitive stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) induced activity-dependent potentiation (ADP) of large dense-core vesicle (LDCV) exocytosis in chromaffin cells. Here we report that protein kinase C (PKC)-epsilon is critically involved in ADP. Stimulation of nAChR induced activation of PKC-epsilon, and inhibition of PKC-epsilon by expression of the dominant-negative mutant of PKC-epsilon (DN-PKC-epsilon) or short interfering (siRNA) against PKC-epsilon abolished ADP via decreasing the frequency and quantal size of fused vesicles without affecting basal exocytosis, suggesting that PKC-epsilon is specifically involved in ADP. Electron microscopy revealed that inhibition of PKC-epsilon disrupts activity-induced vesicle translocation required for ADP. We also suggest the involvement of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS), which is known as a downstream target of PKC-epsilon, in ADP of LDCV exocytosis. The level of phospho-MARCKS correlated with the time course of ADP and was reduced by transfection with DN-PKC-epsilon. Actin filament disassembly induced by MARCKS phosphorylation was also significantly blocked by transfection of DN-PKC-epsilon. Furthermore, knockdown of MARCKS by siRNA resulted in inhibition of ADP and reduction of the number of fused vesicles. Together, we provide evidence that ADP of LDCV exocytosis is regulated by PKC-epsilon and its downstream target MARCKS via modulating vesicle translocation.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 09/2006; 26(35):8999-9005. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2828-06.2006 · 6.34 Impact Factor
  • Eunyee Kwak · Tae-Don Kim · Kyong-Tai Kim ·
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    ABSTRACT: Daily oscillations in mRNA levels are a general feature of most clock genes. Although mRNA oscillations largely depend on transcriptional regulation, it has been suggested that post-transcriptional controls also contribute to mRNA oscillations in Drosophila. Currently, however, there is no direct evidence for post-transcriptional regulation of mammalian clock genes. To investigate the roles of post-transcriptional regulations, we focused on the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of mouse Period3 (mPer3) mRNA, one of the clock genes. Insertion of the entire mPer3 3'-UTR downstream of a reporter gene resulted in a dramatic decrease in mRNA stability. Deletion and point mutation analyses led to the identification of critical sequences responsible for mRNA decay. To explore the effects of the mPer3 3'-UTR-mediated mRNA decay on circadian oscillations, we established NIH3T3 stable cell lines that express luciferase mRNA with wild-type or mutant mPer3 3'-UTR. Interestingly, a stabilizing mutation of 3'-UTR induced a significant alteration in the oscillation profile of luciferase mRNA. Above all, the peak time, during which the mRNAs reached their highest levels, was significantly delayed (for 12 h). In addition, the luciferase mRNA level with mutant 3'-UTR began to increase earlier than that in the presence of wild-type 3'-UTR. Consequently, luciferase mRNA with mutant 3'-UTR displayed oscillation patterns with a prolonged rising phase. Our results indicate that mPer3 3'-UTR-mediated mRNA decay plays an essential role in mRNA cycling and provide direct evidence for post-transcriptional control of circadian mRNA oscillations.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2006; 281(28):19100-6. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M511927200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activating signal cointegrator 2 (ASC-2), a cancer-amplified transcriptional coactivator of nuclear receptors and many other transcription factors, contains two LXXLL-type nuclear receptor interaction domains. Interestingly, the second LXXLL motif is highly specific to the liver X receptors (LXRs). In cotransfection, DN2, an ASC-2 fragment encompassing this motif, exerts a potent dominant-negative effect on transactivation by LXRs, which is rescued by ectopic coexpression of the full-length ASC-2 but not by other LXXLL-type coactivators, such as SRC-1 and TRAP220. In contrast, DN2/m, in which the LXXLL motif is mutated to LXXAA to abolish the interactions with LXRs, is without any effect. Accordingly, expression of DN2, but not DN2/m, in transgenic mice results in phenotypes that are highly homologous to those previously observed with LXRalpha(-/-) mice, including a rapid accumulation of large amounts of cholesterol and down-regulation of the known lipid-metabolizing target genes of LXRalpha in the liver upon being fed a high-cholesterol diet. These results identify ASC-2 as a physiologically important transcriptional coactivator of LXRs and demonstrate its pivotal role in the liver lipid metabolism.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2003; 23(10):3583-92. DOI:10.1128/MCB.23.10.3583-3592.2003 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many transcription coactivators interact with nuclear receptors in a ligand- and C-terminal transactivation function (AF2)-dependent manner. These include activating signal cointegrator 2 (ASC-2), a recently isolated transcriptional coactivator molecule, which is amplified in human cancers and stimulates transactivation by nuclear receptors and numerous other transcription factors. In this report, we show that ASC-2 belongs to a steady-state complex of approximately 2 MDa (ASC-2 complex [ASCOM]) in HeLa nuclei. ASCOM contains retinoblastoma-binding protein RBQ-3, alpha/beta-tubulins, and trithorax group proteins ALR-1, ALR-2, HALR, and ASH2. In particular, ALR-1/2 and HALR contain a highly conserved 130- to 140-amino-acid motif termed the SET domain, which was recently implicated in histone H3 lysine-specific methylation activities. Indeed, recombinant ALR-1, HALR, and immunopurified ASCOM exhibit very weak but specific H3-lysine 4 methylation activities in vitro, and transactivation by retinoic acid receptor appears to involve ligand-dependent recruitment of ASCOM and subsequent transient H3-lysine 4 methylation of the promoter region in vivo. Thus, ASCOM may represent a distinct coactivator complex of nuclear receptors. Further characterization of ASCOM will lead to a better understanding of how nuclear receptors and other transcription factors mediate transcriptional activation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2003; 23(1):140-9. DOI:10.1128/MCB.23.1.140-149.2003 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The methylation of lysine residues of histones plays a pivotal role in the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Here, we report two crystal structures of SET7/9, a histone methyltransferase (HMTase) that transfers methyl groups to Lys4 of histone H3, in complex with S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) determined at 1.7 and 2.3 A resolution. The structures reveal an active site consisting of: (i) a binding pocket between the SET domain and a c-SET helix where an AdoMet molecule in an unusual conformation binds; (ii) a narrow substrate-specific channel that only unmethylated lysine residues can access; and (iii) a catalytic tyrosine residue. The methyl group of AdoMet is directed to the narrow channel where a substrate lysine enters from the opposite side. We demonstrate that SET7/9 can transfer two but not three methyl groups to unmodified Lys4 of H3 without substrate dissociation. The unusual features of the SET domain-containing HMTase discriminate between the un- and methylated lysine substrate, and the methylation sites for the histone H3 tail.
    The EMBO Journal 02/2003; 22(2):292-303. DOI:10.1093/emboj/cdg025 · 10.43 Impact Factor
  • YC Sohn · E Kwak · YJ Na · J W Lee · S K Lee ·
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    ABSTRACT: For the orphan nuclear receptor subfamily that includes Nur77 (NGFI-B), Nurr1, and NOR-1, no transcriptional coregulators have been identified thus far. In this report, we found that Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV enhances Nur77 transactivation in cotransfections either alone or in synergy with AF2dependent coactivator ASC-2, whereas corepressor silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptors (SMRT) is repressive. Interestingly, Nur77 interacted with SMRT but did not directly bind ASC-2, and accordingly, the putative AF2 core domain of Nur77 did not affect the Nur77 transactivation. SMRT harbors transferable repression domains that associate with various histone deacetylases. Surprisingly, histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A was unable to block the repressive effect of SMRT while dramatically stimulating the Nur77 transactivation. These results suggest that SMRT and ASC-2 are specific coregulators of Nur77 and that SMRT may dynamically compete with a putative adaptor molecule, which links ASC-2 to Nur77, for the identical binding sites within Nur77 in vivo.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2001; 276(47):43734-9. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M107208200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Sensorineural hearing loss, one of the most common diseases, has historically been regarded as an incurable and irreversible condition. The number of people with hearing loss has grown rapidly in recent years, because of the prevalence of environmental noise and the increase in the elderly population. Although hearing aids are provided as an alternative device to help hearing impaired people, no fundamental treatment is currently available. Several studies have shown that noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by prior exposure to low-levels of acoustic stimuli, a procedure known as sound conditioning. However, to our knowledge, this is the first clinical study to evaluate the effects of sound conditioning on hearing restoration. Methods Nine patients with high-tone hearing loss were subjected to modified sound conditioning for 2 weeks. In all, 63 samples (i.e., frequency regions) were obtained from the patients. Acoustic stimuli consisted of frequency-modulated tone and amplitude-modulated narrow band noise. Behavioral hearing thresholds were compared before and after treatment to investigate the effects of modified sound conditioning. Findings Our findings demonstrate that modified sound conditioning improves hearing ability. On average, the behavioral hearing threshold decreased by 8·91 dB (i.e., approximately 15%) after sound conditioning for 2 weeks, followed by a 2 week break (p = 0·001, Wilcoxon's signed-rank test with Bonferroni's correction). Twelve of the 63 samples exhibited hearing improvements in excess of 15 dB, whereas 27 samples showed hearing improvements of 5 to 15 dB. Interpretation Modified sound conditioning may improve the hearing abilities of patients with sensorineural hearing loss. Funding Earlogic Korea Inc.

Publication Stats

460 Citations
58.55 Total Impact Points


  • 2003-2015
    • Pohang University of Science and Technology
      • Department of Life Sciences
      Geijitsu, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
    • Seoul National University
      • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
    • National Marine Life Center
      Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, United States