Weon-Cheol Han

Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Kwangju, Gwangju, South Korea

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Publications (14)56.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aplotaxene, (8Z, 11Z, 14Z)-heptadeca-1, 8, 11, 14-tetraene, is one of the major components of essential oil obtained from Inula helenium root, which is used in Oriental medicine. However, the effects of aplotaxene on immunity have not been investigated. Here, we show that aplotaxene inhibits T cell activation in terms of IL-2 and CD69 expression. Aplotaxene, at a concentration that optimally inhibits IL-2 production, has little effect on apoptotic or necrotic cell death, suggesting that apoptosis is not a mechanism for aplotaxene-mediated inhibit ion of T cell activation. Aplotaxene affects neither superantigeninduced conjugate formation between Jurkat T cells and Raji B cells nor clustering of CD3 and LFA-1 at the immunological synapse. Aplotaxene significantly inhibits PKC-θ phosphorylation and translocation to the immunological synapse, and blocks PMA-induced T-cell receptor internalization. Furthermore, aplotaxene leads to inhibition of mitogenactivated protein kinases (JNK, ERK and p38) phosphorylation and NF-κB, NF-AT, and AP-1 promoter activities in Jurkat T cells. Taken together, our findings provide evidence for the immunosuppressive effect of aplotaxene on activated T cells through the modulation of the PKC-θ and MAPK pathways, suggesting that aplotaxene may be a novel immunotherapeutic agent for immunological diseases related to the overactivation of T cells.
    Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 08/2013; · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T lymphocytes (T cells) circulate from the blood into secondary lymphoid organs for immune surveillance. In this study, we hypothesized that circulating T cells are heterogeneous and can be grouped according to their differential migratory capacity in response to chemoattractants, rather than expressions of certain receptors or cytokines. We further hypothesized that, at least in part, this intrinsic difference in motility may be related to the T cell function. We established motile (m-T) and non-motile T (nm-T) cell lines based on their response to the chemokine SDF-1α. m-T cells showed more irregular and polarized morphologies than nm-T cells did. Interestingly, m-T cells produced higher levels of IL-2, a marker for T cell activation, than nm-T cells did after stimulation; however, no differences were observed in terms of surface expression of T cell receptors (TCR), adhesion molecules LFA-1 and ICAM-1, and chemokine receptor CXCR4. Both cell lines also showed similar membrane events (i.e., T cell-APC conjugation, LFA-1 accumulation at the immunological synapse, and TCR internalization). In contrast, PKC-θ, a downstream of PI3K-Akt pathway was constitutively activated in m-T cells and the activation was more prominent during T cell stimulation. Consequently, NF-κB activity was selectively upregulated in m-T cells. This study is the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that T cells can be subcategorized on the basis of their intrinsic migratory capacity in relation to T cell activation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59793. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phytocomponent p-hydoxycinnamic acid (HCA) has been shown to have many beneficial effects in terms of antioxidant activity, inhibition of melanogenesis, bone resorption, and platelet activity, and stimulation of mineralization. However, effects of HCA in immune functions have not been investigated. Here, we show that HCA has a profound effect on IL-2 production in Jurkat T cells as well as in human peripheral blood leukocytes. HCA, at a concentration that optimally inhibits IL-2 production, had little effect on apoptotic or necrotic cell death of Jurkat T cells, suggesting that apoptosis is not a mechanism for HCA-induced T-cell suppression. On the contrary, HCA dramatically inhibited PKC-θ accumulation and further phosphorylation at the immunological synapse which formed at the contact site between T cells and superantigen SEE-loaded antigen presenting cells. In addition, HCA significantly inhibited ERK and p38 kinase phosphorylation in both anti-CD3/28- and PMA/A23187-stimulated T cells. Consequently, HCA inhibited both AP-1 and NF-κB promoter activities in Jurkat T cells. Collectively, our results provide evidence for the immunosuppressive effect of HCA on activated T cells, through modulation of PKC-θ pathway.
    International immunopharmacology 11/2011; 12(1):131-8. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In many cases, the process of cancer cell differentiation is associated with the programmed cell death. In the present study, interestingly, we found that eupatilin, one of the pharmacologically active ingredients of Artemisia asiatica that has been reported to induce apoptosis in human gastric cancer AGS cells, also triggers differentiation of these cells. Treatment of AGS cells with eupatilin induced cell cycle arrest at the G(1) phase with the concomitant induction of p21(cip1), a cell cycle inhibitor. This led us to test whether eupatilin may trigger AGS cells to differentiate into the matured phenotypes of epithelial cells and this phenomenon may be coupled to the apoptosis. Eupatilin induced changes of AGS cells to a more flattened morphology with increased cell size, granularity, and mitochondrial mass. It also markedly induced trefoil factor 1 (TFF1), a gene responsible for the gastrointestinal cell differentiation. Eupatilin dramatically induced redistribution of tight junction proteins such as occludin and ZO-1, and F-actin at the junctional region between cells. It also induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 and p38 kinase. Blockade of ERK signaling by PD098059 or the dominant-negative ERK2 significantly reduced eupatilin-induced TFF1 and p21 expression as well as ZO-1 redistribution, indicating that ERK cascades may mediate eupatilin-induced AGS cell differentiation. Collectively, our results suggest that eupatilin acts as a novel anti-tumor agent by inducing differentiation of gastrointestinal cancer cells rather than its direct role in inducing apoptotic cell death.
    Differentiation 05/2009; 77(4):412-23. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycyrrhiza uralensis has a potential for preventing or ameliorating gastric mucosal ulceration. To understand the molecular mechanism about the medicinal effect of G. uralensis, we isolated four single compounds from G. uralensis and one related compound and screened for the cellular protective effect against H(2)O(2)-induced damage in gastric epithelial AGS cells. Interestingly, we found that ammonium glycyrrhizinate (AG) prepared from glycyrrhizin dramatically protects AGS cells from H(2)O(2)-induced damage as measured by the integrity of actin cytoskeleton. AG also inhibited FeSO(4)-induced reactive oxygen radicals in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting the role for AG as a free radical scavenger. To better understand the protective role of AG at the transcriptional level, we performed genome-wide expression profiling using high-density oligonucleotide microarrays, followed by validation using RT-PCR. Among the 33,096 genes that were screened in the microarray, 936 genes were found to be differentially expressed in a statistically significant manner in the presence or absence of H(2)O(2) and AG. Among the 936 genes, 51 genes were differentially expressed at least 3-fold in response to the H(2)O(2) treatment. AG blocked the expression of genes related to apoptotic cell death (GDF15, ATF3, TNFRSF10A, NALP1) or oxidative stress path-ways (HMOX1) which was elevated in response to H(2)O(2) treatment, suggesting a potential protective role for AG in oxidative stress-induced cell death. Collectively, current results demonstrate that AG is a novel antioxidant that could be effective for the treatment of gastric diseases related to the oxidative stress-induced mucosal damage.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 02/2009; 234(3):263-77. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CCL20 expression is known to increase in the mucosal tissues of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Moreover, the discovery of Nod2 as the IBD1 susceptibility gene has underscored the significance of blood mononuclear cells in IBD pathogenesis. This study addresses whether CCL20 expression is similarly altered in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), a major type of IBD in Korea. Expression of CCL20 was significantly up-regulated in the PBMCs of patients with UC compared with those of normal healthy controls. Interestingly, untreated UC groups expressed higher levels of CCL20 mRNA than either treated UC or normal control groups, suggesting that CCL20 could be modulated by anti-inflammatory drugs. Accordingly, a strong association between CCL20 levels and disease activity index was observed. Supporting these findings, results from a 3-month follow-up study revealed that the UC groups treated with 5-aminosalicylic acid and glucocorticoid exhibited dramatic decreases of CCL20 mRNA in PBMCs, accompanied by ameliorated disease states. Moreover, tumor necrosis factor-alpha- or interleukin-1beta-induced CCL20 secretion was greatly diminished by 5-aminosalicylic acid and/or glucocorticoid treatment of human intestinal epithelial HT-29 cells. Of note, CCR6 cell populations were significantly reduced in the blood of severe patients with UC compared with normal controls, whereas no significant changes in CCR6 cell populations were observed in the blood of patients with mild UC or acute colitis. Collectively, these findings suggest that CCL20 expression in blood mononuclear cells is associated with altered immune and inflammatory responses in patients with UC.
    Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 01/2006; 11(12):1070-9. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NOD2 is mainly expressed in human monocytes/macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells and has been speculated to play in gut physiology. However, whether NOD2 is expressed in vascular endothelium is not currently determined. Human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) minimally expressed NOD2 gene, whereas stimulation of HUVEC with bacterial LPS, IL-1beta, or TNF-alpha resulted in significant up-regulation of NOD2. NOD2 protein was mostly localized in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of wild-type NOD2 (WT-NOD2) gene induced NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional activity and this activity was further increased by muramyl dipeptide (MDP). Otherwise, down-regulation of WT-NOD2 gene by antisense NOD2 abolished NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional activity mediated by either WT-NOD2 itself or MDP. Since vascular endothelial cells, like macrophages and epithelial cells, are critical targets for the circulating bacterial molecules such as MDP, collectively, the results presented here suggest that NOD2 may play an important role in recognizing structural patterns of bacterial pathogen in the endothelium.
    Cellular Immunology 10/2005; 237(1):37-44. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: CCL20 expression is known to increase in the mucosal tissues of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Moreover, the discovery of Nod2 as the IBD1 susceptibility gene has underscored the significance of blood mononuclear cells in IBD pathogenesis. Methods: This study addresses whether CCL20 expression is similarly altered in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), a major type of IBD in Korea. Results: Expression of CCL20 was significantly up-regulated in the PBMCs of patients with UC compared with those of normal healthy controls. Interestingly, untreated UC groups expressed higher levels of CCL20 mRNA than either treated UC or normal control groups, suggesting that CCL20 could be modulated by anti-inflammatory drugs. Accordingly, a strong association between CCL20 levels and disease activity index was observed. Supporting these findings, results from a 3-month follow-up study revealed that the UC groups treated with 5-aminosalicylic acid and glucocorticoid exhibited dramatic decreases of CCL20 mRNA in PBMCs, accompanied by ameliorated disease states. Moreover, tumor necrosis factor-α− or interleukin-1β-induced CCL20 secretion was greatly diminished by 5-aminosalicylic acid and/or glucocorticoid treatment of human intestinal epithelial HT-29 cells. Of note, CCR6+ cell populations were significantly reduced in the blood of severe patients with UC compared with normal controls, whereas no significant changes in CCR6+ cell populations were observed in the blood of patients with mild UC or acute colitis. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings suggest that CCL20 expression in blood mononuclear cells is associated with altered immune and inflammatory responses in patients with UC.
    Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 01/2005; 11(12):1070-1079. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that regulate nitric oxide (NO)-induced apoptosis, especially in T cell apoptosis, are largely uncharacterized. Here, we report that protection from NO-induced cell death by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) is dependent on both p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. Exposure of Molt4 cells to NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine (SNAP) induced both apoptotic and necrotic modes of cell death along with a sustained increase in p38 kinase phosphorylation. However, the p38 inhibitor SB202190 only slightly protected Molt4 cells from NO toxicity. In contrast, PMA rapidly phosphorylated both p38 kinase and ERK, and the phosphorylation statuses were not altered in the presence of SNAP. Interestingly, although each mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor by itself had only a modest effect, the combination of inhibitors for both MAPKs almost completely abolished the protective effect of PMA. Furthermore, dominant negative or catalytically inactive variants that modulate p38 and ERK mimicked the effects of MAPK inhibitors. We located the action of p38 and ERK upstream of the p53/mitochondrial membrane potential loss and caspases cascade. Together, these findings suggest that the PMA-induced activations of ERK and p38 kinase are parallel events that are both required for inhibition of NO-induced death of Molt4 cells.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 09/2004; 37(4):463-79. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Competition for cellular iron (Fe) is a vital component of the interaction between host and pathogen. Most bacteria have an obligate requirement for Fe to sustain infection, growth, and survival in host. To obtain iron required for growth, many bacteria secrete iron chelators (siderophores). This study was undertaken to test whether a bacterial siderophore, deferoxamine (DFO), could trigger inflammatory signals in human intestinal epithelial cells as a single stimulus. Incubation of human intestinal epithelial HT-29 cells with DFO increased the expression of IL-8 mRNA, as well as the release of IL-8 protein. The signal transduction study revealed that both p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 were significantly activated in response to DFO. Accordingly, the selective inhibitors for both kinases, either alone or in combination, completely abolished DFO-induced IL-8 secretion, indicating an importance of mitogen-activated protein kinases pathway. These proinflammatory effects of DFO were, in large part, mediated by activation of Na(+)/H(+) exchangers, because selective blockade of Na(+)/H(+) exchangers prevented the DFO-induced IL-8 production. Interestingly, however, DFO neither induced NF-kappaB activation by itself nor affected IL-1beta- or TNF-alpha-mediated NF-kappaB activation, suggesting a NF-kappaB-independent mechanism in DFO-induced IL-8 production. Global gene expression profiling revealed that DFO significantly up-regulates inflammation-related genes including proinflammatory genes, and that many of those genes are down-modulated by the selective mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors. Collectively, these results demonstrate that, in addition to bacterial products or cell wall components, direct chelation of host Fe by infected bacteria may also contribute to the evocation of host inflammatory responses.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2004; 172(11):7069-77. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor target-derived soluble secretary factor has been known to influence macrophage activation to induce nitric oxide (NO) production. Since heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is induced by a variety of conditions associated with oxidative stress, we questioned whether soluble factor from tumor cells induces HO-1 through NO-dependent mechanism in macrophages. We designated this factor as a tumor-derived macrophage-activating factor (TMAF), because of its ability to activate macrophages to induce iNOS. Although TMAF alone showed modest activity, TMAF in combination with IFN-gamma significantly induced iNOS expression and NO synthesis. Simultaneously, TMAF induced HO-1 and this induction was slightly augmented by IFN-gamma. Surprisingly, however, induction of HO-1 by TMAF was not inhibited by the treatment with the highly selective iNOS inhibitor, 1400 W, indicating that TMAF induces the HO-1 enzyme by a NO-independent mechanism. While rIFN-gamma alone induced iNOS, it had no effect on HO-1 induction by itself. Collectively, the current study reveals that soluble factor from tumor target cells induces HO-1 enzyme in macrophages. However, overall biological significance of this phenomenon remains to be determined.
    Experimental and Molecular Medicine 03/2003; 35(1):53-9. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The therapeutic mechanism of taxol is believed to reside primarily in its ability to stabilize microtubules and prevent cell progression through mitosis. Taxol also can activate macrophage-mediated antitumor mechanism through a nitric oxide (NO)-dependent pathway. To address whether any mechanisms account for superficial urinary bladder tumor cell killing, we evaluated the effects of taxol on the growth and viability of murine bladder tumor-2 (MBT-2) cells in vitro, both in the absence and presence of murine macrophages. In addition, we evaluated whether a soluble factor generated from MBT-2 cells could modulate the antitumor activity of the taxol-activated macrophages. Although taxol inhibited the growth of MBT-2 cells, it did not kill the tumor cells. However, preincubation of macrophages with taxol significantly decreased the viability of MBT-2 cells. Secretion of NO correlated with MBT-2 cell killing, and the activated macrophages failed to kill tumor cell targets in the presence of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, a competitive inhibitor of NO synthase. By the co-culture of macrophages and MBT-2 cells, untreated macrophages also released modest amount of NO and this was synergistically augmented by the treatment with taxol, indicating that MBT-2 tumor cells released some unknown factor that activated the macrophages and enhanced NO production. We named this factor the tumor-derived macrophage activating factor (TMAF). The TMAF-mediated activation of macrophages to enhance the NO production was not blocked by treatment of macrophages with oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL), implying that the scavenger receptor of macrophages is not involved. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP), an NO donor given to the MBT-2 cells, increased the activities of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and caspase-3 in MBT-2 cells and associated with nucleosomal fragmentation or apoptosis, whereas taxol had no direct effect on these parameters. Collectively, our results strongly suggest that taxol kills the murine bladder tumor cells through indirect activation of macrophages via NO-dependent apoptosis, instead of its better-known role as the direct antimitotic action. Our results further demonstrate that TMAF acts in synergy with taxol to activate the macrophages to elicit enhanced tumor cell killing ability.
    Cancer Investigation 02/2003; 21(5):708-19. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Iron is an essential element for the neoplastic cell growth, and iron chelators have been tested for their potential anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects. To determine the mechanism of cell death induced by iron chelators, we explored the pathways of the three structurally related mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase subfamilies during apoptosis induced by iron chelators. We report that the chelator deferoxamine (DFO) strongly activates both p38 MAP kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) at an early stage of incubation, but slightly activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) at a late stage of incubation. Among three MAP kinase blockers used, however, the selective p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580 could only protect HL-60 cells from chelator-induced cell death, indicating that p38 MAP kinase serves as a major mediator of apoptosis induced by iron chelator. DFO also caused release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and induced activation of caspase 3 and caspase 8. Interestingly, treatment of HL-60 cells with SB203580 greatly abolished cytochrome c release, and activation of caspase 3 and caspase 8. Collectively, the current study reveals that p38 MAP kinase plays an important role in iron chelator-mediated cell death of HL-60 cells by activating downstream apoptotic cascade that executes cell death pathway.
    Cellular Immunology 01/2003; 220(2):96-106. · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2003; 124(4). · 12.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

132 Citations
56.54 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
      • Department of Life Sciences
      Kwangju, Gwangju, South Korea
  • 2003–2013
    • Wonkwang University School of Medicine and Hospital
      Riri, North Jeolla, South Korea
  • 2006
    • Kyungpook National University Hospital
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2005
    • Kyungpook National University
      • Department of Physiology
      Daikyū, Daegu, South Korea
  • 2004
    • Wonkwang University
      • Department of Medicine
      Iksan, North Jeolla, South Korea