Publications -- InWoo Park

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Ubiquitin-protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) mediation of viral infection and human diseases
    (Elsevier B.V., 2023-08-05) Chaudhary, Pankaj; Proulx, Jessica; Park, In-Woo
    The Ubiquitin-protein ligase E3A, UBE3A, also known as E6-associated protein (E6-AP), is known to play an essential role in regulating the degradation of various proteins by transferring Ub from E2 Ub conjugating enzymes to the substrate proteins. Several studies indicate that UBE3A regulates the stabilities of key viral proteins in the virus-infected cells and, thereby, the infected virus-mediated diseases, even if it were reported that UBE3A participates in non-viral-related human diseases. Furthermore, mutations such as deletions and duplications in the maternally inherited gene in the brain cause human neurodevelopmental disorders such as Angelman syndrome (AS) and autism. It is also known that UBE3A functions as a transcriptional coactivator for the expression of steroid hormone receptors. These reports establish that UBE3A is distinguished by its multitudinous functions that are paramount to viral pathology and human diseases. This review is focused on molecular mechanisms for such intensive participation of UBE3A in disease formation and virus regulation.
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    Novel role of HIV-1 Nef in regulating the ubiquitination of cellular proteins
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023-03-28) Ghaly, Maria; Proulx, Jessica; Borgmann, Kathleen; Park, In-Woo
    Our recent data established that HIV-1 Nef is pivotal in determining the fate of cellular proteins by modulating ubiquitination. However, it is unknown which proteins are ubiquitinated in the presence of Nef, a question critical for understanding the proliferation/restriction strategies of HIV-1 in infected cells. To identify cellular proteins ubiquitinated by Nef, we conducted a proteomic analysis of cellular proteins in the presence and absence of Nef. Proteomic analysis in HEK293T cells indicated that 93 proteins were upregulated and 232 were downregulated in their ubiquitination status by Nef. Computational analysis classified these proteins based on molecular function, biological process, subcellular localization, and biological pathway. Of those proteins, we found a majority of molecular functions to be involved in binding and catalytic activity. With respect to biological processes, a significant portion of the proteins identified were related to cellular and metabolic processes. Subcellular localization analysis showed the bulk of proteins to be localized to the cytosol and cytosolic compartments, which is consistent with the known function and location of Nef during HIV-1 infection. As for biological pathways, the wide range of affected proteins was denoted by the multiple modes to fulfill function, as distinguished from a strictly singular means, which was not detected. Among these ubiquitinated proteins, six were found to directly interact with Nef, wherein two were upregulated and four downregulated. We also identified 14 proteins involved in protein stability through directly participating in the Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS)-mediated proteasomal degradation pathway. Of those proteins, we found six upregulated and eight downregulated. Taken together, these analyses indicate that HIV-1 Nef is integral to regulating the stability of various cellular proteins via modulating ubiquitination. The molecular mechanisms directing Nef-triggered regulation of cellular protein ubiquitination are currently under investigation.
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    Signature molecules expressed differentially in a liver disease stage-specific manner by HIV-1 and HCV co-infection
    (PLOS, 2018-08-23) Whitmill, Amanda; Kim, Seongcheol; Rojas, Vivian K.; Gulraiz, Fahad; Afreen, Kazi; Jain, Mamta; Singh, Meharvan; Park, In-Woo
    To elucidate HIV-1 co-infection-induced acceleration of HCV liver disease and identify stage-specific molecular signatures, we applied a new high-resolution molecular screen, the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Transcriptome Array (HTA2.0), to HCV-mono- and HIV/HCV-co-infected liver specimens from subjects with early and advanced disease. Out of 67,528 well-annotated genes, we have analyzed the functional and statistical significance of 75 and 28 genes expressed differentially between early and advanced stages of HCV mono- and HIV/HCV co-infected patient liver samples, respectively. We also evaluated the expression of 25 and 17 genes between early stages of mono- and co-infected liver tissues and between advanced stages of mono- and co-infected patient's samples, respectively. Based on our analysis of fold-change in gene expression as a function of disease stage (i.e., early vs. advanced), coupled with consideration of the known relevant functions of these genes, we focused on four candidate genes, ACSL4, GNMT, IFI27, and miR122, which are expressed stage-specifically in HCV mono- and HIV-1/HCV co-infective liver disease and are known to play a pivotal role in regulating HCV-mediated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our qRT-PCR analysis of the four genes in patient liver specimens supported the microarray data. Protein products of each gene were detected in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where HCV replication takes place, and the genes' expression significantly altered replicability of HCV in the subgenomic replicon harboring regulatory genes of the JFH1 strain of HCV in Huh7.5.1. With respect to three well-known transferrable HIV-1 viral elements-Env, Nef, and Tat-Nef uniquely augmented replicon expression, while Tat, but not the others, substantially modulated expression of the candidate genes in hepatocytic cells. Combinatorial expression of these cellular and viral genes in the replicon cells further altered replicon expression. Taken together, these results showed that HIV-1 viral proteins can exacerbate liver pathology in the co-infected patients by disparate molecular mechanisms-directly or indirectly dysregulating HCV replication, even if lack of association of HCV load and end-stage liver disease in hemophilic patients were reported, and modulating expression of hepatocellular genes critical for disease progression. These findings also provide major insights into development of stage-specific hepatocellular biomarkers for improved diagnosis and prognosis of HCV-mediated liver disease.
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    HIV-1 Impairment via UBE3A and HIV-1 Nef Interactions Utilizing the Ubiquitin Proteasome System
    (MDPI, 2019-11-27) Pyeon, Dohun; Rojas, Vivian K.; Price, Lenore; Kim, Seongcheol; Singh, Meharvan; Park, In-Woo
    Molecular basis of HIV-1 life cycle regulation has thus far focused on viral gene stage-specificity, despite the quintessence of post-function protein elimination processes in the virus life cycle and consequent pathogenesis. Our studies demonstrated that a key pathogenic HIV-1 viral protein, Nef, interacted with ubiquitin (Ub)-protein ligase E3A (UBE3A/E6AP), suggesting that interaction between Nef and UBE3A is integral to regulation of viral and cellular protein decay and thereby the competing HIV-1 and host cell survivals. In fact, Nef and UBE3A degraded reciprocally, and UBE3A-mediated degradation of Nef was significantly more potent than Nef-triggered degradation of UBE3A. Further, UBE3A degraded not only Nef but also HIV-1 structural proteins, Gag, thus significantly inhibiting HIV-1 replication in Jurkat T cells only in the presence of Nef, indicating that interaction between Nef and UBE3Awas pivotal for UBE3A-mediated degradation of the viral proteins. Mechanistic study showed that Nef and UBE3A were specific and antagonistic to each other in regulating proteasome activity and ubiquitination of cellular proteins in general, wherein specific domains of Nef overlapping with the long terminal repeat (LTR) were essential for the observed actions. Further, Nef itself reduced the level of intracellular Gag by degrading a cardinal transcription regulator, Tat, demonstrating a broad role for Nef in the regulation of the HIV-1 life cycle. Taken together, these data demonstrated that the Nef and UBE3A complex plays a crucial role in coordinating viral protein degradation and hence HIV-1 replication, providing insights as to the nature of pathobiologic and defense strategies of HIV-1 and HIV-infected host cells.
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    The Many Faces of Innate Immunity in SARS-CoV-2 Infection
    (MDPI, 2021-06-04) Hanan, Nicholas; Doud, Ronnie L., Jr.; Park, In-Woo; Jones, Harlan P.; Mathew, Stephen O.
    The innate immune system is important for initial antiviral response. SARS-CoV-2 can result in overactivity or suppression of the innate immune system. A dysregulated immune response is associated with poor outcomes; with patients having significant Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte ratios (NLR) due to neutrophilia alongside lymphopenia. Elevated interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 leads to overactivity and is a prominent feature of severe COVID-19 patients. IL-6 can result in lymphopenia; where COVID-19 patients typically have significantly altered lymphocyte subsets. IL-8 attracts neutrophils; which may play a significant role in lung tissue damage with the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps leading to cytokine storm or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Several factors like pre-existing co-morbidities, genetic risks, viral pathogenicity, and therapeutic efficacy act as important modifiers of SARS-CoV-2 risks for disease through an interplay with innate host inflammatory responses. In this review, we discuss the role of the innate immune system at play with other important modifiers in SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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    HIV-1-Mediated Acceleration of Oncovirus-Related Non-AIDS-Defining Cancers
    (MDPI, 2022-03-25) Proulx, Jessica; Ghaly, Maria; Park, InWoo; Borgmann, Kathleen
    With the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), overall survival has been improved, and the incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining cancers has also been remarkably reduced. However, non-AIDS-defining cancers among human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1)-associated malignancies have increased significantly so that cancer is the leading cause of death in people living with HIV in certain highly developed countries, such as France. However, it is currently unknown how HIV-1 infection raises oncogenic virus-mediated cancer risks in the HIV-1 and oncogenic virus co-infected patients, and thus elucidation of the molecular mechanisms for how HIV-1 expedites the oncogenic viruses-triggered tumorigenesis in the co-infected hosts is imperative for developing therapeutics to cure or impede the carcinogenesis. Hence, this review is focused on HIV-1 and oncogenic virus co-infection-mediated molecular processes in the acceleration of non-AIDS-defining cancers.
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    Role of Virally-Encoded Deubiquitinating Enzymes in Regulation of the Virus Life Cycle
    (MDPI, 2021-04-23) Proulx, Jessica; Borgmann, Kathleen; Park, InWoo
    The ubiquitin (Ub) proteasome system (UPS) plays a pivotal role in regulation of numerous cellular processes, including innate and adaptive immune responses that are essential for restriction of the virus life cycle in the infected cells. Deubiquitination by the deubiquitinating enzyme, deubiquitinase (DUB), is a reversible molecular process to remove Ub or Ub chains from the target proteins. Deubiquitination is an integral strategy within the UPS in regulating survival and proliferation of the infecting virus and the virus-invaded cells. Many viruses in the infected cells are reported to encode viral DUB, and these vial DUBs actively disrupt cellular Ub-dependent processes to suppress host antiviral immune response, enhancing virus replication and thus proliferation. This review surveys the types of DUBs encoded by different viruses and their molecular processes for how the infecting viruses take advantage of the DUB system to evade the host immune response and expedite their replication.
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    Cal'MAM'ity at the Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondrial Interface: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Neurodegeneration and Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-10-21) Proulx, Jessica; Park, InWoo; Borgmann, Kathleen
    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifunctional organelle and serves as the primary site for intracellular calcium storage, lipid biogenesis, protein synthesis, and quality control. Mitochondria are responsible for producing the majority of cellular energy required for cell survival and function and are integral for many metabolic and signaling processes. Mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAMs) are direct contact sites between the ER and mitochondria that serve as platforms to coordinate fundamental cellular processes such as mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetics, calcium and lipid homeostasis, autophagy, apoptosis, inflammation, and intracellular stress responses. Given the importance of MAM-mediated mechanisms in regulating cellular fate and function, MAMs are now known as key molecular and cellular hubs underlying disease pathology. Notably, neurons are uniquely susceptible to mitochondrial dysfunction and intracellular stress, which highlights the importance of MAMs as potential targets to manipulate MAM-associated mechanisms. However, whether altered MAM communication and connectivity are causative agents or compensatory mechanisms in disease development and progression remains elusive. Regardless, exploration is warranted to determine if MAMs are therapeutically targetable to combat neurodegeneration. Here, we review key MAM interactions and proteins both in vitro and in vivo models of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We further discuss implications of MAMs in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), as MAMs have not yet been explored in this neuropathology. These perspectives specifically focus on mitochondrial dysfunction, calcium dysregulation and ER stress as notable MAM-mediated mechanisms underlying HAND pathology. Finally, we discuss potential targets to manipulate MAM function as a therapeutic intervention against neurodegeneration. Future investigations are warranted to better understand the interplay and therapeutic application of MAMs in glial dysfunction and neurotoxicity.