National Academy of Agricultural Science

Suigen, South Korea

National Academy of Agricultural Science

Suigen, South Korea
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Lee H.,Kyungpook National University | Hwang J.-S.,National Academy of Agricultural Science | Lee D.G.,Kyungpook National University
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2017

Centipedes, a type of arthropod, reportedly produce antimicrobial peptides as part of an innate immune response. Scolopendin (SPSEKAGLQPVGRIGRMLKK) is a novel antimicrobial peptide derived from Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans. Many antifungal agents have more than one type of cell death mechanism. Although scolopendin is involved in membrane perturbation, the corresponding intracellular changes require further investigation. Therefore, we assessed the cell morphology and calcium ion concentration of the cytosol and mitochondria of scolopendin-treated cells. The treated cells were shrunken, and calcium ion homeostasis was disrupted in both the cytosol and mitochondria. These conditions attenuated mitochondrial homeostasis, disrupting mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c levels. Fungal cells treated with scolopendin exhibited various apoptotic phenotypes such as reactive oxygen species accumulation, phosphatidylserine exposure, chromatin condensation, and nuclear fragmentation. Scolopendin-induced cell death also triggered metacaspase activation. In conclusion, treatment of Candida albicans with scolopendin induced the apoptotic response, which in turn led to mitochondrial dysfunction, metacaspase activation, and cell death. The antimicrobial peptide scolopendin from the centipede S.s. mutilans demonstrated a novel apoptotic mechanism as an antifungal agent. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.


Choi H.,Kyungpook National University | Hwang J.-S.,National Academy of Agricultural Science | Lee D.G.,Kyungpook National University
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes | Year: 2013

The centipede Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans has been a medically important arthropod species by using it as a traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases. In this study, we derived a novel lactoferricin B like peptide (LBLP) from the whole bodies of adult centipedes, S. s. mutilans, and investigated the antifungal effect of LBLP. LBLP exerted an antifungal and fungicidal activity without hemolysis. To investigate the antifungal mechanism of LBLP, a membrane study with propidium iodide was first conducted against Candida albicans. The result showed that LBLP caused fungal membrane permeabilization. The assays of the three dimensional flow cytometric contour plot and membrane potential further showed cell shrinkage and membrane depolarization by the membrane damage. Finally, we confirmed the membrane-active mechanism of LBLP by synthesizing model membranes, calcein and FITC-dextran loaded large unilamellar vesicles. These results showed that the antifungal effect of LBLP on membrane was due to the formation of pores with radii between 0.74 nm and 1.4 nm. In conclusion, this study suggests that LBLP exerts a potent antifungal activity by pore formation in the membrane, eventually leading to fungal cell death. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Ryu H.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Ryu H.,National Academy of Agricultural Science | Cho H.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Bae W.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Hwang I.,Pohang University of Science and Technology
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Seed germination and young seedling establishment should be tightly regulated to maximize plant survival and thereby enable successful propagation. Plants have evolved developmental signalling networks to integrate environmental cues for proper control of these critical processes, in which brassinosteroids are known to attenuate ABA-mediated arrest of early seedling development; however, the underlying regulatory mechanism remains elusive. Here we reveal that a BES1/TPL/HDA19 repressor complex mediates the inhibitory action of brassinosteroids on ABA responses during early seedling development. BR-activated BES1 forms a transcriptional repressor complex with TPL-HDA19, which directly facilitates the histone deacetylation of ABI3 chromatin. This event leads to the transcriptional repression of ABI3 and consequently ABI5, major ABA signalling regulators in early seedling development. Our data reveal that the BR-activated BES1-TPL-HDA19 repressor complex controls epigenetic silencing of ABI3 and thereby suppresses the ABA signalling output during early seedling development. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Chen H.,Washington State University | Kim H.U.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center | Weng H.,National Academy of Agricultural science | Browse J.,35 Agricultural Mall Drive
Plant Cell | Year: 2011

Malonyl-CoA is the precursor for fatty acid synthesis and elongation. It is also one of the building blocks for the biosynthesis of some phytoalexins, flavonoids, and many malonylated compounds. In plants as well as in animals, malonyl-CoA is almost exclusively derived from acetyl-CoA by acetyl-CoA carboxylase (EC 6.4.1.2). However, previous studies have suggested that malonyl-CoA may also be made directly from malonic acid by malonyl-CoA synthetase (EC 6.2.1.14). Here, we report the cloning of a eukaryotic malonyl-CoA synthetase gene, Acyl Activating Enzyme13 (AAE13; At3g16170), from Arabidopsis thaliana. Recombinant AAE13 protein showed high activity against malonic acid (K m = 529.4 6 98.5 mM; V m = 24.0 6 2.7 mmol/mg/min) but little or no activity against other dicarboxylic or fatty acids tested. Exogenous malonic acid was toxic to Arabidopsis seedlings and caused accumulation of malonic and succinic acids in the seedlings. aae13 null mutants also grew poorly and accumulated malonic and succinic acids. These defects were complemented by an AAE13 transgene or by a bacterial malonyl-CoA synthetase gene under control of the AAE13 promoter. Our results demonstrate that the malonyl-CoA synthetase encoded by AAE13 is essential for healthy growth and development, probably because it is required for the detoxification of malonate. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Hong S.-B.,National Academy of Agricultural Science | Yamada O.,Japanese National Research Institute of Brewing | Samson R.A.,Fungal Biodiversity Center
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2014

Black koji molds including its albino mutant, the white koji mold, have been widely used for making the distilled spirit shochu in Northeast Asia because they produce citric acid which prevents undesirable contamination from bacteria. Since Inui reported Aspergillus luchuensis from black koji in Okinawa in 1901, many fungal names associated with black koji molds were reported. However, some species are similar and differentiation between species is difficult. Fungal taxonomists tried to arrange a taxonomic system for black koji molds, but the results were not clear. Recently, multi-locus sequence typing has been successfully used to taxonomy of black Aspergillus. According to β-tubulin and calmodulin gene sequences, black koji molds can be subdivided in three species, A. luchuensis, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus tubingensis. Aspergillus awamori, Aspergillus kawachii, Aspergillus inuii, Aspergillus nakazawai, and Aspergillus coreanus are synonyms of A. luchuensis, Aspergillus batatae, Aspergillus aureus (or Aspergillus foetidus), Aspergillus miyakoensis, and Aspergillus usamii (including A. usamii mut. shirousamii) are synonyms of A. niger and Aspergillus saitoi and A. saitoi var. kagoshimaensis are synonyms of A. tubingensis. A. luchuensis mut. kawachii was suggested particular names for A. kawachii because of their industrial importance. The history and modern taxonomy of black koji molds is further discussed. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Cecropin is a well-studied antimicrobial peptide that is synthesized in fat body cells and hemocytes of insects in response to hypodermic injury or bacterial infection. A 503 bp cDNA encoding for a cecropin-like peptide was isolated by employing annealing control primer (ACP)-based differential display PCR and 5'-RACE with immunized Papilio xuthus larvae. The open reading frame of the isolated cDNA encoded for a 62-amino acid prepropeptide with a putative 22-residue signal peptide, a 2-residue propeptide, and a 38-residue mature peptide with a theoretical mass of 4060.89 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence of the peptide evidenced a significant degree of identity with other lepidopteran cecropins. This peptide was named papiliocin. RTPCR results revealed that the papiliocin transcript was detected at significant levels after injection with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). On the basis of the deduced amino acid sequence of papiliocin, a 38-mer mature peptide was chemically synthesized via the Fmoc method, and its antimicrobial activity was analyzed. The synthetic papiliocin peptide evidenced a broad spectrum of activity against fungi, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and also evidenced no hemolytic activity against human red blood cells.


Han S.M.,National Academy of Agricultural Science
Journal of integrative medicine | Year: 2013

Acne vulgaris is a chronic dermatologic problem with multiple factors involved in its pathogenesis. Alternative solutions to acne treatment were instigated by antibiotic resistance despite of its extensive use. Purified bee venom (PBV) has been proposed as a promising candidate for that purpose. The present study was designed to confirm the antibacterial effect of PBV and access the efficacy of cosmetics containing PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris. The skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes was incubated with PBV at various concentrations and bacterial growth was evaluated using the colony forming unit (CFU) assay. The mechanism of PBV employed in killing P. acnes was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, a total of 12 subjects were randomized in a double-blind, controlled trial to receive either cosmetics containing PBV or cosmetics without PBV for two weeks. Evaluations included lesion counts and skin microorganism. PBV exhibited antimicrobial activity in a concentration-dependent manner, reducing the number of P. acnes CFU by approximately 6 logs at a concentration of 0.5 mg. When PBV concentration was higher than 1.0 mg, no P. acnes colonies were spotted on an agar. TEM and SEM of untreated P. acnes illustrated the normal pleomorphic structure, whereas the PBV-treated bacterium lost the integrity of surface architecture. Significant difference (P=0.027) in the grading levels based on numbers of lesion counts for inflammatory and noninflammatory was observed in favour of the PBV group compared with the control group. In terms of average decrement of skin microorganism, subjects receiving cosmetics containing PBV experienced a significant 57.5% decrease of adenosine triphosphate levels, whereas participants receiving cosmetics without PBV experienced a nonsignificant decrease of 4.7%. These results show that the in vitro actions of antimicrobial activity of PBV were translated in vivo. Cosmetics containing PBV provided a certain degree of efficacy in terms of lesion counts and skin microorganism concentration compared with cosmetics without PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris. PBV may be a good candidate compound for developing therapeutic drug for the treatment of acne vulgaris.


Han S.M.,National Academy of Agricultural Science
BMC complementary and alternative medicine | Year: 2014

Free radicals are involved in neuronal cell death in human neurodegenerative diseases. Since ancient times, honeybee venom has been used in a complementary medicine to treat various diseases and neurologic disorders. Melittin, the main component of honeybee venom, has various biologic effects, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory activities. We investigated the neuroprotective effects of melittin against H2O2-induced apoptosis in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. The neuroprotective effects of melittin on H2O2-induced apoptosis were investigated using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenylterazolium bromide assay, caspase 3 activity, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, a lactate dehydrogenase release assay, Western blots, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The H2O2-treated cells had decreased cell viability with apoptotic features and increased production of caspase-3. On the other hand, melittin treatment increased cell viability and decreased apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Melittin attenuated the H2O2-induced decrease in mRNA and protein production of the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. In addition, melittin inhibited both the H2O2-induced mRNA and protein expression of Bax-associated pro-apoptotic factor and caspase-3. These findings suggest that melittin has potential therapeutic effects as an agent for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.


Jin M.,National Academy of Agricultural Science
TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik | Year: 2014

A novel dominant resistance gene, TuRB07, was found to confer resistance to an isolate of TuMV strain C4 in B. rapa line VC1 and mapped on the top of chromosome A06. The inheritance of resistance to Turnip mosaic virus in Brassica rapa was investigated by crossing the resistant line, VC1 with the susceptible line, SR5, and genotyping and phenotyping diverse progenies derived from this cross. Both a doubled haploid population, VCS3M-DH, an F2 and two BC1 (F1 × VC1 and F1 × SR5) populations were created. Population tests revealed that the resistance to the TuMV C4 isolate in B. rapa is controlled by a single dominant gene. This resistance gene, TuRB07 was positioned on the top of linkage group A06 of the B. rapa genome through bulk segregation analysis and fine mapping recombinants in three doubled haploid- and one backcross population using microsatellite markers developed from BAC end sequences. Within the region between the two closely linked markers flanking TuRB07, H132A24-s1, and KS10960, in the Chiifu reference genome, two genes encoding nucleotide-binding site and leucine-rich repeat proteins with a coiled-coil motif (CC-NBS-LRR), Bra018862 and Bra018863 were identified as candidate resistance genes. The gene Bra018862 is truncated, but the gene Bra018863 has all the domains to function. Furthermore, the analysis of structural variation using resequencing data of VC1 and SR5 revealed that Bra018863 might be a functional gene because the gene has no structural variation in the resistant line VC1 when compared with Chiifu, whereas at the other NBS-LRR genes large deletions were identified in the resistant line. Allelic differences of Bra018863 were found between VC1 and SR5, supporting the notion that this gene is a putative candidate gene for the virus resistance.


Lee S.,National Academy of Agricultural science
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) | Year: 2013

This study was conducted to develop a simple, rapid, and accurate lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) detection method for point-of-care diagnosis. The one-dot LFIA for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was based on the modified competitive binding format using competition between AFB1 and colloidal gold-AFB1-BSA conjugate for antibody binding sites in the test zone. A Smartphone-based reading system consisting of a Samsung Galaxy S2 Smartphone, a LFIA reader, and a Smartphone application for the image acquisition and data analysis. The detection limit of one-dot LFIA for AFB1 is 5 μg/kg. This method provided semi-quantitative analysis of AFB1 samples in the range of 5 to 1,000 μg/kg. Using combination of the one-dot LFIA and the Smartphone-based reading system, it is possible to conduct a more fast and accurate point-of-care diagnosis.

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