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Discovery of global diversity and genotype of the Seoul Virus (SEOV)
Using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), Seoul Virus (SEOV) whole genome sequencing has been obtained,
suggesting genomic recombination and reassortment through potential genetic exchange
A team led by Professor Jin-Won Song of the Department of Microbiology at Korea University College of Medicine (KUCM), has obtained whole genomic sequencing of the Seoul Virus (SEOV), a type of hantavirus, thereby identifying the global diversity and genotype of the SEOV.
The research team analyzed the whole genomic sequence of the SEOV in blood of human patients with urban hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), and in Rattus norvegicus rats collected between 2000 to 2016 using by NGS. The study revealed 6 genetic lineage groups of the SEOV, based on region of occurrence; South Korea belongs to Group C, along with Japan and parts of the U.S. This study is especially significant because it implies that through potential genetic exchange, the SEOV can lead to reassortment and recombination, in nature.
The hantavirus, widely known as a fatal virus that can cause renal failure, hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, and shock, is spread from rodents to humans. This virus is found not only in Korea, but also in fairly even distribution around the world. So far, hantavirus types found in Korea are Hantaan, Seoul, Soocheong, Muju, Jeju and Imjin.
Among them, the only hantavirus that is identified throughout the world is the SEOV, which was first discovered by Professor Ho-Wang Lee in 1980 by examining rodents, known as Rattus norvegicus, found in Seoul. Recently, the virus has been identified in the U.S. and the U.K. among owners of pet rat, causing urban HFRS to become more rampant in various parts of the world.
Professor Song stressed that “due to the prevalence of the SEOV found around the world, in part, spread through rodent pet owners in the U.S. and the U.K., there is an increasing need to conduct research and to defend against its infection.” He also added, “Because this study has succeeded in obtaining the whole genome sequence by NGS, as well as its global diversity and genotype, the findings will be instrumental to creating a future hantavirus detection and monitoring system.”
The findings of this study will be published in the February issue of the highly renowned international infectious disease journal <Emerging Infectious Disease>, under the title ‘Multiplex PCR-based next-generation sequencing and global diversity of Seoul virus in Humans and Rats.”
Since joining the Department of Microbiology at the KUCM in 1996, Professor Jin-Won Song has discovered many new viruses, such as the Imjin, Jeju, Soocheong and Muju Viruses and the New York Virus. In recognition of his remarkable discoveries, he has received the Korean National Academy of Sciences Award in 2011, the Ho-Wang Lee Award in 2013 and the KUCM Alumni Medical Award and the Seogtab (Stone Pagoda) Research Award in 2017. Moreover, as the unequivocal authority on the hantavirus, having written over 100 papers for SCI(E)journals, Professor Song has also been serving as the President Elect of the International Society for Hantavirus since 2016 and President Elect, Korean Society for Virology at 2018 . The Department of Microbiology, to which Professor Song belongs, made a sizeable contribution to the world’s medical discovery when Emeritus Professor Ho-Wang Lee first discovered the Hantaan virus, which is the causative agent of HFRS. This Department at KUCM continues active research on a wide variety of pathogenic viruses.
Revealing the pathological signaling pathway of atopic dermatitis
Professor Sang Wook Son of Department of announced the study result that identifies the pathological signaling pathway of atopic dermatitis (AD).
A reduced induction of antimicrobial proteins (AMPs) in conjunction with defects in epidermal barrier in AD may conduce to the increased susceptibility of skin infection. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is the cytokine to play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD.
In this study, the relationship between TSLP and AMPs was defined in human keratinocytes and skin equivalent model. Taken together, a key role of the JAK2/STAT3/Sin3a signaling pathway in TSLP-mediated immune response might give us clues to understanding the pathological signal transductions in AD.
This study result was published in <JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY> under title of ‘TSLP Down-Regulates S100A7 and beta-Defensin 2 Via the JAK2/STAT3-Dependent Mechanism’.
Dean invites you, KUMED Internationals!
Korea University College of Medicine successfully completed Deans’ Luncheon for KU Medicine Internationals with the participation of 90 people from 21 countries at the cafe lounge at the main building of Korea University College of Medicine at noon on Aug. 25.
More than 30 students of college of medicine from many countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Hong Kong have visited Korea University College of Medicine for clinical clerkship and the number of foreign researchers, research professors and fellows visiting Korea University Anam, Guro and Ansan Hospitals as well as graduate school have increased. As such, the international standing of Korea University College of Medicine increasing as time goes on. The Korea University College of Medicine organized this event to promote networking and sharing opinion with foreign visitors who are staying at the College of Medicine and hospitals.
The event started with the opening event followed by watching video clip on the Korea University Medical Center, welcome remarks by the dean of College of Medicine, encouragement remarks by president of Anam Hospital, introduction of participants, listening to the talks of foreign participants and taking a group photo. The atmosphere of the event was comfortable as the participants enjoyed various kinds of food and dialogues.
Participants had a good time by sharing their own episode and stories related to practice and had a meaningful moment by talking various topics with an academic advisor. A participant from Spain said “I learned how to understand and respect cultural diversity by working as a fellow in Korea”. “I’d like to thank my advisor and very pleased to meet friends from many countries as I could not spend much time with them to focus on my work,” he added.
Presenting more effective cancer treatment strategy than before
Professor Tae Woo Kim of Department of Biomedical Sciences revealed that the combined therapy of a cancer immunotherapy with an epigenetic inhibitor is more effective in immune-refractory cancer treatment.
Cancer immunoediting drives the adaptation of tumor cells to host immune surveillance and at the same time the acquisition of resistance to cancer immunotherapy. Recently, the research team found that immunoediting driven by antigen-specific T cells enriches NANOG, which coordinates and controls the embryonic stem cells to be developed into a certain organ, expression in tumor cells. It is found that NANOG is a major factor that controls the immunoediting for enrichment of cancer stem cells which are resistance to cancer immunotherapy.
In addition, it is identified that HDAC1 which is an epigenetic control factor plays an essential role in obtaining malicious expression type of immunoedited cancers. In addition, the team presented that applying both cancer immunotherapeutic agents and epigenetic inhibitors at the same time could be an effective cancer treatment strategy upon dealing with malicious cancer with high NANOG expression.
In recognition of this study, the paper was published in Cancer Research under the title of ‘HDAC1 Upregulation by NANOG Promotes Multidrug Resistance and a Stem-like Phenotype in Immune Edited Tumor Cells’ in last Nov.