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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Hyun Jin Kwun’s research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms of viral oncogenesis in Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC), a rare but fatal form of skin cancer, with a nearly-tripled annual incidence in the last 20 years. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), the only oncogenic human polyomavirus, is the cause for most MCC tumors. There are two relevant MCV viral oncoproteins: large T antigen (LT) and small T antigen (sT), which are implicated in oncogenesis through multiple mechanisms.

MCV LT phosphoprotein is required for MCV transcription, viral replication and cancer cell proliferation. MCV latency depends on controlling viral replication by initiating MCV LT turnover, via cellular Skp-Cullin-F box (SCF) ubiquitin complexes, reducing LT steady-state amounts to levels that prevent MCV replication. MCV sT is a main oncoprotein that plays a large role in the development of MCC. A unique domain of sT, known as the LT-stabilizing domain (LSD), previously identified by Dr. Kwun herself, has been reported to bind multiple E3-ubiquitin ligase complexes including FBW7 and beta-TrCP to increase and activate levels of cellular oncoproteins, such as c-myc and cyclin E. In addition, it also contributes to the viral transforming activity.

Currently, the primary focus in Dr. Kwun’s lab can be summarized in two sections:

  • Investigating the roles of cellular kinase-E3 ubiquitin ligase networks in MCV replication and persistent infection.
  • Investigating the mechanisms of sT-induced oncogenesis in MCC. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Hyun Jin Kwun is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
Merkel cell polyomavirus Medicine & Life Sciences
Polyomavirus Transforming Antigens Medicine & Life Sciences
Polyomavirus Agriculture & Biology
Human Herpesvirus 1 Medicine & Life Sciences
Viral Tumor Antigens Medicine & Life Sciences
Immediate-Early Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Merkel Cell Carcinoma Medicine & Life Sciences
Human Herpesvirus 8 Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 1999 2017

  • 2044 Citations
  • 22 h-Index
  • 32 Article
15 Citations (Scopus)

Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen induces genome instability by E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting

Kwun, H. J., Wendzicki, J. A., Shuda, Y., Moore, P. S. & Chang, Y., Jan 1 2017, In : Oncogene. 36, 49, p. 6784-6792 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Merkel cell polyomavirus
Polyomavirus Transforming Antigens
Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
Genomic Instability
Oncogene Proteins
6 Citations (Scopus)

Protein-mediated viral latency is a novel mechanism for Merkel cell polyomavirus persistence

Kwun, H. J., Chang, Y. & Moore, P. S., May 16 2017, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114, 20, p. E4040-E4047

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Merkel cell polyomavirus
Virus Latency
Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
Genome
Proteins
53 Citations (Scopus)

CDK1 substitutes for mTOR kinase to activate mitotic cap-dependent protein translation

Shuda, M., Velásquez, C., Cheng, E., Cordek, D. G., Kwun, H. J., Chang, Y. & Moore, P. S., May 12 2015, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112, 19, p. 5875-5882 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Protein Biosynthesis
Sirolimus
Mitosis
Merkel cell polyomavirus
Phosphotransferases
26 Citations (Scopus)

Restricted protein phosphatase 2A targeting by merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen

Kwun, H. J., Shuda, M., Camacho, C. J., Gamper, A. M., Thant, M., Chang, Y. & Moore, P. S., Jan 1 2015, In : Journal of virology. 89, 8, p. 4191-4200 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Merkel cell polyomavirus
Polyomavirus
Polyomavirus Transforming Antigens
Protein Phosphatase 2
phosphoprotein phosphatase
12 Citations (Scopus)

Human DNA tumor viruses generate alternative reading frame proteins through repeat sequence recoding

Kwun, H. J., Toptan, T., Da Silva, S. R., Atkins, J. F., Moore, P. S. & Chang, Y., Oct 14 2014, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111, 41, p. E4342-E4349

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DNA Tumor Viruses
Reading Frames
Human Herpesvirus 8
Nuclear Antigens
Proteins