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Pyong Woo  Park, PhD

Pyong Woo Park
Medicine Research
Respiratory Diseases Research
Hospital Title:
Assistant in Medicine
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Research Focus Area:
Extracellular matrix
Contact Via Email
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Research Overview

The major goal of the Park Laboratory is to understand how components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) modulate the pathogenesis of infectious and non-infectious inflammatory diseases, with a particular focus on the role of proteoglycans and elastin in these processes. Historically known for its structural roles, the ECM is now known to regulate many cellular and physiological events. 

Dr. Park and his colleagues have found that several major bacterial pathogens (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae) subvert the syndecan family of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans to enhance their virulence in vivo. These bacterial pathogens stimulate syndecan shedding from the cell surface through specific virulence factors. Syndecan ectodomains bind to and inhibit several host defense factors, modulating the host environment to favor pathogenesis over eradication. These findings indicate that exploitation of syndecan shedding is an important pathogenic mechanism and suggest possible approaches to therapy.

The Park Laboratory has also found that syndecan shedding is activated in non-infectious inflammatory diseases. Here, syndecan ectodomains modulate inflammatory mediators and cells to attenuate inflammatory tissue injury. In sum, these data suggest that syndecan shedding is an important mechanism that assures the correct and adequate functioning of inflammation, but that certain pathogens have adapted or evolved to exploit this mechanism to promote their pathogenesis. On-going projects are focused on defining the molecular and cellular details of these mechanisms.

About Pyong Woo Park

Pyong Woo Park received a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed a fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Gill SE, Nadler ST, Li Q, Frevert CW, Park PW, Chen P, Parks WC. Shedding of Syndecan-1/CXCL1 Complexes by Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 Functions as an Epithelial Checkpoint of Neutrophil Activation. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016 Aug; 55(2):243-51.
  2. Aquino RS, Park PW. Glycosaminoglycans and infection. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2016; 21:1260-77.
  3. Ban K, Peng Z, Pati S, Witkov RB, Park PW, Kozar RA. Plasma-Mediated Gut Protection After Hemorrhagic Shock is Lessened in Syndecan-1-/- Mice. Shock. 2015 Nov; 44(5):452-7.
  4. Gopal S, Søgaard P, Multhaupt HA, Pataki C, Okina E, Xian X, Pedersen ME, Stevens T, Griesbeck O, Park PW, Pocock R, Couchman JR. Transmembrane proteoglycans control stretch-activated channels to set cytosolic calcium levels. J Cell Biol. 2015 Sep 28; 210(7):1199-211.
  5. Hayashida A, Amano S, Gallo RL, Linhardt RJ, Liu J, Park PW. 2-O-Sulfated Domains in Syndecan-1 Heparan Sulfate Inhibit Neutrophil Cathelicidin and Promote Staphylococcus aureus Corneal Infection. J Biol Chem. 2015 Jun 26; 290(26):16157-67.
  6. Jinno A, Park PW. Role of glycosaminoglycans in infectious disease. Methods Mol Biol. 2015; 1229:567-85.
  7. Peng Z, Pati S, Potter D, Brown R, Holcomb JB, Grill R, Wataha K, Park PW, Xue H, Kozar RA. Fresh frozen plasma lessens pulmonary endothelial inflammation and hyperpermeability after hemorrhagic shock and is associated with loss of syndecan 1. Shock. 2013 Sep; 40(3):195-202.
  8. Savery MD, Jiang JX, Park PW, Damiano ER. The endothelial glycocalyx in syndecan-1 deficient mice. Microvasc Res. 2013 May; 87:83-91.
  9. Peng Z, Ban K, Sen A, Grill R, Park P, Costantini TW, Kozar R. Syndecan 1 plays a novel role in enteral glutamine's gut-protective effects of the postischemic gut. Shock. 2012 Jul; 38(1):57-62.
  10. Nam EJ, Park PW. Shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 836:291-305.
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  12. Xiao J, Angsana J, Wen J, Smith SV, Park PW, Ford ML, Haller CA, Chaikof EL. Syndecan-1 displays a protective role in aortic aneurysm formation by modulating T cell-mediated responses. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Feb; 32(2):386-96.
  13. Teng YH, Aquino RS, Park PW. Molecular functions of syndecan-1 in disease. Matrix Biol. 2012 Jan; 31(1):3-16.
  14. Haywood-Watson RJ, Holcomb JB, Gonzalez EA, Peng Z, Pati S, Park PW, Wang W, Zaske AM, Menge T, Kozar RA. Modulation of syndecan-1 shedding after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation. PLoS One. 2011; 6(8):e23530.
  15. Hong JS, Greenlee KJ, Pitchumani R, Lee SH, Song LZ, Shan M, Chang SH, Park PW, Dong C, Werb Z, Bidani A, Corry DB, Kheradmand F. Dual protective mechanisms of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 in immune defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae. J Immunol. 2011 Jun 1; 186(11):6427-36.
  16. Kozar RA, Peng Z, Zhang R, Holcomb JB, Pati S, Park P, Ko TC, Paredes A. Plasma restoration of endothelial glycocalyx in a rodent model of hemorrhagic shock. Anesth Analg. 2011 Jun; 112(6):1289-95.
  17. Hayashida A, Amano S, Park PW. Syndecan-1 promotes Staphylococcus aureus corneal infection by counteracting neutrophil-mediated host defense. J Biol Chem. 2011 Feb 4; 286(5):3288-97.
  18. Hayashida K, Bartlett AH, Chen Y, Park PW. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of ectodomain shedding. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2010 Jun; 293(6):925-37.
  19. Bartlett AH, Park PW. Proteoglycans in host-pathogen interactions: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2010; 12:e5.
  20. Aquino RS, Lee ES, Park PW. Diverse functions of glycosaminoglycans in infectious diseases. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2010; 93:373-94.
  21. Hayashida K, Parks WC, Park PW. Syndecan-1 shedding facilitates the resolution of neutrophilic inflammation by removing sequestered CXC chemokines. Blood. 2009 Oct 1; 114(14):3033-43.
  22. Hayashida A, Bartlett AH, Foster TJ, Park PW. Staphylococcus aureus beta-toxin induces lung injury through syndecan-1. Am J Pathol. 2009 Feb; 174(2):509-18.
  23. Chen Y, Götte M, Liu J, Park PW. Microbial subversion of heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Mol Cells. 2008 Nov 30; 26(5):415-26.
  24. Bartlett AH, Foster TJ, Hayashida A, Park PW. Alpha-toxin facilitates the generation of CXC chemokine gradients and stimulates neutrophil homing in Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia. J Infect Dis. 2008 Nov 15; 198(10):1529-35.
  25. Hayashida K, Stahl PD, Park PW. Syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding is regulated by the small GTPase Rab5. J Biol Chem. 2008 Dec 19; 283(51):35435-44.
  26. Hayashida K, Chen Y, Bartlett AH, Park PW. Syndecan-1 is an in vivo suppressor of Gram-positive toxic shock. J Biol Chem. 2008 Jul 18; 283(29):19895-903.
  27. Ward PP, Mendoza-Meneses M, Park PW, Conneely OM. Stimulus-dependent impairment of the neutrophil oxidative burst response in lactoferrin-deficient mice. Am J Pathol. 2008 Apr; 172(4):1019-29.
  28. Bode L, Salvestrini C, Park PW, Li JP, Esko JD, Yamaguchi Y, Murch S, Freeze HH. Heparan sulfate and syndecan-1 are essential in maintaining murine and human intestinal epithelial barrier function. J Clin Invest. 2008 Jan; 118(1):229-38.
  29. Gwak M, Park P, Kim K, Lim K, Jeong S, Baek C, Lee J. The effects of dantrolene on hypoxic-ischemic injury in the neonatal rat brain. Anesth Analg. 2008 Jan; 106(1):227-33, table of contents.
  30. Bartlett AH, Hayashida K, Park PW. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of syndecans in tissue injury and inflammation. Mol Cells. 2007 Oct 31; 24(2):153-66.
  31. Hasegawa M, Betsuyaku T, Yoshida N, Nasuhara Y, Kinoshita I, Ohta S, Itoh T, Park PW, Nishimura M. Increase in soluble CD138 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of multicentric Castleman's disease. Respirology. 2007 Jan; 12(1):140-3.
  32. Chen Y, Hayashida A, Bennett AE, Hollingshead SK, Park PW. Streptococcus pneumoniae sheds syndecan-1 ectodomains through ZmpC, a metalloproteinase virulence factor. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 5; 282(1):159-67.
  33. Hayashida K, Johnston DR, Goldberger O, Park PW. Syndecan-1 expression in epithelial cells is induced by transforming growth factor beta through a PKA-dependent pathway. J Biol Chem. 2006 Aug 25; 281(34):24365-74.
  34. Beiting DP, Park PW, Appleton JA. Synthesis of syndecan-1 by skeletal muscle cells is an early response to infection with Trichinella spiralis but is not essential for nurse cell development. Infect Immun. 2006 Mar; 74(3):1941-3.
  35. Haynes A, Ruda F, Oliver J, Hamood AN, Griswold JA, Park PW, Rumbaugh KP. Syndecan 1 shedding contributes to Pseudomonas aeruginosa sepsis. Infect Immun. 2005 Dec; 73(12):7914-21.
  36. Li P, Garcia GE, Xia Y, Wu W, Gersch C, Park PW, Truong L, Wilson CB, Johnson R, Feng L. Blocking of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 during tubulointerstitial nephritis resulted in delayed neutrophil clearance. Am J Pathol. 2005 Sep; 167(3):637-49.
  37. Xu J, Park PW, Kheradmand F, Corry DB. Endogenous attenuation of allergic lung inflammation by syndecan-1. J Immunol. 2005 May 1; 174(9):5758-65.
  38. Haynes A, Rumbaugh KP, Park PW, Hamood AN, Griswold JA. Protamine sulfate reduces the susceptibility of thermally injured mice to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. J Surg Res. 2005 Jan; 123(1):109-17.
  39. Roche FM, Downer R, Keane F, Speziale P, Park PW, Foster TJ. The N-terminal A domain of fibronectin-binding proteins A and B promotes adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus to elastin. J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 10; 279(37):38433-40.
  40. Park PW, Foster TJ, Nishi E, Duncan SJ, Klagsbrun M, Chen Y. Activation of syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding by Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin and beta-toxin. J Biol Chem. 2004 Jan 2; 279(1):251-8.
  41. Li Q, Park PW, Wilson CL, Parks WC. Matrilysin shedding of syndecan-1 regulates chemokine mobilization and transepithelial efflux of neutrophils in acute lung injury. Cell. 2002 Nov 27; 111(5):635-46.
  42. Bellin R, Capila I, Lincecum J, Park PW, Reizes O, Bernfield MR. Unlocking the secrets of syndecans: transgenic organisms as a potential key. Glycoconj J. 2002 May-Jun; 19(4-5):295-304.
  43. Downer R, Roche F, Park PW, Mecham RP, Foster TJ. The elastin-binding protein of Staphylococcus aureus (EbpS) is expressed at the cell surface as an integral membrane protein and not as a cell wall-associated protein. J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 4; 277(1):243-50.
  44. Park PW, Pier GB, Hinkes MT, Bernfield M. Exploitation of syndecan-1 shedding by Pseudomonas aeruginosa enhances virulence. Nature. 2001 May 3; 411(6833):98-102.
  45. Park PW, Reizes O, Bernfield M. Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans: selective regulators of ligand-receptor encounters. J Biol Chem. 2000 Sep 29; 275(39):29923-6.
  46. Fitzgerald ML, Wang Z, Park PW, Murphy G, Bernfield M. Shedding of syndecan-1 and -4 ectodomains is regulated by multiple signaling pathways and mediated by a TIMP-3-sensitive metalloproteinase. J Cell Biol. 2000 Feb 21; 148(4):811-24.
  47. Park PW, Pier GB, Preston MJ, Goldberger O, Fitzgerald ML, Bernfield M. Syndecan-1 shedding is enhanced by LasA, a secreted virulence factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 4; 275(5):3057-64.
  48. Park PW, Broekelmann TJ, Mecham BR, Mecham RP. Characterization of the elastin binding domain in the cell-surface 25-kDa elastin-binding protein of staphylococcus aureus (EbpS). J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 29; 274(5):2845-50.
  49. Bernfield M, Götte M, Park PW, Reizes O, Fitzgerald ML, Lincecum J, Zako M. Functions of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Annu Rev Biochem. 1999; 68:729-77.
  50. Park PW, Rosenbloom J, Abrams WR, Rosenbloom J, Mecham RP. Molecular cloning and expression of the gene for elastin-binding protein (ebpS) in Staphylococcus aureus. J Biol Chem. 1996 Jun 28; 271(26):15803-9.
  51. Park PW, Biedermann K, Mecham L, Bissett DL, Mecham RP. Lysozyme binds to elastin and protects elastin from elastase-mediated degradation. J Invest Dermatol. 1996 May; 106(5):1075-80.
  52. Park PW, Senior RM, Griffin GL, Broekelmann TJ, Mudd MS, Mecham RP. Binding and degradation of elastin by the staphylolytic enzyme lysostaphin. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1995 Feb; 27(2):139-46.
  53. Park PW, Roberts DD, Grosso LE, Parks WC, Rosenbloom J, Abrams WR, Mecham RP. Binding of elastin to Staphylococcus aureus. J Biol Chem. 1991 Dec 5; 266(34):23399-406.
  54. Grosso LE, Park PW, Mecham RP. Characterization of a putative clone for the 67-kilodalton elastin/laminin receptor suggests that it encodes a cytoplasmic protein rather than a cell surface receptor. Biochemistry. 1991 Apr 2; 30(13):3346-50.
  55. Prosser IW, Whitehouse LA, Parks WC, Stahle-Bäckdahl M, Hinek A, Park PW, Mecham RP. Polyclonal antibodies to tropoelastin and the specific detection and measurement of tropoelastin in vitro. Connect Tissue Res. 1991; 25(3-4):265-79.
  56. Ricordi C, Lacy PE, Callery MP, Park PW, Flye MW. Trophic factors from pancreatic islets in combined hepatocyte-islet allografts enhance hepatocellular survival. Surgery. 1989 Feb; 105(2 Pt 1):218-23.
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