Robert B Cary

University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States

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Publications (15)77.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) by host Toll-like receptors (TLR) is an important component of the innate immune response for countering against invading viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Upon PAMP recognition, the TLR induces intracellular signaling cascades that involve adapter, signalosome, and transcription factor complexes and result in the production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. An inflammatory response for a short duration can be beneficial because it helps to clear the infectious agent. However, prolonged inflammation can be detrimental because it may cause host toxicity and tissue damage. Indeed, excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines via TLR pathways is often associated with many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, fine control of inflammation in the TLR pathway is highly desirable for effective host defense. In this article, we review intrinsic control mechanisms that include a balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, production of host effectors, and regulation at the level of adapter, signalosome, and transcription factor complexes in the TLR pathways. We also discuss how understanding of the TLR signaling steps leads to the development of small-molecule drugs that can interfere with the formation of active adapter, signalosome, and adapter complexes.
    Critical Reviews in Immunology 01/2010; 30(1):53-67. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid and unabated spread of vector-borne diseases within US specialty crops threatens our agriculture, our economy, and the livelihood of growers and farm workers. Early detection of vector-borne pathogens is an essential step for the accurate surveillance and management of vector-borne diseases of specialty crops. Currently, we lack the tools that would detect the infectious agent at early (primary) stages of infection with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. In this paper, we outline a strategy for developing an integrated suite of platform technologies to enable rapid, early disease detection and diagnosis of huanglongbing (HLB), the most destructive citrus disease. The research has two anticipated outcomes: i) identification of very early, disease-specific biomarkers using a knowledge base of translational genomic information on host and pathogen responses associated with early (asymptomatic) disease development; and ii) development and deployment of novel sensors that capture these and other related biomarkers and aid in presymptomatic disease detection. By combining these two distinct approaches, it should be possible to identify and defend the crop by interdicting pathogen spread prior to the rapid expansion phase of the disease. We believe that similar strategies can also be developed for the surveillance and management of diseases affecting other economically important specialty crops.
    Critical Reviews in Immunology 01/2010; 30(3):277-89. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to beryllium (Be) induces a delayed-type hypersensitivity immune reaction in the lungs of susceptible individuals, which leads to the onset of Be sensitivity and Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD). Although some mechanistic aspects of CBD have begun to be characterized, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which Be activates the host immune response. To gain insight into the cellular response to Be exposure, we have performed global microarray analysis using a mixture of peripheral blood mononuclear and dendritic cells (PBMC/DCs) from a non-CBD source to identify genes that are specifically upregulated in response to BeSO(4) stimulation, compared to a control metal salt, Al(2)(SO(4))(3). We identified a number of upregulated immunomodulatory genes, including several chemokines in the MIP-1 and GRO families. Using PBMC/DCs from three different donors, we demonstrate that BeSO(4) stimulation generally exhibits an increased rate of both chemokine mRNA transcription and release compared to Al(2)(SO(4))(3) exposure, although variations among the individual donors do exist. We show that MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta neutralizing antibodies can partially inhibit the ability of BeSO(4) to stimulate cell migration of PBMC/DCs in vitro. Finally, incubation of PBMC/DCs with BeSO(4) altered the binding of the transcription factor RUNX to the MIP-1 alpha promoter consensus sequence, indicating that Be can regulate chemokine gene activation. Taken together, these results suggest a model in which Be stimulation of PBMC/DCs can modulate the expression and release of different chemokines, leading to the migration of lymphocytes to the lung and the formation of a localized environment for development of Be disease in susceptible individuals.
    Toxicology 03/2006; 218(2-3):216-28. · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid, accurate, and sensitive detection of biothreat agents requires a broad-spectrum assay capable of discriminating between closely related microbial or viral pathogens. Moreover, in cases where a biological agent release has been identified, forensic analysis demands detailed genetic signature data for accurate strain identification and attribution. To date, nucleic acid sequences have provided the most robust and phylogentically illuminating signature information. Nucleic acid signature sequences are not often linked to genomic or extrachromosomal determinants of virulence, a link that would further facilitate discrimination between pathogens and closely related species. Inextricably coupling genetic determinants of virulence with highly informative nucleic acid signatures would provide a robust means of identifying human, livestock, and agricultural pathogens. By means of example, we present here an overview of two general applications of microarray-based methods for: (1) the identification of candidate virulence factors; and (2) the analysis of genetic polymorphisms that are coupled to Bacillus anthracis virulence factors using an accurate, low cost solid-phase mini-sequencing assay. We show that microarray-based analysis of gene expression can identify potential virulence associated genes for use as candidate signature targets, and, further, that microarray-based single nucleotide polymorphism assays provide a robust platform for the detection and identification of signature sequences in a manner independent of the genetic background in which the signature is embedded. We discuss the strategy as a general approach or pipeline for the discovery of virulence-linked nucleic acid signatures for biothreat agents.
    Biosensors & Bioelectronics 12/2004; 20(4):706-18. · 6.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene product plays a role in responding to double stand DNA breaks. Some biochemical studies of ATM function have been hampered by lack of an efficient expression system and abundant purified ATM protein. We report the construction of a vaccinia virus expressing ATM, vWR-ATM, which was used to produce large amounts of functional FLAG-tagged ATM protein (FLAG-ATM) in HeLa cells. Kinase activity of the purified FLAG-ATM was dependent on manganese and inhibited with wortmannin. Using the FLAG-ATM recombinant protein, GST-p53 serine 15 phosphorylation increased in the presence of damaged DNA. PHAS-1 phosphorylation was found to be DNA independent. Purified FLAG-ATM was recovered in the autophosphorylated form, as demonstrated by phosphorylation of ATM serine 1981. As shown by atomic force microscopy, FLAG-ATM bound to linear DNA both at broken ends and in mid-strands. Vaccinia virus is the most efficient ATM expression system described to date.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2004; 322(1):74-81. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several findings have revealed a likely role for DNA ligase IV, and interacting protein XRCC4, in the final steps of mammalian DNA double-strand break repair. Recent evidence suggests that the human DNA ligase IV protein plays a critical role in the maintenance of genomic stability. To identify protein-protein interactions that may shed further light on the molecular mechanisms of DSB repair and the biological roles of human DNA ligase IV, we have used the yeast two-hybrid system in conjunction with traditional biochemical methods. These efforts have resulted in the identification of a physical association between the DNA ligase IV polypeptide and the human condensin subunit known as hCAP-E. The hCAP-E polypeptide, a member of the Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) super-family of proteins, coimmunoprecipitates from cell extracts with DNA ligase IV. Immunofluorescence studies reveal colocalization of DNA ligase IV and hCAP-E in the interphase nucleus, whereas mitotic cells display colocalization of both polypeptides on mitotic chromosomes. Strikingly, the XRCC4 protein is excluded from the area of mitotic chromosomes, suggesting the formation of specialized DNA ligase IV complexes subject to cell cycle regulation. We discuss our findings in light of known and hypothesized roles for ligase IV and the condensin complex.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 03/2003; 14(2):685-97. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several advantages and disadvantages have been cited for image collection with a slow-scan CCD camera. Here we explore its use for cryo-EM single particle reconstruction and present two practical examples. The icosahedral adenovirus (Ad) type 2 ( approximately 150 MDa) was reconstructed from 396 particle images. The Fourier shell correlation (FSC) 0.5 threshold and the Fourier shell phase residual (FSPR) 45 degrees criterion yielded 17 AA resolution for the ordered viral capsid. Visual comparison with the filtered Ad2 crystallographic hexon confirmed a resolution range of 15-17 A. The asymmetric DNA-PKcs protein (470 kDa) was reconstructed from 9,473 particle images, using a previously published reconstruction based on class-sum images as an orientational search model [Chiu et al. (1998) J. Mol. Biol. 284:1075-1081]. FSC and FSPR methods yielded 17 A resolution for the new DNA-PKcs reconstruction, indicating a small but noticeable improvement over that of the class-sum based reconstruction. Despite the lack of symmetry for DNA-PKcs and its lower image contrast compared to Ad2 (0.8% vs. 2.5%), the same resolution was obtained for both particles by averaging significantly more DNA-PKcs images. Use of the CCD camera enables the microscopist to adjust the electron beam strength interactively and thereby maximize the image contrast for beam sensitive samples. On-line Fourier transformation also allows routine monitoring of drift and astigmatism during image collection, resulting in a high percentage of micrographs suitable for image processing. In conclusion, our results show that digital image collection with the YAG-scintillator slow-scan CCD camera is a viable approach for 3D reconstruction of both symmetric and asymmetric particles.
    Microscopy Research and Technique 06/2000; 49(3):224-32. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human neurodegenerative and cancer predisposition condition ataxia-telangiectasia is characterized at the cellular level by radiosensitivity, chromosomal instability, and impaired induction of ionizing radiation-induced cell cycle checkpoint controls. Recent work has revealed that the gene defective in ataxia-telangiectasia, termed ATM, encodes an approximately 350-kDa polypeptide, ATM, that is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase family. We show that ATM binds DNA and exploit this to purify ATM to near homogeneity. Atomic force microscopy reveals that ATM exists in two populations, with sizes consistent with monomeric and tetrameric states. Atomic force microscopy analyses also show that ATM binds preferentially to DNA ends. This property is similar to that displayed by the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase family member that functions in DNA damage detection in conjunction with the DNA end-binding protein Ku. Furthermore, purified ATM contains a kinase activity that phosphorylates serine-15 of p53 in a DNA-stimulated manner. These results provide a biochemical assay system for ATM, support genetic data indicating distinct roles for DNA-dependent protein kinase and ATM, and suggest how ATM may signal the presence of DNA damage to p53 and other downstream effectors.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/1999; 96(20):11134-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human neurodegenerative and cancer predisposition condition ataxia-telangiectasia is characterized at the cellular level by radiosensitivity, chromosomal instability, and impaired induction of ionizing radiation-induced cell cycle checkpoint controls. Recent work has revealed that the gene defective in ataxia-telangiectasia, termed ATM, encodes an ≈350-kDa polypeptide, ATM, that is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase family. We show that ATM binds DNA and exploit this to purify ATM to near homogeneity. Atomic force microscopy reveals that ATM exists in two populations, with sizes consistent with monomeric and tetrameric states. Atomic force microscopy analyses also show that ATM binds preferentially to DNA ends. This property is similar to that displayed by the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase family member that functions in DNA damage detection in conjunction with the DNA end-binding protein Ku. Furthermore, purified ATM contains a kinase activity that phosphorylates serine-15 of p53 in a DNA-stimulated manner. These results provide a biochemical assay system for ATM, support genetic data indicating distinct roles for DNA-dependent protein kinase and ATM, and suggest how ATM may signal the presence of DNA damage to p53 and other downstream effectors.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/1999; 96(20):11134-11139. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Nature Genetics - NAT GENET. 01/1999; 23(3):36-36.
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) plays an important role in mammalian DNA double-strand break repair and immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. The DNA-PK holoenzyme is activated by assembly at DNA ends and is comprised of DNA-PKcs, a 460 kDa protein kinase catalytic subunit, and Ku, a 70 kDa/80 kDa heterodimeric DNA-targeting component. We have solved the three-dimensional structure of DNA-PKcs to approximately 21 A resolution by analytically combining images of nearly 9500 individual particles extracted from cryo-electron micrographs. The DNA-PKcs protein has an open, pseudo 2-fold symmetric structure with a gap separating a crown-shaped top from a rounded base. Columns of density are observed to protrude into the gap from both the crown and the base. Measurements of the enclosed volume indicate that the interior of the protein is largely hollow. The structure of DNA-PKcs suggests that its association with DNA may involve the internalization of double-stranded ends.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 01/1999; 284(4):1075-81. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    R B Cary, F Chen, Z Shen, D J Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Ku, the DNA binding component of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), is a heterodimer composed of 70 and 86 kDa subunits, known as Ku70 and Ku80 respectively . Defects in DNA-PK subunits have been shown to result in a reduced capacity to repair DNA double-strand breaks. Assembly of the Ku heterodimer is required to obtain DNA end binding activity and association of the DNA-PK catalytic subunit. The regions of the Ku subunits responsible for heterodimerization have not been clearly defined in vivo . A previous study has suggested that the C-terminus of Ku80 is required for interaction with Ku70. Here we examine Ku subunit interaction using N- and C-terminal Ku80 deletions in a GAL4-based two-hybrid system and an independent mammalian in vivo system. Our two-hybrid study suggests that the central region of Ku80, not its C-terminus, is capable of mediating interaction with Ku70. To determine if this region mediates interaction with Ku70 in mammalian cells we transfected xrs-6 cells, which lack endogenous Ku80, with epitope-tagged Ku80 deletions carrying a nuclear localization signal. Immunoprecipitation from transfected cell extracts revealed that the central domain identified by the GAL4 two-hybrid studies stabilizes and co-immunoprecipitates with endogenous xrs-6 Ku70. The central interaction domain maps to the internally deleted regions of Ku80 in the mutant cell lines XR-V9B and XR-V15B. These findings indicate that the internally deleted Ku80 mutations carried in these cell lines are incapable of heterodimerization with Ku70.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/1998; 26(4):974-9. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is required for DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair and immunoglobulin gene rearrangement and may play a role in the regulation of transcription. The DNA-PK holoenzyme is composed of three polypeptide subunits: the DNA binding Ku70/86 heterodimer and an approximately 460-kDa catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). DNA-PK has been hypothesized to assemble at DNA DSBs and play structural as well as signal transduction roles in DSB repair. Recent advances in atomic force microscopy (AFM) have resulted in a technology capable of producing high resolution images of native protein and protein-nucleic acid complexes without staining or metal coating. The AFM provides a rapid and direct means of probing the protein-nucleic acid interactions responsible for DNA repair and genetic regulation. Here we have employed AFM as well as electron microscopy to visualize Ku and DNA-PK in association with DNA. A significant number of DNA molecules formed loops in the presence of Ku. DNA looping appeared to be sequence-independent and unaffected by the presence of DNA-PKcs. Gel filtration of Ku in the absence and the presence of DNA indicates that Ku does not form nonspecific aggregates. We conclude that, when bound to DNA, Ku is capable of self-association. These findings suggest that Ku binding at DNA DSBs will result in Ku self-association and a physical tethering of the broken DNA strands.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/1997; 94(9):4267-72. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is required for DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair and immunoglobulin gene rearrangement and may play a role in the regulation of transcription. The DNA-PK holoenzyme is composed of three polypeptide subunits: the DNA binding Ku70/86 heterodimer and an ≈460-kDa catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). DNA-PK has been hypothesized to assemble at DNA DSBs and play structural as well as signal transduction roles in DSB repair. Recent advances in atomic force microscopy (AFM) have resulted in a technology capable of producing high resolution images of native protein and protein–nucleic acid complexes without staining or metal coating. The AFM provides a rapid and direct means of probing the protein–nucleic acid interactions responsible for DNA repair and genetic regulation. Here we have employed AFM as well as electron microscopy to visualize Ku and DNA-PK in association with DNA. A significant number of DNA molecules formed loops in the presence of Ku. DNA looping appeared to be sequence-independent and unaffected by the presence of DNA-PKcs. Gel filtration of Ku in the absence and the presence of DNA indicates that Ku does not form nonspecific aggregates. We conclude that, when bound to DNA, Ku is capable of self-association. These findings suggest that Ku binding at DNA DSBs will result in Ku self-association and a physical tethering of the broken DNA strands.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/1997; 94(9):4267-4272. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • D. J. Chen, R. B. Cary
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    ABSTRACT: The authors have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterize the assembly and structure of the macromolecular assemblies involved in DNA repair. They have demonstrated using AFM that the DNA-dependent protein kinase can play a structural role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by physically holding DNA ends together. They have extended these studies to include other DNA damage response proteins, these efforts have resulted in important and novel findings regarding the ATM protein. Specifically, the work has demonstrated, for the first time, that the ATM protein binds with specificity to a DNA end. This finding is the first to implicate the ATM protein in the detection of DNA damage by direct physical interaction with DSBs.