Brett J. Roberts

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The basic helix-loop-helix/Per-ARNT-Sim homology domain dioxin receptor (DR) translocates to the nucleus upon binding of aromatic hydrocarbon ligands typified by dioxin, whereupon it partners the Ah receptor nuclear translocator and initiates transcription. Concurrently, ligand binding down-regulates receptor levels via an unknown mechanism. In this study(More)
Plakophilins (Pkp-1, -2, and -3) comprise a family of armadillo repeat-containing proteins first identified as desmosomal plaque components, in which they link desmoplakin to the desmosomal cadherins. In addition to their role in desmosomal cell-cell adhesion, Pkps also localize to the nucleus, where they perform unknown functions. Of the three Pkps, Pkp-1(More)
Re-modeling of epithelial tissues requires that the cells in the tissue rearrange their adhesive contacts in order to allow cells to migrate relative to neighboring cells. Desmosomes are prominent adhesive structures found in a variety of epithelial tissues that are believed to inhibit cell migration and invasion. Mechanisms regulating desmosome assembly(More)
SEC-23 is a component of coat protein complex II (COPII)-coated vesicles involved in the endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi transport pathway of eukaryotes. During postembryonic life, Caenorhabditis elegans is surrounded by a collagenous exoskeleton termed the cuticle. From a screen for mutants defective in cuticle secretion, we identified and characterized a(More)
With the problem of parasitic nematode drug resistance increasing, vaccine development offers an alternative sustainable control approach. For some parasitic nematodes, native extracts enriched for specific proteins are highly protective. However, recombinant forms of these proteins have failed to replicate this protection. This is thought to be due to(More)
A ubiquitous feature of collagens is protein interaction, the trimerization of monomers to form a triple helix followed by higher order interactions during the formation of the mature extracellular matrix. The Caenorhabditis elegans cuticle is a complex extracellular matrix consisting predominantly of cuticle collagens, which are encoded by a family of(More)
Desmosomes are prominent adhesive junctions found in various epithelial tissues. The cytoplasmic domains of desmosomal cadherins interact with a host of desmosomal plaque proteins, including plakophilins, plakoglobin and desmoplakin, which, in turn, recruit the intermediate filament cytoskeleton to sites of cell-cell contact. Although the individual(More)
Filarial nematodes are important pathogens in the tropics transmitted to humans via the bite of blood sucking arthropod vectors. The molecular mechanisms underpinning survival and differentiation of these parasites following transmission are poorly understood. microRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate target mRNAs and we set out to(More)
Connexins, the constituent proteins of gap junctions, are transmembrane proteins. A connexin (Cx) traverses the membrane four times and has one intracellular and two extracellular loops with the amino and carboxyl termini facing the cytoplasm. The transmembrane and the extracellular loop domains are highly conserved among different Cxs, whereas the carboxyl(More)
The desmosomal cadherin, desmoglein 2 (Dsg2), is deregulated in a variety of human cancers including those of the skin. When ectopically expressed in the epidermis of transgenic mice, Dsg2 activates multiple mitogenic signaling pathways and increases susceptibility to tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for Dsg2-mediated cellular(More)