Katherine A. Cunningham

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Histidine kinases are used extensively in prokaryotes to monitor and respond to changes in cellular and environmental conditions. In Bacillus subtilis, sporulation-specific gene expression is controlled by a histidine kinase phosphorelay that culminates in phosphorylation of the Spo0A transcription factor. Sda provides a developmental checkpoint by(More)
Histidine kinases are widely used by bacteria, fungi and plants to sense and respond to changing environmental conditions. Signals in addition to those directly sensed by the kinase are often integrated by proteins that fine-tune the biological response by modulating the activity of the kinase or its targets. The Bacillus subtilis histidine kinase KinA(More)
Serotonergic regulation of feeding behavior has been studied intensively, both for an understanding of the basic neurocircuitry of energy balance in various organisms and as a therapeutic target for human obesity. However, its underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that neural serotonin signaling in C. elegans modulates(More)
The kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism is involved in the pathogenesis of several brain diseases, but its physiological functions remain unclear. We report that kynurenic acid, a metabolite in this pathway, functions as a regulator of food-dependent behavioral plasticity in C. elegans. The experience of fasting in C. elegans alters a variety of(More)
The plastid gene clpP is widely regarded as essential for chloroplast function and general plant cell survival. In this note we provide evidence that certain lines of non-photosynthetic maize (Zea mays) Black Mexican Sweet (BMS) suspension cells do not carry clpP in their plastid genomes. We also discuss several incidences in the literature where clpP is(More)
The sensor histidine kinase A (KinA) from Bacillus subtilis triggers a phosphorelay that activates sporulation. The antikinase KipI prevents sporulation by binding KinA and inhibiting the autophosphorylation reaction. Using neutron contrast variation, mutagenesis, and fluorescence data, we show that two KipI monomers bind via their C-domains at a conserved(More)
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an evolutionarily conserved master regulator of metabolism and a therapeutic target in type 2 diabetes. As an energy sensor, AMPK activity is responsive to both metabolic inputs, for instance the ratio of AMP to ATP, and numerous hormonal cues. As in mammals, each of two genes, aak-1 and aak-2, encode for the catalytic(More)
As part of developing an ex planta model system for the study of maize plastid and mitochondrial gene expression, a series of established Black Mexican Sweet (BMS) suspension cell lines was characterized. Although the initial assumption was that their organelle biochemistry would be similar enough to normal in planta cells to facilitate future work, each of(More)
The fundamental task of maintaining energy balance is complex when nutrient levels are plentiful, but it becomes even more challenging when nutrients are dynamic or scarce. A recent Nature report delineates a role of the AMP kinase pathway in rationing energy stores for the long-term survival of Caenorhabditis elegans dauers (Narbonne and Roy, 2009).
BACKGROUND Reliance on just one drug to treat the prevalent tropical disease, schistosomiasis, spurs the search for new drugs and drug targets. Inhibitors of human cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (huPDEs), including PDE4, are under development as novel drugs to treat a range of chronic indications including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(More)
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