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Robert P. Dottin, Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function, Director

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Office: Room 932N
Phone: (212) 772-5171
Lab: Room 932N (212) 772-5279

Lab Web Site:http//


  • B.S. 1968, M.S. 1970, Ph.D. 1974, University of Toronto

Research Interest:

Signal Transduction, Reversible Protein Phosphorylation and Gene Expression in Dictyostelium.

  • We are investigating the signal transduction mechanisms by which extracellular hydrophilic hormones activate genes. We use Dictyostelium discoideum as a model eukaryote because it is relatively easy to perform reverse genetics on this organism and it is also capable of development. We had earlier shown that extracellular cAMP behaves as a hydrophilic hormone in Dictyostelium, activating cell surface receptors and initiating intracellular reactions that induce genes (1). We characterized the control regions required for the induction of one gene (2) and recently, the proteins that interact with them. Reversible protein phosphorylation is involved in signal transduction (3-5): Recently we found that over-expression of a cloned phospho-protein phosphatase gene, PP2A, blocks development, and anti-sense expression of a protein kinase gene, DdK4, blocks aggregation. Moreover we showed that transforming cells with an altered cloned protein kinase gene, DdK6, could disrupt its normal counterpart by homologous recombination-- the reverse genetics approach. The transgenic organism shows deranged development and altered gene expression. The DdK6 protein contains a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, which has recently been found in some proteins involved in signal transduction and in some cytoskeleton proteins. Our results with DdK6 suggests that the PH domain functions as a signal transduction motif and provides an approach to determining if PH domains are involved in transient protein aggregation during signal transduction.

Selected Publications:

  • Venkatesan, S., Mandavia C., Jung, J., Garcia, A., Zfadia, M., Anderson, S. Angel, R., Dottin, R. P. Characterization of Dictyostelium mutants defective in a catalytic subunit of Phosphoprotein phosphatase 2A in preparation (2008)
  • Venkatesan, S., Sonakya, V., Anderson, S., Dottin. R. P, Altered Growth and Development by Mutagenesis of A Protein Phosphatase 2A Gene in DIctyosteliumI in preparation (2008)
  • Fleming ES, Perkins J, Easa D, Conde J, Baker R, Southerland W, Dottin R, Bond C, Benabe J, Ofili E, Beanan M, Sayre M, McClure S, Norris KC. The role of translational research in addressing health disparities: A conceptual framework. Ethnicity & Disease. 2008 Spring; 18(2 Supplement 2):155-160.
  • Fleming ES, Perkins J, Easa D, Conde J, Baker R, Southerland W, Dottin R, Bond C, Benabe J, Ofili E, Beanan M, Sayre M, McClure S, Norris KC. Addressing health disparities through multi-institutional, multidisciplinary collaboratories. Ethnicity & Disease. 2008 Spring; 18(2 Supplement 2):161-167.
  • Bishop, J., D, Moon, B. C. Harrow, F., Ratner, D., Gomer, R. H., Dottin, R. P., Brazill, D. T., . D A second UDPglucose pyrophosphorylase is required for differentiation and development in Dictyostelium discoideum. J Biol Chem. 32430-32437 (2002).

Sites of Interest:

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