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Robert A. Kesterson, PhD

Robert A. Kesterson, PhD Professor
Department Genetics
KAUL 602A Zip 0024
Phone: 205-934-7206

Dr. Robert A. Kesterson, completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Hendrix College, and received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Baylor College of Medicine (1993) under the mentorship of Dr. J. Wesley Pike and Dr. Francesco DeMayo. His postdoctoral training in the field of neuroendocrinology was carried out at The Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research, Portland, Oregon with Dr. Roger D. Cone, which focused on determining the function of newly cloned melanocortin receptors via development of transgenic animal models. Dr. Kesterson was appointed in 1997 to the faculty of Vanderbilt University in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, and was then recruited to UAB in 2004. Dr. Kesterson is the Director of the UAB Transgenic & Genetically Engineered Models (TGEMS) Facility, and is a member of several UAB Centers including: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Center, Nutrition & Obesity Research Center, Hepatorenal Fibrocystic Disease Core Center, Civitan International Research Center, Diabetes Research & Training Center, and Center for Metabolic Bone Disease.

Research/Clinical Interest

Modeling Patient Specific Disease Mutations In Animals
The Kesterson laboratory uses genetically modified cell lines (iPSCs) and animal models to study numerous physiological and behavioral processes with recent focus on 1) humanized models of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) and developing therapeutic interventions, 2) mechanisms by which primary cilium localized on hypothalamic neurons regulate energy balance, and 3) novel mouse models with mitochondrial and nuclear genomes exchanged between inbred strains of mice (i.e. MNX mice) with differing susceptibilities to disease. As part of his work as director of the TGEMs facility, Dr. Kesterson has created >150 knock-in/knock-out mouse models using ES cells, and worked with numerous investigators to create mouse, rat, and zebrafish models using recent CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease-based technologies. Graduate Biomedical Science Themes: # Cancer Biology # Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology # Genetics and Genomic Sciences # Neuroscience

Selected Publications

  1. Kesterson, R.A., Huszar, D., Simerly, R.B., and Cone, R.D. Induction of Neuropeptide Y Gene Expression in the Dorsal Medial Hypothalamic Nucleus in Two Models of the Agouti Obesity Syndrome (1997) Molecular Endocrinology 11:630-637  9139806  
  2. Fan, W., Boston,B.A., Kesterson, R.A., Hruby, V.J., and Cone, R.D. Melanocortinergic Inhibition of Feeding Behavior and Disruption with an Agouti-mimetic (1997) Nature 385:165-168 8990120 
  3. Huszar, D., Lynch, C.A., Fairchild-Huntress, V., Dunmore, J.H., Smith, F.J., Kesterson, R.A., Boston, B.A., Fang, Q., Berkemeier, L.R., Gu, W., Cone, R.D., Campfield, L.A., Lee, F. Recapitulation of the Agouti Obesity Syndrome in Mice Lacking the Melanocortin-4 Receptor (1997) Cell 88:131-141 9019399 
  4. Ni, X, Kesterson, R.A., Hruby, V.J., Cone, R.D., Wiedemann, E., and Humphreys, M.H. Prevention of Natriuresis After Acute Unilateral Nephrectomy (AUN) by a Melanocortin 3 Receptor (MC3-R) Antagonist (1998) American Journal of Physiology 274: R931-R938 9575953 
  5. Clemens, T.L., Tang, H., Maeda, S., Kesterson, R.A., Demayo, F., Pike, J.W., Gundberg, C.M. Analysis of osteocalcin expression in transgenic mice reveals a species difference in vitamin D regulation of mouse and human osteocalcin genes (1997) Bone Miner Res:1570-1576 9333117 
  6. *Miyamoto, K., *Kesterson R.A., Yamamoto, H., Taketani, Y., Nishiwaki, E., Tatsumi, S., Inoue, Y., Morita, K., Takeda, E., Pike, J.W. Structural organization of the human vitamin D receptor chromosomal gene and its promoter (1997) Molecular Endocrinology:1165-1179 *Co-first author 9212063 
  7. Li, Si-Jia, Varga, K., Archer, P., Hruby, V.J., Sharma, S.D., Kesterson, R.A., Cone, R.D., and Kunos, G. Melanocortin Antagonists Define Two Distinct Pathways of Cardiovascular Control by a- and g-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones (1996) Journal of Neuroscience 16:5182-5188 8756446 
  8. Cone, R.D., Lu, D.L., Chen, W., Koppula, S., Inge Vage, D., Klungland, H., Boston, B., Orth, D.N., Pouton, C., and Kesterson, R.A. The Melanocortin Receptors: Agonists, Antagonists, and the Hormonal Control of Pigmentation (1996) Recent Progress in Hormone Research 51:287-318 8701084 
  9. Kesterson, R.A., DeMayo, F., Stanley, L., Finegold, M.J., and Pike, J.W. Vitamin D Regulation of Human Osteocalcin Gene Expression in Transgenic Mice (1993) Molecular Endocrinology 7:462-467 8483481 
  10. Friedman, D.L., Kesterson, R.A., Puleo, P., Wu, A.H.B., and Perryman, M.B. Recombinant Creatine Kinase Proteins as Standards for Creatine Kinase Isoenzyme and Subform Assays (1993) Clinical Chemistry 39:1598-1601 8353943 
  11. Hruby, V.J.., Lu, D.L, Sharma, S.D., Castrucci, A., Kesterson, R.A., Al-Obeidi, F.A., Hadley, M.E., and Cone, R.D. Cyclic Lactam a-Melanotropin Analogues of Ac-Nle4-cyclo[Asp5, D-Phe7,Lys10] a-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone-(4-10)-NH2 with Bulky Aromatic Amino Acids at Position 7 Show High Antagonist Potency and Selectivity at Specific Melanocortin Receptors (1995) Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 38:3454-3461 7658432 
  12. Stenzel, P., Kesterson, R.A., Yeung, W., Cone, R.D., Rittenberg, M.B., and Stenzel-Poore, M.P. Identification of a Novel Murine Receptor for Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Expressed in the Heart (1995)Molecular Endocrinology 9:637-645 7565810 
  13. Liu, Z., Swindall, A.F., Bullard, D.C., Kesterson, R.A., Schoeb, T.R., and Bellis, S.L. ST6Gal-I regulates macrophage apoptosis via α2-6 sialylation of the TNFR1 death receptor. J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 19.   
  14. O'Connor AK, Kesterson RA, Yoder BK. Generating conditional mutants to analyze ciliary functions: the use of Cre-lox technology to disrupt cilia in specific organs. Methods Cell Biol. 2009;93:305-30. Epub 2009 Dec 4. 20409823 
  15. Morabito MV, Abbas AI, Hood JL, Kesterson RA, Jacobs MM, Kump DS, Hachey DL, Roth BL, Emeson RB. Mice with altered serotonin 2C receptor RNA editing display characteristics of Prader-Willi syndrome. Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Aug;39(2):169-80. Epub 2010 Apr 13. 20394819 
  16. Kesterson RA, Berbari NF, Pasek RC, Yoder BK. Utilization of conditional alleles to study the role of the primary cilium in obesity. Methods Cell Biol. 2009;94:163-79. Epub 2009 Dec 23. Review. 20362090 
  17. Cope, M.B., Jumbo-Luciono, P., Allison, D.B., DiCostanzo, C.A., Jamison, W.G., Kesterson, R.A., and Nagy, T.R. Risperidone alters food intake, core body temperature and locomotor activity in mice. Physiol Behav 2009 Mar 2;96(3):457-63 19084548 
  18. Kumar KG, Trevaskis JL, Lam DD, Sutton GM, Koza RA, Chouljenko VN, Kousoulas KG, Rogers PM, Kesterson RA, Thearle M, Ferrante AW Jr, Mynatt RL, Burris TP, Dong JZ, Halem HA, Culler MD, Heisler LK, Stephens JM, Butler AA. Identification of adropin as a secreted factor linking dietary macronutrient intake with energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism.
    Cell Metab. 2008 Dec;8(6):468-81. 19041763 
  19. Brooks WS, Helton ES, Banerjee S, Venable M, Johnson L, Schoeb TR, Kesterson RA, Crawford DF. G2E3 is a dual function ubiquitin ligase required for early embryonic development.
    J Biol Chem. 2008 Aug 8;283(32):22304-15. Epub 2008 May 28. 18511420 
  20. Zinn, K.R., Chaudhuri, T.R., Szafran, A.A., OQuinn, D., Weaver, C., Dugger, K., Lamar, D., Kesterson, R.A., Wang, X., and Stuart, F.J. Noninvasive bioluminescence imaging in small animals. ILAR J. 2008;49(1):103-15 18172337 
  21. Chen M, Aprahamian CJ, Kesterson RA, Harmon CM, Yang Y.Molecular Identification of the Human Melanocortin-2 Receptor Responsible for Ligand Binding and Signaling. Biochemistry. 2007 Oct 9;46(40):11389-97. Epub 2007 Sep 18 17877367 
  22. Davenport, JR, Watts, AJ, Roper VC, Croyle MJ, van Groen T, Wyss JM, Nagy TR, Kesterson RA, Yoder BK. Disruption of intraflagellar transport in adult mice leads to obesity and slow-onset cystic kidney disease. Curr Biol. 2007 Sep 18;17(18):1586-94. 17825558  
  23. Yang, Y., Chen, M., Kesterson, R.A., and Harmon, C.M. Structural insights into the role of the ACTH receptor cysteine residues on receptor function, AJP 2007 293(3):R1120-6 17596328 
  24. Singh, M., Kesterson, R.A., Joers, J.M, Jamison, W., Gore, J.C., and Emeson, R.B. Expression of the RNA editing enzyme ADAR2 leads to hyperphagia-mediated obesity in transgenic mice, JBC 2007 3;282(31):22448-59. 17567573 
  25. Cope, M.B., Jumbo-Lucioni, P., Walton, R.G., Kesterson, R.A., Allison, D.B., and Nagy, T.R. No effect of dietary fat on short-term weight gain in mice treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs, Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jun;31(6):1014-22. Epub 2007 Jan 16. 17224931 
  26. He, S, Schoeb, T.R., Panoskaltsis-Mortari, A., Zinn, K.R., Kesterson, R.A., Zhang, J., Samuel, S., Hicks, M.J., and Bullard, D.C. Deficiency of P-selectin or PSGL-1 Leads to Accelerated Development of Glomerulonephritis and Increased Expression of CCL2 in Lupus-Prone Mice (2006) J. Immunology 177(12):8748-56 17142777 
  27. Jones, J.R., Barrick, C., Blondeau, B., Fujimoto, Y., Shiota, M., Kesterson, R.A., Kahn, B.B., and Magnuson. M.A. Deletion of PPARγ in adipose tissues of mice protects against high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. (2005) PNAS 102(17):6207-12 15833818  
  28. Ercil, N.E., Galici, R., McDonald, M., and Kesterson, R.A. HS014, a selective melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) antagonist, enhances the behavioral effects of morphine. (2005) Psychopharmacology 180(2):279-85 15719225 
  29. Lamar, C.R., Jamison, W., Brazda, A., Kesterson, R.A. Putative Targets of CNS Melanocortin Receptors (2003) Ann N Y Acad Sci. 994:211-7 12851318 
  30. Sutcliffe, J.S., Han, M.K., Amin, T., Kesterson, R.A., Nurmi, E.L. Partial Duplication of the APBA2 Gene in Chromosome 15q13 Corresponds to Duplicon Structures (2003) BMC Genomics 4(1):15 12720574 
  31. Butler, A.A., Kesterson, R.A., Khong, K., Cullen, M.J., Pelleymounter, M.A., Dekoning, J., Baetscher, M., Cone, R.D. A Unique Metabolic Syndrome Causes Obesity in the Melanocortin-3 Receptor-Deficient Mouse (2000) Endocrinology 141:3518-21 10965927 
  32. *Coste, S.C., *Kesterson, R.A., Heldwein, K.A., Stevens, S.L., Hill, J.K., Heard, A.D., Murray, S.E., Pantely, G.A., Hohimer, A.R., Hatton, D.C., Phillips, T.J., Finn, D.A., Low, M.J., Rittenberg, M.B., Stenzel, P., Stenzel-Poore, M.P. Aberrant Appetite Control and Impaired Cardiovascular Function in Mice Lacking Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor-2 (2000) Nature Genetics 24:403-409 *Co-first author 10742107 
  33. Ashley, J.W., Shi, Z., Zhao, H., Li, X., Kesterson, R.A., and Feng, X. Genetic Ablation of CD68 Results in Mice with Increased Bone and Dysfunctional Osteoclasts, PLoS ONE, 2011;6(10):e25838. Epub 2011 Oct 3  
  34. Berbari, N.F., Kin, N.W., Sharma, N., Michaud, E.J., Kesterson, R.A., and Yoder, B.K. Mutations in Traf3ip1 reveal defects in ciliogenesis, embryonic development, and altered cell size regulation, Dev Biol. 2011 Sep 16  
  35. Hughes, M., Malloy, P., Kieback, D., Kesterson, R.A., Pike, J.W., Feldman, D., and O'Malley, B.W. Point Mutations in the Human Vitamin D Receptor Gene Associated with Hypocalcemic Rickets (1988) Science 242:1702-1705 2849209