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Lee A Bulla Jr
Professor-Biology Department
Office MailstopMail Box: FO31, Room No.: FN 3.112 
Email Address  bulla@utdallas.edu    Primary Phone Number 972-883-4226    URL UTD Webpage    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
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 DegreeMajorInstitutionYear
 Postdoctoral Research Associate Northern Regional Research Laboratory, USDA, Peoria, IL1969
 Ph.D.MicrobiologyOregon State University1968
 B.S.BiologyMidwestern State University1965
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
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Research Interests
Many subspecies of the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produce various parasporal crystal proteins, also known as Cry toxins, that exhibit insecticidal activity upon binding to specific receptors in the midgut of susceptible insects. One such receptor, BT-R1(210 kDa), is a cadherin located in the midgut epithelium of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. It has a high binding affinity (Kd~1 nM) for the Cry1A toxins of B. thuringiensis. Truncation analysis of BT-R1 revealed that the only fragment capable of binding the Cry1A toxins of B. thuringiensis is a contiguous 169-amino acid sequence adjacent to the membrane-proximal extracellular domain. The purified toxin-binding fragment acts as an antagonist to Cry1Ab toxin by blocking the binding of toxin to the tobacco hornworm midgut and inhibiting insecticidal action. Exogenous Cry1Ab toxin bound to intact COS-7 cells expressing BT-R1 cDNA, subsequently killing the cells. Recruitment of BT-R1 by B. thuringiensis indicates that the bacterium interacts with a specific cell adhesion molecule during its pathogenesis. Apparently, Cry toxins, like other bacterial toxins, attack epithelial barriers by targeting cell adhesion molecules within susceptible insect hosts.
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
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 1  2 3  
  YearPublication  Type
2004
Griko, N., M. Candas, X. Zhang, M. Junker and L. A. Bulla, Jr. 2004. Selective antagonism of the cadherin BT-R1 interferes with calcium-induced adhesion of epithelial membrane vesicles. Biochemistry. In press.
Category: Biochemistry (ACS Publications)
Peer reviewed
2003
Midboe, E. G., M. Candas and L. A. Bulla, Jr. 2003. Expression of a midgut-specific cadherin BT-R1 during the development of Manduca sexta. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part B 135: 125-137.
Category: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology
Peer reviewed
2003
Candas, M., O. Loseva, B. Oppert, P. Kosaraju and L. A. Bulla, Jr. 2003. Insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis: alterations in the Indianmeal moth larval gut proteome. Mol. Cell Proteomics. 2: 19-28.
Category: Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
Peer reviewed
2002
Dorsch, J. A., M Candas, N. Griko, B., W. S. A. Maaty, E. G. Midboe, R. K. Vadlamudi and L. A. Bulla, Jr. 2002. Cry1A toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis bind specifically to a region adjacent to the membrane-proximal extracellular domain of BT-R1 in Manduca sexta: involvement of a cadherin in the entomopathogenicity of Bacillus thuringiensis. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 32: 1025-1036.
Category: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Peer reviewed
2002
Candas, M., Francis, B. R. Griko, N. B. Midboe, E. G. and Bulla, L. A. Jr. 2002. Proteolytic cleavage of the developmentally important cadherin BT-R1 in the midgut epithelium of Manduca sexta. Biochemistry 41: 13717-13724.
Category: Biochemistry (ACS Publications)
Peer reviewed
Collapse Section Expand Section Affiliations
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Collaborators
Antich, Peter The University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center at Dallas
Bonte, Frederick The University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center at Dallas
Dyer, David University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Federici, Brian University of California at Riverside
Gillaspy, Allison University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Johnson, Arthur Texas A&M University
Koehler, Theresa The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Machius, Mischa The University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center at Dallas
Ravel, Jacque The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)
White, Charles The University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center at Dallas
Wirth, Margaret University of California at Riverside
Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors
Thesis advisor: W. B. Bollen, Oregon State University
Postdoctoral advisor: R. A. Rhodes, Northern Regional Research Center, USDA, Peoria, IL
Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor
Ph.D. Students Postdoctoral Associates
Xuebin Zhang - current Natalya Griko - current
Pradeepa Kosaraju - current Olga Loseva - 2000-2002
Veniamin Slavitskiy - current Jason Meng - 1996-1998
Eric Midboe - 1999 Timothy Keeton - 1996-1998
Walid Maaty - 1999 Scott Franklin - 1996-1998
Mohamed Ibrahim - 1999 Brian Francis - 1995-1998
John Dorsch - 1998 Yehia Osman - 1995-1998
Other Affiliations
2001-present Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
2001- present Adjunct Professor, Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
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DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
1999-PresentDirectorCenter for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics University of Texas at Dallas
1998-PresentProfessorDept of Molecular Biology University of Texas at Dallas
1991-1995DirectorCenter for Environmental Simulation Studies University of Wyoming
1991-1995ChairmanDept of Molecular Biology University of Wyoming
1984-1998ProfessorDept of Molecular Biology University of Wyoming
1984-1990DeanCollege of Agriculture University of Wyoming
1982-1984DirectorInstitute of Molecular and Agricultural Genetic Engineering University of Idaho
1981-1984ProfessorDepartment of Bacteriology and Biochemistry University of Idaho
1981-1984Associate Dean for ResearchCollege of Agriculture University of Idaho
1981-1984DirectorIdaho Agricultural Experiment Station University of Idaho
1975-1981ProfessorDivision of Biology Kansas State University
1973-1975Associate ProfessorDivision of Biology Kansas State University
1971-1973Assistant Professor (Adjunct)Peoria School of Medicine University of Illinois
1969-1973Assistant Professor (Adjunct)Department of Chemistry and Biology Bradley University
1969-1973Project LeaderMicrobiology, Northern Regional Research LaboratoryAgriculture Research ServiceUSDA
 Synergistic Activities
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Synergistic Activities
  1. American Academy of Microbiology, Special Project on "100 Years of Bacillus thuringiensis-- A Paradigm for Transgenic Organisms: A Critical Scientific Assessment." 2001.
  2. Institutional Biosafety Committee, Universiity of Texas at Dallas, 1999-2002.
  3. Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute, 1998-present.
  4. Joint Graduate Studies Committee in Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2000-present.
  5. Dean's Council, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Texas at Dallas, 1999-present.
  6. Intellectual Property Committee, University of Texas at Dallas, 1999-present.
  7. Health Profession Advisory Committee, School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, University of Texas at Dallas, 1999-present.

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