Kenton S. Miller
-B.A., St. Cloud State University
-Ph.D., Iowa State University

Office: N217 Oliphant Hall
Phone: (918) 631-3065

Research Interests:
In the past decade, the field of immunology has witnessed unprecedented progress toward elucidating the structure and function of the various classes of molecules found on the surface of immune effector cells. The molecules and genes involved in antigen recognition have been characterized; new accessory molecules have been identified; and many of the underlying biochemical events of lymphocyte activation and function have been defined. Despite these notable advances, it is remarkable how little is known concerning the role of the carbohydrate structures present on functionally important plasma membrane glycoproteins. Consider, for example, that the various classes of MHC molecules, CD4, CD8 and the T cell receptor itself are all glycoproteins. Further, important costimulatory molecules or their ligands are either heavily glycosylated (CD43, CD45, HSA) or are known to have lectin-like domains (CD2, CD22, CD23, CD69, CD72), yet the functions of these glycans and their receptors remain largely unknown. The research conducted in my laboratory is aimed at discovering and characterizing immunoregulatory glycans and glycan receptors, and explicating their function at the cellular and molecular levels.

The laboratory is currently focusing on the early events of B cell activation. We have recently demonstrated that transcription from most genes encoding known sialyltranstransferases (enzymes which add sialic acid to the non-reducing termini of glycoconjugates) are differentially regulated during B cell activation, and we are currently characterizing the signals which control their transcription. In a related area, our laboratory has been the first to demonstrate the presence of a functional ecto-sialyltransferase on the surface of murine lymphoid cells. We are very excited about this find and are currently characterizing the targets and linkage specificity of this enzyme(s). 

Teaching Fields:

  • Biol 1003-Genetics and Human Diversity.
  • Biol 4133-Immunology
  • Biol 4283-Selected Topics in Protein Structure/Function

Selected Publications:

  • Cook, P., Fu, C., Hickey, M., Han, E.-S. and Miller, K.S. (2004) SAS programs for real-time RT-PCR having multiple independent samples, BioTechniques 37:990.
  • Marino, J., Meyer, M., Hoffman, M. and Miller, K.S. (2004) Sialyltransferase mRNA Abundances are Strictly Controlled and Differentially Regulated Following B Lymphocyte Activation, Glycobiology 14:1265.
  • Marino, J., Cook, P. and Miller, K.S. (2003) Accurate and Statistically Verified Quantification of Relative mRNA Abundance Using SYBR Green I and Real-Time RT-PCR. J. Immunol Methods 283:291.
  • Bagriacik, E.U., and Miller, K.S., 1999. Cell Surface Sialic Acid and the Regulation of Immune Cell Interactions: The Neuraminidase Effect Reconsidered. Glycobiology 9, 267.
  • Miller, K.S., 1997. Costimulatory Molecules and Whole Cell Vaccines. Cancer BioTherapuetic Newsletter 1,4.
  • Bagriacik, E.U., Kirkpatrick, A. and Miller, K.S., 1996. Glycosylation of Native MHC Class Ia Molecules is Required for Recognition by Allogeneic Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes. Glycobiology 6, 413.
  • Miller, K.S. and Hook, L., 1996. Quantifying Cell Monolayer Cultures by Video Imaging. BioTechniques 20, 652.
  • Miller, K.S., Bagriacik, E.U., Dharmaraj, R. and Klein, J.R., 1995. Inhibition of Target Cell Glycosylation by Tunicamycin Abrogates Target Cell Lysis by Allospecific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes. Glycoconjugate Journal 12, 582.
  • Miller, K.S. and Brudnak, M., 1995. Expression Cloning: PCR Versus Episomal Vectors for Rescue of Transfected Genes. In PCR in Neuroscience(Methods in Neuroscience Vol. 26) Editor G. Sarkar, Academic Press, Orlando, FL. 20.
  • Mosley, R.L., Whetsell, M. Stickney, D., Whetsell, L., Schaefer, F.V., Miller, K.S. and Klein, J.R., 1994. Phenotype and T Cell Receptor Gamma/delta Variable Gene Repertoire of Intestinal Intraepithelial Lymphocytes in Wild Mice (Mus musculus domesticus): Abundance of Vgamma1 and Extensive Delta Gene Diversity. Int. Immunol. 6, 231

Research Students and Projects:

  • Expression of sialyltransferase genes during B cell activation 

Other Responsibilities:

  • Chairman: Graduate Studies, Department of Biological Science
  • Past President: Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society
  • Chairman: Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Institutional Radiation Safety Officer