Robert I DeMars

Position title: Emeritus Professor


Phone: 608-262-3402

Genetics & Medical Genetics

555 Science Drive
Genetics & Medical Genetics

Research Description:
Somatic cells of humans are cultivated in the laboratory in order to study diverse questions with the techniques of somatic cell genetics and molecular biology. One major emphasis is on the use of cultured B lymphocytes to study the structure and functions of the human major histocompatibility complex. Transfer of appropriate cloned genes into appropriate mutant cells is used to study several questions, e.g. (i)Which specific T lymphocytes destroy the pancreatic islet cells in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus?; (ii)Which histocompatibility antigens are involved in the immune recognition of the HIV-1 virus that causes AIDS?; (iii)How do class I histocompatibility antigens control the expressions of immunoglobulin and of T cell receptors?; (iv)Can use of the in-vitro mutant B cell-gene transfer system expedite the development of vaccines?; The same cell culture-molecular biology technologies are being used to study two additional questions: (a) What is the molecular relation between the mechanisms that regulate X-chromosome-specific and cell type-specific transcription of the human X-chromosomal A-11 gene?; (b) Can we develop an in-vitro cell system for detecting induced partial or complete chromosome loss and mitotic recombination, since each process contributes to cancer causation in humans?

Dr. DeMars is no longer accepting graduate students.

Representative Publications:
McMaster, M. T., C. L. Librach, Y. Zhou, K. H. Lim, M. J. Janatpour, R. DeMars, S. Kovats, C. Damsky and S. J. Fisher. 1995. Human placental HLA-G expression is restricted to differentiatedcytotrophoblasts. J Immunol 154:3771-3778.
Green, J. M., R. DeMars, X. Xu and S. K. Pierce. 1995. The intracellular transport of MHC class II molecules in the absence of HLA-DM. J Immunol 155:3759-3768.

Ceman, S., R. A. Rudersdorf, J. M. Petersen and R. DeMars. 1995. DMA and DMB are the only genes in the class II regionof the human MHC needed for class II-associated antigen processing. J Immunol 154:2545-2556.

Celis, E., V. Tsai, C. Crimi, R. DeMars, P. A. Wentworth, R. W.Chesnut, H. M. Grey, A. Sette and H. M. Serra. 1994. Induction of anti-tumor cytotoxic T lymphocytes in normal.
Ceman, S., J. W. Petersen, V. Pinet and R. DeMars. 1994. Gene required for normal MHC class II expression and function is localized to approximately 45 kb of DNA in the class II regionof the MHC. J Immunol 152:2865-73.

Greenwood, R., Y. Shimizu, G. S. Sekhon and R. DeMars. 1994. Novel allele-specific, post-translational reduction in HLA class I surface expression in a mutant human B cell line. J Immunol 153:5525-5536.

Malnati, M. S., S. Ceman, M. Weston, R. DeMars and E. O. Long. 1993. Presentation of cytosolic antigen by HLA-DR requires a function encoded in the class II region of the MHC. J Immunol 151:6751-6.

Sette, A., R. DeMars, H. M. Grey, C. Oseroff, S. Southwood, E. Appella, R. T. Kubo and D. F. Hunt. 1993. Isolation and characterization of naturally processed peptides bound by class II molecules and peptides presented bynormal and mutant antigen- presen.

Warren, W., R. A. Eeles, B. A. Ponder, D. F. Easton, D. Averill,M. A. Ponder, K. Anderson, A. M. Evans, R. DeMars, R. Love et al. 1992. No evidence for germline mutations in exons 5-9 of the p53 gene in 25 breast cancer families. Oncogene 7:1043-6.

Ceman, S., R. Rudersdorf, E. O. Long and R. Demars. 1992. MHC class II deletion mutant expresses normal levels of transgene encoded class II molecules that have abnormal conformation and impaired antigen presentation ability. J Immunol 149:754-61. [ABSTR.

Spies, T., V. Cerundolo, M. Colonna, P. Cresswell, A. Townsendand R. DeMars. 1992. Presentation of viral antigen by MHC class I moleculesis dependent on a putative peptide transporter heterodimer. Nature 355:644-6.

Malnati, M. S., M. Marti, T. LaVaute, D. Jaraquemada, W. Biddison,R. DeMars and E. O. Long. 1992. Processing pathways for presentation of cytosolic antigen to MHC class II-restricted T cells. Nature 357:702-4.

Spies, T. and R. DeMars. 1991. Restored expression of major histocompatibility class I molecules by gene transfer of a putative peptide transporter [see comments]. Nature 351:323-4.

Kovats, S., E. K. Main, C. Librach, M. Stubblebine, S. J. Fisher and R. DeMars. 1990. A class I antigen, HLA-G, expressed in human trophoblasts.Science 248:220-3.

Fisch, P., M. Malkovsky, S. Kovats, E. Sturm, E. Braakman, B. S. Klein, S. D. Voss, L. W. Morrissey, R. DeMars, W. J. Welch et al. 1990. Recognition by human V γ 9/V δ 2 T cells of a GroEL homolog on Daudi Burkitt’s lymphoma cells. Science 250:126.