Kenton S. Miller

kenton miller

Associate ProfessorOH N221

Differential sialylation is known to control numerous important cellular functions in the immune system. Previous studies with gene knockout mice have shown that the ST6Gal I sialyltransferase gene is required for the normal immune function of mature B cells. This gene has multiple promoters giving rise to multiple mRNAs differing only in their 5’-untranslated regions and promoter usage is strictly regulated by tissue and developmental stage-specific controls. My laboratory is conducting experiments designed (1) to identify the immune specific developmental control mechanisms that regulate ST6Gal I mRNA expression in B cells and to explicate their modes of action, (2) to identify functional roles for the specific 5’-untranslated regions of these varied mRNAs, and (3) to identify the stimuli responsive elements in the B cell-specific promoters and in the ‘general’ promoter for this gene. An in depth understanding of the controls regulating this important enzyme may eventually lead to new modalities for the treatment immune based disease.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, Iowa State Univ., Ames, Iowa.  1981
  • M.A. Biology, St. Cloud State Univ., St. Cloud, Minnesota. 1975
  • B.S. Biomedical Science, St. Cloud State Univ., St. Cloud, Minnesota. 1974

Areas of Research Focus

  • Role of sialylation in the control of immune function

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Sigma Xi
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Consortium for Functional Glycomics

Courses Taught at TU

  • Advanced Cell Biology (BIOL 3473)
  • Faculty Bio Course Taught
  • Immunology (BIOL 4233/6833)
  • Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology (BIOL 1703, 1701)
  • Protein Structure and Function (BIOL 4003/6043)


  • 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. The Cancer Biotherapeutics Newsletter 1, 6.

  • Marino JH, Tan C, Davis B, Han ES, Hickey M, Naukam R, Taylor A, Miller KS, Van De Wiele CJ, Teague TK. (2008) Disruption of Thymopoiesis in ST6Gal I Deficient Mice. Glycobiology, in press.

  • Bagriacik, E.U., Kirkpatrick, A. and Miller, K.S. (1996) Glycosylation of Native MHC I Molecules is Required for Recognition by Allogeneic Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes. Glycobiology 6, 413.

  • 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 Hook, L. (1996) Quantifying Cell Monolayers Cultures by Video Imaging. BioTechniques 20, 652.

  • Cook P, Fu C, Hickey M, Han ES, Miller KS (2004) SAS programs for real-time RT-PCR having multiple independent samples. BioTechniques 37(6):990-997.

  • Marino JH, Hoffman M, Meyer M, Miller KS (2004) Sialyltransferase mRNA abundances in B cells are strictly controlled, correlated with cognate lectin binding, and differentially responsive to immune signaling in vitro. Glycobiology 14(12):1265-1274.