John Burr

John Burr

Associate Professor - Biological Sciences
Associate Dept. Head
Tags: Biology

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Molecular Biology
University of California, Berkeley - 1973
B.S. - Chemistry
University of California, Riverside - 1967

Research Areas

Research Interests

Oncogenic Transformation by Rous Sarcoma Virus

Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) causes cancer in chickens and other avian species. It also efficiently infects avian cells in culture and rapidly converts (transforms) them into tumor cells. The viral gene responsible for the oncogenicity (cancer-causing ability) of this virus is called the src gene, and it encodes a protein termed pp60v-src. Pp60v-src is a tyrosine kinase (i.e., it phosphorylates its substrate proteins on tyrosine residues).In RSV-transformed fibroblasts, pp60v-src is associated with both cellular membranes and the submembraneous cytoskeletal matrix (1). Substrates for the tyrosine kinase activity of pp60v-src are to be found in both of these sub-cellular locations.

A useful way to identify substrates for tyrosine kinases like pp60v-src has been to prepare antibodies that recognize the hapten phosphotyrosine and use these antibodies as probes for phosphotyrosine-containing proteins. We have used this approach to examine the tyrosine phosphoproteins in RSV-transformed chicken embryo fibroblasts (RSV-CEF) (2,3). In immunoblots with these antibodies, we identified a large number of proteins phosphorylated on tyrosine in a transformation-specific manner.

Among these proteins is a 120-kDa membrane-associated protein ("p120"), and 63-kDa tyrosine phosphoprotein that is associated with the cytoskeleton ("p63/SAM68"). The phosphorylation of both of these proteins is greatly reduced in cells infected with src gene mutants of RSV that are defective in their ability to transform cells. Our research is centered on investigating the role these two proteins play in growth regulation. In the process of characterizing these two proteins, we have cloned the cDNAs for two other interesting proteins, "p120psh" and "SAM68-related protein" (SRP)


J .G. Burr 2006 Chapter 1: Tools of the Cell Bio1ogist, in Medical Cell Biology, 3rd Ed., S.Goodman, Ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (in press). 2006 - Publication
Lee, J. and J.G. Burr 1999 Salp and Salp, growth-arresting homologs of Sam68. Gene 240, 133-147. 1999 - Publication
Suh, K.S., Ting, Y.T., and J.G. Burr 1998 An avian cDNA encoding a tyrosine-phosphorylated protein with PDZ, coiled-coil and SAM domains. Gene 219, 111-123. 1998 - Publication
Van Wart-Hood, J.E., M.E. Linder and J.G. Burr 1989 TPCK and quercetin act synergistically with vanadate to increase protein-tyrosine phosphorylation in avian cells. Oncogene 4, 1267-1271. 1989 - Publication
Linder, M.E. and J.G. Burr 1988 Nonmyristoylated pp60v-src fails to phosphorylate proteins of 115-120kDa in chicken embryo fibroblasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 2608-2612. 1988 - Publication
Linder, M.E. and J.G. Burr 1988 Immunological characterization of proteins detected by phosphotyrosine antibodies in cells transformed by Rous sarcoma virus. J. Virol. 62, 2665-2673. 1988 - Publication
Cobb, M.H., J. G. Burr, M.E. Linder, T.B. Gray and J .S. Gregory 1986 A similar ribosomal S6 kinase activity is found in insulin-treated 3T3 -L1 cells and chick embryo fibroblasts transformed by Rous sarcoma virus. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 137, 702-708. 1986 - Publication
Kamine, M.R., J .G. Burr and J .M. Buchanan 1980 In vitro synthesis and processing of Rous sarcoma virus src-gene products. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 44, 943-948. 1980 - Publication
Burr, J .G., G. Dreyfuss, S. Pemnan and J .M. Buchanan 1980 Association of the src gene product of Rous virus with cytoskeletal structures of chicken embryo fibroblasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77, 3484-3488. 1980 - Publication
Kamine, J.R. and J.G. Burr 1978 Preliminary identification of the number of sarc gene products of Rous sarcoma virus. Advances in Enzyme Regulation 16, 379-390. 1978 - Publication


Associate Professor of Biology
The University of Texas at Dallas [1989–1989]
Visiting Scientist
University of Turin, Turin, Italy [1986–1986]
Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at San Antonio [1983–1983]
Assistant Professor of Biology
The University of Texas at Dallas [1983–1988]
Research Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1980–1982]
Research Associate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1976–1980]
Sponsored Research Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1975–1976]
Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School [1973–1975]


NSM Dean's Teaching Award - [2002]

Additional Information

Awards and Fellowships
  • 1967-72 NIH Predoctoral Trainee
  • 1974 Developmental Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University
  • 1980-83 Co-principal Investigator (with Dr. J .M. Buchanan) on three-year NIH research grant, "Cytological and Biochemical Studies on Viral-Specific Proteins". $225,937.
  • 1988-91 Three year NSF travel grant: "U.S.-Italy Cooperative Research: Purification of Tyrosine Phosphoproteins." Grant #INT-8715273, $12,450.
  • 1988-91 Three year NSF research grant: Purification of Tyrosine Phosphoproteins." Proposal #DCB-8812232, $306,716 total costs. Awarded, but declined in favor of the NIH grant listed below. 
  • 1988-94 Five year NIH research grant: "Purification of Tyrosine Phosphoproteins." Grant #1 R29 CA47098-O1A1, $498,484 total costs. (with a no cost extension to 11/30/94)
  • 2000 Appointed to Board of Advisors, Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics, Inc.
  • 2001 Natural Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Teacher Award
  • 2002 Appointed Adjunct Professor of Mathematics/ Science Education
  • 2002 Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean's Teaching Award  


Students supervised
M.S. Awarded 1985 Joseph T. Murphy (August) 1988 Katrina Latham (December) 1988 Daniel M. Shusterman (December) 1990 Yuan-Tsang Ting (Interim, December) 1991 Nguyen, Hao (Interim, December) 1992 Sang Dae Lee (August) 1993 Yuko Hata (December) 1994 Kwang Suh (Interim, May) 1994 Sharmilla Pandhaxipande (Interim, May) 1994 Walid Moghrabi (August) Ph.D. Awarded 1987 Jacqueline C. Lui (May) 1987 Maurine E. Linder (December) 1989 Jill E. Van Wart-Hood (December) 1991 Teri G. Boulton (December) [Co-chair with Dr. M. Cobb, UTSW] 1993 Yuan-Tsang Ting (December) 1995 Hao Nguyen (May) 1998 Kwang S. Suh (August) 1999 Ju-Seog Lee (May)