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Cell Biology and Biochemistry

       Beverly Chilton, Ph.D.



I developed my long-standing interest in reproductive biology as a PhD student with Dr. J.C. Daniel, Jr. (1973-76). I received postdoctoral training in developmental genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1976-77) and reproductive biology at the University of Pennsylvania (1977-81). I joined the faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina (1981-84), and then relocated to join the reproductive biology group here at TTUHSC (1984-present). I enjoy teaching gross anatomy and histology to freshmen medical students. Editorial board experience includes Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (1995-present), Biology of Reproduction (1995-99; 2002-04) and Endocrinology (1994-97). I served (2001-05) on the Reproductive Biology (REB) Study Section, which was reorganized as Cellular Molecular and Integrative Reproduction (CMIR). Career highlights include an NIH Research Career Development Award (1986-91); speaker - President's Symposium at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society of Reproduction (1997), organizer/speaker - International Symposium on Uteroglobin/Clara Cell 10kDa Family of Proteins (2000), and speaker - Gordon Research Conference, Prolactin Family (2003). Local recognition includes President's Excellence in Teaching Award (1987), President's Academic Achievement Award (1995), YWCA Women of Excellence in Science Award (1999), Dean's Research Award (2003), Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award (2003) and Distinguished University Professor (2005).



My research is devoted to studies on hormone regulation of gene expression in the female reproductive tract. As the recipient of an NIH research career development award (1986-91) that overlapped with funding from the US-New Zealand Cooperative program (1989-90), I took a mini-sabbatical to redirect my program into molecular endocrinology. My search for transcription factors that mediated the ability of prolactin to augment progesterone-dependent transcriptional activation of the uteroglobin gene culminated in the cloning and characterization of the RUSH/SMARCA3 transcription factors. Rabbit RUSH/SMARCA3 expression is regulated by a steroid-dependent alternative splicing mechanism. The identification of RUSH/SMARCA3, a prolactin signal transduction intermediate, demonstrated an under appreciated role for prolactin in augmenting steroid-dependent gene transcription. I also identified an atypical P-type ATPase as the novel binding partner for the RING-finger of RUSH/SMARCA3. This RING-finger binding protein is embedded in the inner nuclear envelope. The physical affiliation of RUSH/SMARCA3 with an inner nuclear envelope protein suggests this structural fellowship is important to nuclear partitioning of transcription factors.

Recent Publications

  • Chilton, B.S., S.K. Mani and D.W. Bullock. 1988. Servomechanism of prolactin and progesterone in regulating uterine gene expression. Mol. Endo. 2, 1169-1175.
  • Kleis-SanFrancisco, S., A. Hewetson and B.S. Chilton. 1993. Prolactin augments progesterone-dependent uteroglobin gene expression by modulating promoter-binding proteins. Mol. Endocrinol. 7, 214-223.
  • Hayward-Lester, A., Hewetson, A., Beale, E.G., Oefner, P.J., Doris, P.A. and B.S. Chilton. 1996. Cloning, characterization and steroid-dependent posttranscriptional processing of RUSH-1α & β, two uteroglobin promoter binding proteins. Mol. Endocrinol. 10, 1335-1349.
  • Mansharamani, M., A. Hewetson and B.S. Chilton. 2001. Cloning and characterization of an atypical Type IV P-type ATPase that binds to the RING motif of RUSH transcription factors. J. Biol. Chem. 276, 3641-3649.
  • Hewetson, A., Hendrix, E.C., Mansharamani, M., Lee, V.H. and B.S. Chilton. 2002. Identification of the RUSH consensus-binding site by cyclic amplification and selection of targets: Demonstration that RUSH mediates the ability of prolactin to augment progesterone-dependent gene expression. Mol. Endocrinol. 16, 2101-2112.
  • Hewetson, A. and B.S. Chilton. 2003. An Sp1-NF-Y/Progesterone Receptor DNA Binding-dependent Mechanism Regulates Progesterone-induced Transcription of the Rabbit RUSH/SMARCA3 Gene. J. Biol. Chem. 278, 40177-40185.
  • Hewetson, A., Moore, S.L. and B.S. Chilton. 2004. Prolactin Signals Through RUSH/SMARCA3 in the Absence of a Physical Association with Stat5a. Biology of Reproduction, 71, 1907-1912.
  • Chilton, B.S. and A. Hewetson. 2005. Prolactin and Growth Hormone Signaling. In: Current Topics in Developmental Biology, 68:1-23, Gerald Schatten, ed., Elsevier, Inc., San Diego, CA.