John Hess, Ph.D.
Researcher Emeritus
3415 Tupper Hall
Davis Campus

The lens contains two distinct Intermediate Filament (IF) related cytoskeletal structures: vimentin composed IFs and filensin and phakinin composed Beaded Filaments. The detailed structure of both of these structures is not known.

In collaboration with John Voss, Dr. Hess has studied vimentin structure and assembly using site directed spin labeling and EPR. He has also performed experiments adapting the chaperone activity of alpha crystallin to maintain the solubility of proteins expressed in E. coli and in vitro in solution.

Finally, in collaboration with John Angelos, Dr. Hess has helped clone and characterize a hemolysin expressed by Moraxella bovis, an opportunistic ocular pathogen of cattle, and conducted studies using the hemolysin as a potential vaccine.

Ning Sun, Brad Shibata, John F. Hess, Paul G. FitzGerald. An alternative means of retaining ocular structure and improving immunoreactivity for light microscopy studies. Molecular Vision 2015; 21:428-442

John F. Hess, Madhu S. Budamagunta, Atya Aziz, Paul G. FitzGerald*, and John C. Voss. Electron paramagnetic resonance analysis of the vimentin tail domain reveals points of order in a largely disordered region and conformational adaptation upon filament assembly. Protein Sci. 2013 Jan;22(1):47-55. PMID: 23109052.

Richard P. Tucker, John F. Hess, Qizhi Gong, Katrina Garvey, Bradley Shibata and Josephine C. Adams. A thrombospondin in the anthozoan Nematostella vectensis is associated with the nervous system and upregulated during regeneration. Biol Open. 2013 Feb 15;2(2):217-26. doi: 10.1242/bio.20123103. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Atya Aziz (co-1st)+, John F. Hess (co-1st)+, Madhu S. Budamagunta, John C Voss, Paul G. FitzGerald* Alexandre P. Kuzin, Yuanpeng J. Huang, Rong Xiao, Gaetano T. Montelione, John F. Hunt*. The structure of vimentin linker 1 and rod 1B domains characterized by site-directed spin-labeling electron paramagnetic resonance (SDSL-EPR) and x-ray crystallography. J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 17;287(34):28349-61. Epub 2012 Jun 26. PMID: 22740688

John A. Angelos, Khaled Gohary, Louise M. Ball, and John F. Hess, PhD. Randomized controlled field trial to assess efficacy of a Moraxella bovis pilin-cytotoxin- Moraxella bovoculi cytotoxin subunit vaccine to prevent naturally occurring infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis. Am J Vet Res. 2012 Oct;73(10):1670-5. PMID: 23013196

Fudge DS, McCuaig JV, Van Stralen S, Hess JF, Wang H, Mathias RT, Fitzgerald PG, Intermediate filaments regulate tissue size and stiffness in the murine lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Jun 1;52(6):3860-7. Print 2011. PMID 21345981.

Aziz, Atya, John F. Hess, Madhu S. Budamagunta, John C. Voss and Paul G. FitzGerald. SDSL EPR determination of vimentin head domain structure. J. Biol Chem. Epub March 15, 2010.

Angelos, JA, Lane, VM, Ball, LM and JF Hess, Recombinant Moraxella bovoculi cytotoxin-ISCOM matrix adjuvanted vaccine to prevent naturally occurring infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis. Vet Res Commun. 2010 Mar 10.

Aziz, A, Hess, JF, Budamagunta, MS, Voss, JC and FitzGerald, PG. Head and Rod 1 interactions in Vimentin. Identification of contact sites, structure and changes with phosphorylation using site directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance. J Biol Chem. 2009 Mar 13;284(11):7330-8. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

Pittenger, J.T., Hess, J.F., Budamagunta, MS, Voss, JC and FitzGerald, PG Identification of phosphorylation induced changes in vimentin intermediate filaments by site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance. Biochemistry 2008;47, 10863-10870.

Pittenger, J.T., Hess, J.F., FitzGerald, PG. Identifying the role of specific motifs in the lens fiber cell specific intermediate filament protein phakosin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Nov;48(11):5132-41.

Hess, J.F. and FitzGerald, P.G. Treatment of keratin intermediate filaments with sulfur mustard analogs. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 3;359(3):616-21. Epub 2007 May 29.

Angelos JA, Ball LM, Hess JF. Identification and characterization of complete RTX operons in Moraxella bovoculi and Moraxella ovis. Vet Microbiol. 2007 Nov 15;125(1-2):73-9. Epub 2007 May 18.

Angelos JA, Bonifacio RG, Ball LM, Hess JF. Prevention of naturally occurring infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis with a recombinant Moraxella bovis pilin- Moraxella bovis cytotoxin-ISCOM matrix adjuvanted vaccine. Vet Microbiol. 2007 Dec 15;125(3-4):274-83.

Hess JF, Budamagunta MS, Shipman, R. L., Voss JC, FitzGerald PG, Characterization of the linker 2 region in human vimentin using site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance. Biochemistry 2006;45 (39) p 11737-11743.

Hess, JF and Angelos, JA. The Moraxella bovis RTX locus mbx defines a pathogenicity island. J. Med. Micro. 2006;55(4) 443-9.