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Dr. Michael Gober, MD
Dermatologist (skin)

Accepting new patients


Affiliations ?

Dr. Gober is affiliated with 3 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations



  • University of PA Medical Center/Presbyterian
    51 N 39th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
    Top 50%
  • Graduate Hospital
    1800 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
  • Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    3900 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Gober has contributed to 11 publications.
    Title Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
    Date August 2008
    Journal Current Directions in Autoimmunity

    Allergic contact dermatitis is a classic example of a cell mediated hypersensitivity reaction in the skin. This occurs as a result of xenobiotic chemicals penetrating into the skin, chemically reacting with self proteins, eventually resulting in a hapten-specific immune response. It is precisely because of this localized immune response that allergic signs and symptoms occur (redness, edema, warmth and pruritus). It has been known for years that conventional T-cells (CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells that express a T-cell receptor alpha/Beta) are critical effectors for this reaction. There is emerging evidence that innate immune lymphocytes such as invariant Natural killer T-cells and even Natural killer cells may play important role. Other T-cell types such as Tregulatory cells and the IL-10 secreting Tregulatory cells type I are likely to be important in the control (resolution) of allergic contact dermatitis. Other cell types that may contribute include B-cells and hapten-specific IgM. Additionally, epidermal Langerhans cells have been ascribed an indispensable role as an antigen presenting cell to educate T-cells of the skin immune system. Studies of mice that lack this cell type suggest that Langerhans cells may be dispensible, and may even play a regulatory role in allergic contact dermatitis. The identity of the antigen presenting cells that complement Langerhans cells has yet to be identified. Lastly, Keratinocytes play a role in all phases of allergic contact dermatitis, from the early initiation phase with the elaboration of inflammatory cytokines, that plays a role in Langerhans cell migration, and T-cell trafficking, through the height of the inflammatory phase with direct interactions with epidermotrophic T-cells, through the resolution phase of allergic contact dermatitis with the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and tolerogenic antigen presentation to effector T-cells. As the understanding of allergic contact dermatitis continues to improve, this will provide novel therapeutic targets for immune modulating therapy.

    Title Human Natural Killer T Cells Infiltrate into the Skin at Elicitation Sites of Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
    Date June 2008
    Journal The Journal of Investigative Dermatology

    The purpose of this study is to identify invariant natural killer T cells (NKT cells) in cellular infiltrate of human allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) skin challenge sites. Skin biopsy specimens were taken from positive patch test reactions from 10 different patients (9 different allergens) and studied by immunochemistry, real-time PCR, nested PCR, and in situ hybridization to identify NKT cells and the cytokines associated with this cell type. Invariant NKT cells were identified in all the 10 skin biopsy specimens studied, ranging from 1.72 to 33% of the cellular infiltrate. These NKT cells were activated in all cases, as they expressed cytokine transcripts for IFN-gamma and IL-4. Invariant NKT cells are present in ACD, regardless of the allergen that triggers the reaction, and are in an activated state. We conclude that innate immunity plays a role in late phases of type IV hypersensitivity reactions and may be responding to self-lipids released during allergic inflammation. These data complement the previous work by other investigators that suggest that NKT cells are important in the early cellular response during primary immune responses to allergens. Herein, it is demonstrated that NKT cells are constantly present during the late elicitation phase of human type IV hypersensitivity reactions.

    Title The Herpes Simplex Virus Gene Pol Expressed in Herpes-associated Erythema Multiforme Lesions Upregulates/activates Sp1 and Inflammatory Cytokines.
    Date September 2007
    Journal Dermatology (basel, Switzerland)

    BACKGROUND/AIMS: Herpes-simplex-virus-associated erythema multiforme (HAEM) is characterized by lesional skin expression of the viral protein Pol and localized inflammation. The objective of this study is to examine the mechanism whereby Pol induces localized inflammation. METHODS: A431 cells transfected with Pol or an empty vector and lesional skin from HAEM or drug-induced erythema multiforme patients were examined for expression of the transcription factor SP1 and SP1-regulated genes by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. RESULTS: SP1, TGF-beta, p21(waf1) and Hsp27 were upregulated in A431 cells transfected with Pol but not the empty vector. Expression was further increased by exposure to IFN-gamma. Pol+ HAEM lesional skin expressed SP1, Hsp27, TGF-beta and p21(waf1). Normal skin and drug-induced erythema multiforme lesional skin were negative. CONCLUSION: The data indicate that Pol activates SP1, causing upregulation of SP1 target genes (notably TGF-beta) involved in localized inflammation. Upregulation is potentiated by IFN-gamma.

    Title Overload of the Heat-shock Protein H11/hspb8 Triggers Melanoma Cell Apoptosis Through Activation of Transforming Growth Factor-beta-activated Kinase 1.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Oncogene

    Molecular therapeutics is a recognized promising approach for melanoma, but relevant target genes remain elusive. We report that overload of the recently cloned H11/HspB8 induces apoptosis in 55% of examined melanoma cultures. Apoptosis was determined by activation of caspases-9 and -3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), and was not seen in normal melanocytes. It was associated with H11/HspB8 complexation with transforming growth factor-beta-activated kinase (TAK) 1 and activation of TAK1 and p38 mitogen activated protein 3 kinases. TAK1 was not bound, nor activated by the H11/HspB8 mutant W51C, which has dominant antiapoptotic activity. beta-Catenin was phosphorylated by activated TAK1, inhibiting its nuclear accumulation and mictophthalmia-associated transcription factor and cyclin dependent kinase 2 expression. The dominant-negative TAK1 mutant K63W inhibited beta-catenin phosphorylation and caspase activation. The data indicate that H11/HspB8 overload causes melanoma growth arrest and apoptosis through TAK1 activation and suggest that H11/HspB8 is a promising molecular therapy target.

    Title Novel Homozygous Frameshift Mutation of Ever1 Gene in an Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis Patient.
    Date April 2007
    Journal The Journal of Investigative Dermatology

    Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) is a rare genetic skin disease with an autosomal recessive trait, and the patients have susceptibility to a specific group of human papillomavirus genotypes. Recently germline mutations in EVER1/2 genes have been detected in EV patients with different ethnic origins. In this study, we have applied PCR, single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis, and sequencing as well as restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for identifying potential mutation(s) of EVER genes in an EV patient and in the parents of Pakistani origin. A novel homozygous frameshift mutation (T base deletion at nucleotide position 968 of DNA) has been detected in the EVER1 gene of the patient. The parents carried this mutated allele in a heterozygous form. This is the third report on the presence of EVER1 mutations in an EV patient, and this result supports better understanding, diagnosis, and genetic counseling of EV patients.

    Title The Growth Compromised Hsv-2 Mutant Deltarr Prevents Kainic Acid-induced Apoptosis and Loss of Function in Organotypic Hippocampal Cultures.
    Date January 2007
    Journal Brain Research

    We have previously shown that the HSV-2 anti-apoptotic protein ICP10PK is delivered by the replication incompetent virus mutant DeltaRR and prevents kainic acid (KA)-induced epileptiform seizures and neuronal cell loss in the mouse and rat models of temporal lobe epilepsy. The present studies used DeltaRR and the ICP10PK deleted virus mutant DeltaPK to examine the mechanism of neuroprotection. DeltaRR-infected neuronal cells expressed a chimeric protein in which ICP10PK is fused in frame to LacZ (p175) while retaining ICP10PK kinase activity. DeltaPK-infected neuronal cells expressed a mutant ICP10 protein that is deleted in the PK domain and is kinase negative (p95). p175 and p95 were expressed in CA3 (86+/-3%) and CA1 (69+/-7%) cells from DeltaRR or DeltaPK-infected organotypic hippocampal cultures (OHC) and 80-85% of the ICP10 positive cells co-stained with antibody to beta(III) Tubulin (neuronal marker). DeltaRR, but not DeltaPK, inhibited KA-induced cell death and caspase-3 activation in CA3 neurons, an inhibition seen whether DeltaRR was delivered 2 days before or 2 days after KA administration (95% neuroprotection). Neuroprotection was associated with ERK and Akt activation and was abrogated by simultaneous treatment with the MEK (U0126) and PI3-K (LY294002) inhibitors. DeltaRR-mediated neuroprotection was associated with increased expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bag-1 and decreased expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Bad. The surviving neurons retained normal synaptic function potentially related to increased expression of the transcription factor CREB. The data indicate that DeltaRR is a promising platform for neuroprotection from excitotoxic injury.

    Title Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Encodes a Heat Shock Protein Homologue with Apoptosis Regulatory Functions.
    Date September 2006
    Journal Frontiers in Bioscience : a Journal and Virtual Library

    The decision to undergo apoptosis lies in the balance between pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins. Since virus replication relies on the cellular machinery, viruses have evolved various strategies to alter this balance. They target the Bcl-2 and signaling protein kinase (PK) apoptosis modulatory families by encoding homologues or altering the expression of the cellular proteins. The heat shock proteins (Hsp) are emerging as a new family of apoptosis modulatory proteins and are also a target of virus modification. Hsp function in protein folding and activation, often assisted by co-chaperones. They complex with nascent or damaged proteins and chaperone them for refolding and resumption of function, or for proteosomal degradation. Until recently, Hsp were considered strictly anti-apoptotic, possibly by virtue of their contribution to the removal of damaged and undesirable client proteins. However, recent studies have also begun to associate the Hsp with pro-apoptotic functions. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) encodes two proteins homologous to Hsp family members. One of these, known as ICP10PK, is a homologue to a newly cloned Hsp (H11) and modulates virus-induced apoptosis. ICP10PK is unique among the viral proteins that regulate apoptosis in that it targets all the families of apoptosis modulatory proteins. It activates the ERK signaling pathway, stabilizes Bcl-2 and upregulates Hsp70 and Hsp27 as well as the Hsp70 co-chaperone Bag-1. Its ability to commander these families of apoptosis regulators is required for HSV-2 replication and latency establishment/reactivation.

    Title Intranasal Administration of the Growth-compromised Hsv-2 Vector Deltarr Prevents Kainate-induced Seizures and Neuronal Loss in Rats and Mice.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Molecular Therapy : the Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

    Identification of targets and delivery platforms for gene therapy of neurodegenerative disorders is a clinical challenge. We describe a novel paradigm in which the neuroprotective gene is the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) antiapoptotic gene ICP10PK and the vector is the growth-compromised HSV-2 mutant DeltaRR. DeltaRR is delivered intranasally. It is not toxic in rats and mice. ICP10PK is expressed in the hippocampus of the DeltaRR-treated animals for at least 42 days in the absence of virus replication and late virus gene expression. Its expression is regulated by an AP-1 amplification loop. Intranasally delivered DeltaRR prevents kainic acid-induced seizures, neuronal loss, and inflammation, in both rats and mice. The data suggest that DeltaRR is a promising therapeutic platform for neurodegenerative diseases.

    Title Stress Up-regulates Neuronal Expression of the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Large Subunit of Ribonucleotide Reductase (r1; Icp10) by Activating Activator Protein 1.
    Date October 2005
    Journal Journal of Neurovirology

    Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) genes expressed in neuronal cells in response to stress stimuli that trigger latency reactivation are largely unknown. Using a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter assay we found that stress caused a significant (P < .001) increase in ICP10 expression in neuronal cells. Up-regulation correlated with activator protein (AP)-1 activation, notably c-Jun and c-Fos that bind cognate elements in the ICP10 promoter. It was blocked by mutation of the AP-1 motifs in the ICP10 promoter. ICP10 expression protected neuronal cells from stress-induced apoptosis. The data suggest that ICP10 may contribute to HSV-2 reactivation by increasing neuronal survival.

    Title Correspondence Regarding M.v. Kim Et Al. "some Properties of Human Small Heat Shock Protein Hsp22 (h11 or Hspb8)".
    Date October 2004
    Journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
    Title Forced Expression of the H11 Heat Shock Protein Can Be Regulated by Dna Methylation and Trigger Apoptosis in Human Cells.
    Date November 2003
    Journal The Journal of Biological Chemistry

    H11, the eukaryotic homologue of a herpes simplex virus protein, has the crystallin motif of heat shock proteins (Hsp), but it differs from canonical family members in that mRNA and protein levels were reduced in various tumor tissues and cell lines (viz. melanoma, prostate cancer and sarcoma) relative to their normal counterparts. In these cells, expression was not restored by heat shock, but rather by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (Aza-C). Forced H11 expression by Aza-C treatment, transient transfection with H11 expression vectors, or retrovirus-mediated delivery of H11 under the control of a tetracycline-sensitive promoter triggered apoptosis. This is evidenced by a significant (p < 0.001) increase in the percentage of cells positive for terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and for activation of caspase-3 and p38MAPK and by the co-localization of TUNEL+ nuclei with increased H11 levels. Apoptosis was partially inhibited by the pancaspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone or the p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580. It was abrogated by co-treatment with both inhibitors, suggesting that H11-triggered apoptosis is both caspase- and p38MAPK-dependent. A single site mutant (H11-W51C) had cytoprotective activity related to MEK/ERK activation, and it blocked H11-induced apoptosis in co-transfected and Aza-C-treated cells, indicating that it is a dominant negative mutant. This is the first report of a heat shock protein with proapoptotic activity.

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