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Dr Benjamin Curry

Manager

School of Environmental and Life Sciences (Biological Sciences)

Career Summary

Biography

My experience in gene expression was initially in melanoma where I completed a PhD in the department of Molecular Medicine in the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle.  I developed the first quantitative assay for the detection of circulating melanoma cells in melanoma patients (Curry et. al., 1996), and used this technique with various molecular markers to develop a predictive molecular biological test for the recurrence of disease (Curry et. al., 1998, 1999a, 1999b, 2001). 

 

I took up a position as Post-Doctoral fellow and subsequently Laboratory Manager in the laboratory of Professor John Aitken in the Reproductive Biology Group in 2000, where I turned my molecular biology experience to investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the maturation of mammalian spermatozoa.  We found that there were multiple forms of redox activity in spermatozoa (Aitken et. al., 2003, Baker et. al., 2004, 2005), and in the course of our experiments I discovered three new genes expressed in mammalian spermatozoa (Curry et. al., 2004a, 2004b, 2006). 

 

Since 2006, I have spent more time out of the laboratory fulfilling my role as Laboratory Manager of the Reproductive Science Group.  However I have continued assisting the laboratory with my molecular biology experience, and have assisted in the laboratory’s research.  This includes signal transduction of spermatozoa (Baker et. al., 2009), apoptosis regulation (Pujianto et. al., 2010), redox regulation (Aitken and Curry 2011, Houston et. al., 2015), DNA damage (Smith et. al., 2013), and a relatively new field for the laboratory, equine spermatozoa (Swegen et al., 2015).


Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • gamete biology
  • gene expression
  • reproductive sciences

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
080299 Computation Theory and Mathematics not elsewhere classified 25
111499 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine not elsewhere classified 75
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Aitken RJ, Curry BJ, 'Life and death in the germ line: Apoptosis and the origins of dna damage in human spermatozoa', Principles and Practice of Fertility Preservation 101-113 (2011) [B2]

© Cambridge University Press 2011. Introduction apoptosis and DNA damage in human spermatozoa Apoptosis, a physiological process for the controlled deletion of cells, is critical ... [more]

© Cambridge University Press 2011. Introduction apoptosis and DNA damage in human spermatozoa Apoptosis, a physiological process for the controlled deletion of cells, is critical for the regulation of cell numbers, the management of morphogenesis during embryonic development and the orchestration of many cellular processes in the adult. Spermatogenesis, the production of functional spermatozoa from spermatogonial stem cells is no exception. It appears that a functional apoptotic pathway is necessary for normal spermatogenesis to develop and without it infertility ensues. Apoptosis also plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the testis and its response to external toxicants as well as in the programmed senescence of terminally differentiated spermatozoa. This chapter will focus specifically on how apoptosis affects sperm quality and function, and the implications of this process for both embryonic development and the health and well-being of the offspring. A great deal of data has accumulated in recent years suggesting that human spermatozoa can exhibit some of the hallmarks of apoptosis including activation of caspases 1, 3, 8 and 9 [1, 2], annexin-V binding [3, 4], mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) [5] and DNA fragmentation [6¿8]. The latter is potentially extremely important because DNA damage in the male germ line has been associated with a wide variety of adverse biological and clinical outcomes. Thus DNA damage in human spermatozoa has been correlated with poor fertilization and impaired embryonic development to the blastocyst stage [9, 10] as well as with the incidence of subsequent miscarriage [11¿13].

DOI 10.1017/CBO9780511921896.012
Co-authors John Aitken

Journal article (20 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Swegen A, Smith ND, Gibb Z, Curry BJ, Aitken RJ, 'The serine protease testisin is present on the surface of capacitated stallion spermatozoa and interacts with key zona pellucida binding proteins', Andrology, (2018)

© 2018 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology Background and Objectives: Serine proteases are emerging as important players in the spermatozoon's acq... [more]

© 2018 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology Background and Objectives: Serine proteases are emerging as important players in the spermatozoon's acquisition of functional competence. This study aimed to characterize the serine protease testisin (PRSS21) in stallion spermatozoa, examining its surface expression, possible origins in the testis and epididymis, and changes in response to capacitation and acrosome reaction, as well as its capacity to form high molecular weight complexes and interact with other proteins. Materials and Methods: The role of serine proteases in spontaneous capacitation and acrosome reaction of stallion spermatozoa was established using the serine protease inhibitor, AEBSF. Testisin localization, before and after exposure of stallion spermatozoa to capacitating conditions and calcium ionophore, was examined using live cell immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Immunohistochemistry of testicular and epididymal tissues was used to further dissect the origins of sperm testisin. Testisin's participation in high molecular weight protein complexes and identification of its interacting partner proteins were investigated using Blue Native PAGE, co-immunoprecipitation, and mass spectrometry, with interrogation of protein¿protein interaction databases and gene ontology analysis of partner proteins used to further explore the potential roles of the testisin-containing complex in sperm function. Results: Testisin surface expression increased significantly in capacitated spermatozoa (p¿<¿0.001), increased further following acrosome reaction (p¿<¿0.01), and was localized to the equatorial region of the sperm head. Testisin was also detected in luminal fluid within the caput and corpus regions of the epididymis, epididymal spermatozoa, and epididymal epithelial cells. Testisin formed several multiprotein complexes; co-immunoprecipitation revealed interactions of testisin with a multitude of zona pellucida-binding proteins, including ZPBP, ZAN, acrosin, several heat-shock proteins, and components of the TCP1 complex. Conclusion: Testisin appears to form part of the zona pellucida-binding complex in stallion spermatozoa and may be involved in the proteolytic cascade that prepares the sperm surface for interaction with the oocyte.

DOI 10.1111/andr.12569
Co-authors Zamira Gibb, John Aitken
2016 Gibb Z, Lambourne SR, Curry BJ, Hall SE, Aitken RJ, 'Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Plays a Pivotal Role in the Maintenance of Stallion Sperm Motility', BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION, 94 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.116.140509
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
Co-authors John Aitken, Zamira Gibb
2015 Swegen A, Curry BJ, Gibb Z, Lambourne SR, Smith ND, Aitken RJ, 'Investigation of the stallion sperm proteome by mass spectrometry', Reproduction, 149 235-244 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Stallion spermatozoa continue to present scientific and clinical challenges with regard to the biological mechanisms responsible for... [more]

© 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Stallion spermatozoa continue to present scientific and clinical challenges with regard to the biological mechanisms responsible for their survival and function. In particular, deeper understanding of sperm energy metabolism, defence against oxidative damage and cell-cell interactions should improve fertility assessment and the application of advanced reproductive technologies in the equine species. In this study, we used highly sensitive LC-MS/MS technology and sequence database analysis to identify and characterise the proteome of Percoll-isolated ejaculated equine spermatozoa, with the aim offurthering our understanding of this cell's complex biological machinery. We were able to identify 9883 peptides comprising 1030 proteins, which were subsequently attributed to 975 gene products. Gene ontology analysis for molecular and cellular processes revealed new information about the metabolism, antioxidant defences and receptors of stallion spermatozoa. Mitochondrial proteins and those involved in catabolic processes constituted dominant categories. Several enzymes specific to ß-oxidation of fatty acids were identified, and further experiments were carried out to ascertain their functional significance. Inhibition of carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1, a rate-limiting enzyme of ß-oxidation, reduced motility parameters, indicating that b-oxidation contributes to maintenance of motility in stallion spermatozoa.

DOI 10.1530/REP-14-0500
Citations Scopus - 23Web of Science - 19
Co-authors John Aitken, Zamira Gibb
2015 Aitken JB, Naumovski N, Curry B, Grupen CG, Gibb Z, Aitken RJ, 'Characterization of an L-amino acid oxidase in equine spermatozoa.', Biol Reprod, 92 125 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.114.126052
Citations Scopus - 21Web of Science - 20
Co-authors Zamira Gibb, John Aitken
2015 Houston B, Curry B, Aitken RJ, 'Human spermatozoa possess an IL4I1 L-amino acid oxidase with a potential role in sperm function', Reproduction, 149 587-596 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to play an important role in the regulation of human sperm function. In this study, we demon... [more]

© 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to play an important role in the regulation of human sperm function. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that human spermatozoa possess interleukin-induced gene 1 (IL4I1), an L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) which is capable of generating ROS on exposure to aromatic amino acids in the presence of oxygen. The preferred substrates were found to be phenylalanine and tryptophan while the enzyme was located in the acrosomal region and midpiece of these cells. In contrast to equine and bovine spermatozoa, enzyme activity was lost as soon as the spermatozoa became non-viable. On a cell-to-cell basis human spermatozoa were also shown to generate lower levels of hydrogen peroxide than their equine counterparts on exposure to phenylalanine. Stimulation of LAAO activity resulted in the induction of several hallmarks of capacitation including tyrosine phosphorylation of the sperm flagellum and concomitant activation of phospho-SRC expression. In addition, stimulation of LAAO resulted in an increase in the levels of acrosomal exocytosis in both the presence and absence of progesterone stimulation, via mechanisms that could be significantly reversed by the presence of catalase. As is often the case with free radical-mediated phenomena, prolonged exposure of human spermatozoa to phenylalanine resulted in the stimulation of apoptosis as indicated by significant increases in mitochondrial superoxide generation and the activation of intracellular caspases. These results confirm the existence of an LAAO in human spermatozoa with a potential role in driving the redox regulation of sperm capacitation and acrosomal exocytosis.

DOI 10.1530/REP-14-0621
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9
Co-authors John Aitken
2013 Smith TB, Dun MD, Smith ND, Curry BJ, Connaughton HS, Aitken RJ, 'The presence of a truncated base excision repair pathway in human spermatozoa that is mediated by OGG1', JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 126 1488-1497 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1242/jcs.121657
Citations Scopus - 60Web of Science - 52
Co-authors Matt Dun, John Aitken
2011 Aitken RJ, Curry BJ, 'Redox regulation of human sperm function: From the physiological control of sperm capacitation to the etiology of infertility and DNA damage in the germ line', Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 14 367-381 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1089/ars.2010.3186
Citations Scopus - 149Web of Science - 134
Co-authors John Aitken
2010 Pujianto DA, Curry BJ, Aitken RJ, 'Prolactin exerts a prosurvival effect on human spermatozoa via mechanisms that involve the stimulation of Akt phosphorylation and suppression of caspase activation and capacitation', Endocrinology, 151 1269-1279 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1210/en.2009-0964
Citations Scopus - 57Web of Science - 54
Co-authors John Aitken
2009 Baker MA, Hetherington L, Curry BJ, Aitken RJ, 'Phosphorylation and consequent stimulation of the tyrosine kinase c-Abl by PKA in mouse spermatozoa: Its implications during capacitation', Developmental Biology, 333 57-66 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.06.022
Citations Scopus - 38Web of Science - 35
Co-authors Mark Baker, John Aitken
2006 Curry BJ, Holt JE, McLaughlin EA, Aitken RJ, 'Characterization of structure and expression of the Dzip1 gene in the rat and mouse', Genomics, 87 275-285 (2006) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ygeno.2005.10.007
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Janet Bristow, John Aitken, Eileen Mclaughlin
2005 Baker MA, Krutskikh A, Curry BJ, Hetherington L, Aitken RJ, 'Identification of cytochrome-b5 reductase as the enzyme responsible for NADH-dependent lucigenin chemiluminescence in human spermatozoa', Biology of Reproduction, 73 334-342 (2005) [C1]
DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.104.037960
Citations Scopus - 32Web of Science - 32
Co-authors John Aitken, Mark Baker
2004 Baker MA, Krutskikh A, Curry BJ, McLaughlin EA, Aitken RJ, 'Identification of Cytochrome P450-Reductase as the Enzyme Responsible for NADPH-Dependent Lucigenin and Tetrazolium Salt Reduction in Rat Epididymal Sperm Preparations', Biology of Reproduction, 71 307-318 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.104.027748
Citations Scopus - 46Web of Science - 42
Co-authors Mark Baker, Eileen Mclaughlin, John Aitken
2004 Curry BJ, Su H, Law EG, McLaughlin EA, Nixon B, Aitken RJ, 'Identification of RARhoGAP, a novel putative RhoGAP gene expressed in male germ cells', Genomics, 84 406-418 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ygeno.2004.03.004
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Brett Nixon, John Aitken, Eileen Mclaughlin
2004 Curry BJ, Roman SD, Wallace C, Scott RJ, Miriami E, Aitken RJ, 'Identification and characterisation of a novel splice variant of mouse and rat cytochrome b5/cytochrome b5 reductase', Genomics, 83 425-438 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ygeno.2003.08.020
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Shaun Roman, John Aitken
2003 Aitken RJ, Ryan AL, Curry BJ, Baker MA, 'Multiple forms of redox activity in populations of human spermatozoa', Molecular Human Reproduction, 9 645-661 (2003) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/molehr/gag086
Citations Scopus - 72Web of Science - 68
Co-authors John Aitken, Mark Baker
2001 Curry JB, Myers K, Hersey P, 'Utility of Tests for Circulating Melanoma Cells in Identifying Patients Who Develop Recurrent Melanoma', Cancer Research, 158 211-230 (2001) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15
1999 Curry BJ, Myers K, Hersey P, 'MART-1 is expressed less frequently on circulating melanoma cells in patients who develop distant compared with locoregional metastases', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 17 2562-2571 (1999)
DOI 10.1200/JCO.1999.17.8.2562
Citations Scopus - 69Web of Science - 66
1999 Curry BJ, Farrelly M, Hersey P, 'Evaluation of S-100 beta assays for the prediction of recurrence and prognosis in patients with AJCC stage I-III melanoma', MELANOMA RESEARCH, 9 557-567 (1999)
DOI 10.1097/00008390-199912000-00004
Citations Scopus - 27Web of Science - 23
1998 Curry BJ, Myers K, Hersey P, 'Polymerase chain reaction detection of melanoma cells in the circulation: Relation to clinical stage, surgical treatment, and recurrence from melanoma', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 16 1760-1769 (1998)
DOI 10.1200/JCO.1998.16.5.1760
Citations Scopus - 117Web of Science - 111
1996 Curry BJ, Smith MJ, Hersey P, 'Detection and quantitation of melanoma cells in the circulation of patients', MELANOMA RESEARCH, 6 45-54 (1996)
DOI 10.1097/00008390-199602000-00007
Citations Scopus - 32Web of Science - 34
Show 17 more journal articles

Conference (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Aitken RJ, Shokri S, Pujianto DA, Curry BJ, Whiting SJ, Salamonsen L, 'INSULIN AS AN IMPORTANT PROSURVIVAL FACTOR FOR HUMAN SPERMATOZOA', ANDROLOGY (2013) [E3]
Co-authors John Aitken
2006 Baker MA, Curry BJ, Aitken RJ, 'Inactivation of C-ABL Via PKA During Capacitation of Mouse Spermatozoa', Book of Abstracts, Lorne, Victoria, Australia (2006) [E3]
Co-authors John Aitken, Mark Baker
2002 Curry BJ, Su Hua S, Law E, Aitken RJ, 'Spermatozoa cell signalling: characterization and significance of a novel GTPase activating protein (GAP) identified in mammalian spermatozoa', Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sydney, NSW (2002) [E3]
Co-authors John Aitken
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 3
Total funding $36,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20041 grants / $8,000

Molecular basis of sperm-egg interaction: Identification of the receptor complex for ZP3$8,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Brett Nixon, Doctor Benjamin Curry
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183415
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19992 grants / $28,000

Investigation of the cellular checkpoint proteins in desmoid tumour cells, derived from patients with familial adenomatous polyposis.$25,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Laureate Professor Rodney Scott, Doctor Benjamin Curry
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1999
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0179047
Type Of Funding Contract - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFC
UON Y

Pulse Education Prize.$3,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Doctor Benjamin Curry
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1999
Funding Finish 1999
GNo G0179119
Type Of Funding Contract - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFC
UON Y
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Dr Benjamin Curry

Position

Manager
Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Focus area

Biological Sciences

Contact Details

Email ben.curry@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6806
Mobile 0403935042
Fax (02) 4921 6308

Office

Room LS441
Building Life Sciences.
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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