Allosteric interaction of potential K-Ras inhibitors Drug Design
Ras self-assembly in raft membraneRas Nanoclustering
Ras membrane interaction Protein-Membrane Interactions
Development of Ras inhibitors Drug Discovery
Effects of Ras and cholesterol concentrations on nanocluster propertiesRas Nanoclustering
pMD-membrane: A method for ligand binding site identificationDrug Discovery
Confocal imaging and FCS analysis of Ras in cellsRas Aggregation
Determination of ligand-binding preference to allosteric sitesMethods Development
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Aiming at developing new treatment modalities for unsolved health challenges, our laboratory combines computer simulations with cell biology and biophysical experiments to study the basic principles of bio-molecular function. These include such key cellular phenomena as organization of cell signaling components, interfacial interactions and allostery. Our studies encompass the atomic, molecular and supra-molecular levels of detail, with our primary focus being the Ras family of lipid-modified enzymes that regulate a variety of cell signaling pathways. We work towards elucidating how dynamics and lateral distribution of Ras and related G-proteins at membrane surfaces regulate signaling events, and leverage insights from our basic research to design novel anti-cancer drugs. Other interests of the group include membrane biophysics, transient signaling complexes, and partitioning of specific drugs into membranes.

Open positions

July 2020: We accept applications from graduate and undergraduate students for thesis or summer research

Recent Publications

  1. Prakash P and Gorfe AA "Probing the conformational and energy landscapes of KRAS membrane orientation", 2019, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2019, 17;123(41):8644-8652.
  2. Gorfe AA, Cho KJ "Approaches to inhibiting oncogenic K-Ras", 2019, Small GTPases, Aug 22:1-10.
  3. Mccarthy M, Pagba CV, Prakash P, Naji AK, van der Hoeven D, Liang H, Gupta AK, Zhou Y, Cho K-J, Hancock JF, Gorfe AA "Discovery of high affinity non-covalent allosteric KRAS inhibitors that disrupt effector binding", 2019, ACS Omega, 4 (2), 2921–2930.
  4. Prakash P, Litwin D, Liang H, Sarkar-Banerjee S, Dolino D, Zhou Y, Hancock JF, Jayaraman V, Gorfe AA, "Dynamics of Membrane-Bound G12V-KRAS From Simulations and Single-Molecule FRET in Native Nanodiscs", 2019, Biophys J 116(2):179-183.
  5. Zhou Y, Prakash P, Liang H, Cho KJ, Gorfe AA and Hancock JF. "Lipid-Sorting Specificity Encoded in K-Ras Membrane Anchor Regulates Signal Output", 2016, Cell, 168: 1–13.

Major support