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Professors Chatterjee, Gao, McLaughlin, Roberts, & Weerapana
Eranthie Weerapana

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information:

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006

Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla), 2006 - 2010

Selected Honors & Awards:

Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, 2011

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, 2012

Our research program applies chemical probes and mass spectrometry-based proteomics to investigate and perturb protein activities in complex proteomes. In particular, we focus on understanding the role of cysteine-mediated protein activities in cancer and degenerative diseases associated with aging. These activities comprise proteases, oxidoreductases and metabolic enzymes that rely on cysteine residues for catalysis and regulation. Functional cysteine residues demonstrate heightened reactivity relative to non-functional cysteines, and are sensitive to a myriad of oxidative protein modifications that serve to regulate protein activity in vivo. In cancer and age-related degenerative diseases, the cellular redox homeostasis is severely disrupted and the resulting oxidative stress can have dramatic consequences on cysteine-mediated protein activities. Through a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses aspects of synthetic chemistry, cell biology, proteomics and mass spectrometry, we will investigate the dysregulation of cysteine-mediated protein activities to identify therapeutic targets and small-molecule drug-leads for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Representative Key Publications:

Weerapana, E*., Wang, C*., Simon, G.M., Richter, F., Khare, S., Dillon M.B.D., Bachovchin, D.A., Mowen, K., Baker, D., and Cravatt, B.F. Quantitative reactivity profiling predicts functional cysteines in proteomes. Nature, 2010, 468, 790-795.

Weerapana, E., Simon, G. M., Cravatt, B. F. Disparate proteome reactivity profiles of carbon electrophiles. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2008, 4, 405-7.

Weerapana, E., Speers, A. E. and Cravatt, B. F. Tandem orthogonal proteolysis-activity-based protein profiling (TOP-ABPP) – a general method for mapping sites of probe modification in proteomes. Nat. Protocols., 2007, 2, 1414-25.