Picture of Gerhard Wagner

Gerhard Wagner, Ph.D.

Elkan Blout Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Our research is concerned with structures of proteins and protein complexes and their functional roles. We use NMR spectroscopy, other biophysical techniques, computational tools and small molecule inhibitors to reveal mechanisms and cellular significance of protein interactions.

The primary structural focus is on how eukaryotic translation initiation regulates the fate of cells. In particular, we are interested in the interaction of the cap-binding proteins eIF4E with the mRNA cap, the scaffold protein eIF4G, and the regulatory 4E-BPs, and how these interactions are related to cell transformation and apoptosis. To address this, we have identified small-molecule inhibitors of the eIF4E/eIF4G interaction and found that these may have anti-tumor activity. We are also interested in interactions of other eukaryotic initiation factors including eIF4G, eIF4A, eIF4B, eIF3, and in identifying  small-molecule inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents.

We also seek to understand mechanisms of T-cell function from structural studies. This includes the abTCR and the associated CD3 complexes. In addition, we try to understand mechanisms of downstream signaling at the level of nuclear translocation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) through de-phosphorylation by calcineurin.

We are interested in protein-protein interactions in apoptosis. These include molecules from the Bcl-2 family and the mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC, and proteins that interact with VDAC. Recently we have developed procedures for incorporating membrane proteins in covalently circularized phospholipid nanodiscs creating stable membrane protein preparations usable for numerous membrane protein studies and membrane protein complexes.


Room C1-112

240 Longwood Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

Publications View
Topological analysis of the gp41 MPER on lipid bilayers relevant to the metastable HIV-1 envelope prefusion state.
Authors: Authors: Wang Y, Kaur P, Sun ZJ, Elbahnasawy MA, Hayati Z, Qiao ZS, Bui NN, Chile C, Nasr ML, Wagner G, Wang JH, Song L, Reinherz EL, Kim M.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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A nanobody that recognizes a 14-residue peptide epitope in the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC6e modulates its activity.
Authors: Authors: Ling J, Cheloha RW, McCaul N, Sun ZJ, Wagner G, Ploegh HL.
Mol Immunol
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Emerging solution NMR methods to illuminate the structural and dynamic properties of proteins.
Authors: Authors: Arthanari H, Takeuchi K, Dubey A, Wagner G.
Curr Opin Struct Biol
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Structural characterization of the human membrane protein VDAC2 in lipid bilayers by MAS NMR.
Authors: Authors: Eddy MT, Yu TY, Wagner G, Griffin RG.
J Biomol NMR
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NMR: an essential structural tool for integrative studies of T cell development, pMHC ligand recognition and TCR mechanobiology.
Authors: Authors: Mallis RJ, Brazin KN, Duke-Cohan JS, Hwang W, Wang JH, Wagner G, Arthanari H, Lang MJ, Reinherz EL.
J Biomol NMR
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Integrative methods in structural biology.
Authors: Authors: Kaptein R, Wagner G.
J Biomol NMR
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Aromatic 19F-13C TROSY: a background-free approach to probe biomolecular structure, function, and dynamics.
Authors: Authors: Boeszoermenyi A, Chhabra S, Dubey A, Radeva DL, Burdzhiev NT, Chanev CD, Petrov OI, Gelev VM, Zhang M, Anklin C, Kovacs H, Wagner G, Kuprov I, Takeuchi K, Arthanari H.
Nat Methods
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Authors: Authors: Wagner G.
J Biomol NMR
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Nonuniform Sampling for NMR Spectroscopy.
Authors: Authors: Robson S, Arthanari H, Hyberts SG, Wagner G.
Methods Enzymol
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High resolution X-ray and NMR structural study of human T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain containing protein-3.
Authors: Authors: Gandhi AK, Kim WM, Sun ZJ, Huang YH, Bonsor DA, Sundberg EJ, Kondo Y, Wagner G, Kuchroo VK, Petsko G, Blumberg RS.
Sci Rep
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