Lokesh Gakhar, PhD


Contact Information

Address: 4-612 Bowen Science Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-7671


We are interested in understanding protein function through structure. Experimentally, we investigate structures by X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic and static light scattering, and computationally, by modeling and docking. At the Carver College of Medicine's Crystallography Core Facility, we provide infrastructure, training and consultation to researchers in the crystallization and structure determination process. The Core also consults on issues dealing with protein purification and protein bioinformatics. Current projects with researchers on and off-campus involve ubiquitin interaction and signaling, the phototransduction pathway, caffeine degradation, innate immunity, airway surfactants, translesion DNA synthesis, GTPase regulators, among others.

Selected Publications

R.M. Summers, T.M. Louie, C.L. Yu, L. Gakhar, K.C. Louie, M. Subramanian. “Novel, highly specific N-demethylases enable bacteria to live on caffeine and related purine alkaloids”, Journal of Bacteriology, 194(8), 2041-9 (2012).

K.G. Kohlgraf, A.R. Ackermann, K.K. Burnell, R.N. Srikantha, S.A. Joly, J. Bartlett, L. Gakhar, G.K. Johnson, P.B. McCray, Jr., J.M. Guthmiller, K.A. Brogden. “Quantitation of SPLUNC1 in saliva with an xMAP particle-based antibody capture and detection immunoassay”, Archives of Oral Biology, 57(2), 197-204 (2012).

J.S. Kavanaugh, L. Gakhar, A.R. Horswill. “The structure of LsrB from Yersinia pestis complexed with autoinducer-2”, Acta Crystallographica F, 67(12), 1501-5 (2011).

S. Tsutakawa, A.V. Wynsberghe, B.D. Freudenthal, C. Weinacht, L. Gakhar, M.T. Washington, Z. Zhuang, J. Tainer, I. Ivanov. “Solution X-ray scattering combined with computational modeling reveals multiple conformations of covalently-bound ubiquitin on PCNA”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(43),17672-7 (2011).

J. Bartlett, L. Gakhar, J. Penterman, P. Singh, R.K. Mallampalli, E. Porter, P.B. McCray Jr. “PLUNC: a multifunctional surfactant of the airways”, Biochemical Society Transactions, 39(4), 1012-16 (2011).

B.D. Freudenthal, J.E. Brogie, L. Gakhar, C.M. Kondratick, M.T. Washington. “Crystal structure of SUMO-modified proliferating cell nuclear antigen”, Journal of Molecular Biology (2010).

N. Pashkova, L. Gakhar, S.C. Winistorfer, L. Yu, S. Ramaswamy, R.C. Piper. “WD40 repeat propellers define a ubiquitin-binding domain that regulates turnover of F box proteins”, Molecular Cell, 40(3), 433-43 (2010).

N.B. Ray, L. Durairaj, B.B. Chen, B.J. McVerry, A.J. Ryan, M. Donahoe, A.K. Waltenbaugh, C.P. O'Donnell, F.C. Henderson, C.A. Etscheidt, D.M. McCoy, M. Agassandian, E.C. Hayes-Rowan, T.A. Coon, P.L. Butler, L. Gakhar, S.N. Mathur, J.C. Sieren, Y.Y. Tyurina, V.E. Kagan, G. McLennan, R.K. Mallampalli. “Dynamic regulation of cardiolipin by the lipid pump Atp8b1 determines the severity of lung injury in experimental pneumonia.” Nature Medicine (2010).

C.S. Hass, L. Gakhar, M.S. Wold. “Functional characterization of a cancer causing mutation in human Replication Protein A”. Molecular Cancer Research (2010).

B.D. Freudenthal, L. Gakhar, S. Ramaswamy, M.T. Washington. “Structure of monoubiquitinated PCNA and implications for translesion synthesis and polymerase exchange”. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 17, 479-84 (2010).

L. Gakhar, J.A. Bartlett, J. Penterman, D. Mizrachi, P.K. Singh, R.K. Mallampalli, S. Ramaswamy, P.B. McCray Jr., “PLUNC is a Novel Airway Surfactant Protein With Anti-Biofilm Activity”. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9098. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009098 (2010).

B. Barren, L. Gakhar, H. Muradov, K.K. Boyd, S. Ramaswamy, N.O. Artemyev. “Structural basis of phosphodiesterase 6 inhibition by the C-terminal region of the gamma-subunit”. EMBO Journal, 28(22), 3613-22 (2009).