Smrcka Lab

Alan V. Smrcka, Ph.D.

Alan V. Smrcka, Ph.D.
View Smrcka profile
Professor and Louis C. Lasagna Professor of Experimental Therapeutics


Research Overview

We work with the tools of biology, chemistry, and genetics to understand basic mechanisms of cellular signaling and develop therapeutic strategies for heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.

Smrcka Researh

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) form a large family of cell surface receptors responsible for triggering cellular responses to a large number of extracellular stimuli including hormones such as adrenaline, serotonin, or acetylcholine and receive sensory stimuli responsible for perception of light, smell, and taste. This family of receptors is an important target for pharmaceuticals and defects in GPCR systems and are responsible for a number of diseases. All GPCRs function through activation of trimeric G proteins located on the inner surface of the plasma membrane. When GPCRs interact with an activating ligand they bind to the G protein and catalyze their activation. The activated G proteins then target ion channels or enzymes that produce second messengers to regulate cell physiology and growth.

We use chemical, structural and genetic methods to understand and manipulate G protein pathways.  Because of the underlying involvement of G protein signaling in many aspects of cellular physiology, targeting these pathways has many implications for therapy.


G Proteins

G Proteins





Recent Publications

Dusaban SS, Purcell NH, Rockenstein E, Masliah E, Cho MK, Smrcka AV, Brown JH. (2013) Phospholipase C{varepsilon} links G protein-coupled receptor activation to inflammatory astrocytic responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. [Epub ahead of print]

Smrcka AV. (2013) Molecular targeting of Gα and Gβγ subunits: a potential approach for cancer therapeutics. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 34:290-298.

Sun Z, Smrcka AV, and Chen S. (2013) WDR26 functions as a scaffolding protein to promote Gβγ-mediated PLCβ2 activation in leukocytes. J Biol Chem. [Epub ahead of print]

Zhang L, Malik S, Pang J, Wang H, Park KM, Yule DI, Blaxall BC, and Smrcka AV. (2013) Phospholipase Cε hydrolyzes perinuclear phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate to regulate cardiac hypertrophy. Cell. 153:216-227.

More papers

Contact Us

Alan V. Smrcka, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
School of Medicine and Dentistry
Box 711
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

Telephone: 585-275-0892
Fax: 585-273-2652


Lab Members

Burroughs Michael B. Burroughs
Technical Staff
Rafael Gil de Rubio Rafael H. Gil de Rubio
Graduate Student, Pharmacology and Physiology Ph.D. Program
Malik Sundeep Malik
Research Faculty
Chinmay R. Surve Chinmay R. Surve
Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Biophysics Ph.D. Program
Ward Nancy C. Ward
Technical Staff