Prof. Haim J. Wolfson

Modeling of large multi-molecular assemblies

Atomic resolution modeling of large multimolecular assemblies is a key task in structural cell biology.  We are developing state of the art, highly efficient algorithms to model large complexes (consisting of tens of subunits) at atomic resolution by integrating experimental data from various biological modalities, such as X-ray crystallography, NMR, Electron Microscopy (EM), mass-spectrometry and more.
Key publications:

  • Y. Inbar, H. Benyamini, R. Nussinov, H. J. Wolfson, Prediction of Multi-Molecular Assemblies by Multiple Docking, J. Mol. Biol., 349(2),  241—449, (2005).
  • K. Lasker, O. Dror, M. Shatsky, R. Nussinov, and H. Wolfson, EMatch: Discovery of High Resolution Structural Homologues of Protein Domains in Intermediate Resolution Cryo-EM, IEEE/ACM Trans. on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 4(1), 28—39, (2007).
  • K. Lasker, M. Topf, A. Sali, H.J. Wolfson, Inferential optimization for fitting multiple components into a cryoEM map of their assembly, J. Mol. Biol. 388: 180-194, (2009).

Design of peptides that inhibit protein-protein interactions

Inhibition of protein-protein interactions (PPI) is the new frontier of drug design.  We are developing efficient algorithms for in-silico design of high affinity peptidic and small molecule inhibitors of PPIs.
Key publications:

  • E. Donsky and H.J. Wolfson, PepCrawler: A Fast RRT-based Algorithm for High Resolution Refinement and Binding-Affinity Estimation of Peptide Inhibitors, Bioinformatics, 27 (20), 2836—2842, (2011).

Detection of proteins which bind ubiquitin

The ubiquitylation signal promotes trafficking of endogenous and retroviral transmembrane proteins. The signal is decoded by a large set of ubiquitin (Ub) receptors that tether Ub-binding domains (UBDs) to the trafficking machinery.  We are developing structure-based procedure to scan the protein data bank for hidden UBDs. The procedures are is based on structural comparison of physico-chemical properties as well as on ubiquitin-specific docking algorithms.
Key publications:

  • T. Keren-Kaplan, I. Attali, M. Estrin, L. S. Kuo, E. Farkash, M. Jerabek-Willemsen, N.Blutraich,  S. Artzi, A. Peri, E. O. Freed, H. J. Wolfson, and G.Prag, Structure-based identification of  ubiquitin-binding domains provides insights into the ALIX-V:ubiquitin complex and retrovirus budding, EMBO Journal 32, 538--551,  (2013).

Names of PhD and Post-Doctoral students in the lab, that are funded by the center

(Remark : All of the below take part in the Center projects, but not all of them are funded by the center grant.  Most of them are currently M.Sc. students.)

  1. Dan Cohen
  2. Naama Hurvitz
  3. Naama Amir
  4. Daniel Zaidman
  5. Michael Estrin