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Nicolas Nassar

Research Associate Professor-Affiliate

Pediatrics | College of Medicine

Contact Information
Research Interests

My areas of research interest include drug development and signaling with focus on small GTPases. My research is both basic and translational.

My research efforts encompass several methodologies, including protein crystallography, biophysical and biochemical studies, cellular functional assays, and ultimately, identifying small molecule compounds that bind to and modulate GTPase signaling in in vivo models of cancer.

Rac GTPases are key regulators of cell growth. By reorganiz...

Peer Reviewed Publications

Hegde, Shailaja; Gasilina, Anjelika; Wunderlich, Mark; Lin, Yuan; Buchholzer, Marcel; Krumbach, Oliver H F; Akbarzadeh, Mohammad; Ahmadian, Mohammad Reza; Seibel, William; Zheng, Yi; Perentesis, John P; Mizukawa, Benjamin E; Vinnedge, Lisa Privette; Cancelas, José A; Nassar, Nicolas N 2022. Inhibition of the RacGEF VAV3 by the small molecule IODVA1 impedes RAC signaling and overcomes resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibition in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia, 36 3, 637-647

Gasilina, Anjelika; Premnauth, Gurdat; Gurjar, Purujit; Biesiada, Jacek; Hegde, Shailaja; Milewski, David; Ma, Gang; Kalin, Tanya V; Merino, Edward; Meller, Jarek; Seibel, William; Cancelas, José A; Vinnedge, Lisa Privette; Nassar, Nicolas N 2020. IODVA1, a guanidinobenzimidazole derivative, targets Rac activity and Ras-driven cancer models. PloS one, 15 3, e0229801

Seu, Katie G; Trump, Lisa R; Emberesh, Sana; Lorsbach, Robert B; Johnson, Clarissa; Meznarich, Jessica; Underhill, Hunter R; Chou, Stella T; Sakthivel, Haripriya; Nassar, Nicolas N; Seu, Kalani J; Blanc, Lionel; Zhang, Wenying; Lutzko, Carolyn M; Kalfa, Theodosia A 2020. VPS4A Mutations in Humans Cause Syndromic Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia due to Cytokinesis and Trafficking Defects. American journal of human genetics, 107 6, 1149-1156

Liu, Wei; Du, Wei; Shang, Xun; Wang, Lei; Evelyn, Chris; Florian, Maria Carolina; A Ryan, Marnie; Rayes, Ahmad; Zhao, Xueheng; Setchell, Kenneth; Meller, Jarek; Guo, Fukun; Nassar, Nicolas; Geiger, Hartmut; Pang, Qishen; Zheng, Yi 2019. Rational identification of a Cdc42 inhibitor presents a new regimen for long-term hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. Leukemia, 33 3, 749-761

Lee, Lynn H; Gasilina, Anjelika; Roychoudhury, Jayeeta; Clark, Jason; McCormack, Francis X; Pressey, Joseph; Grimley, Michael S; Lorsbach, Robert; Ali, Siraj; Bailey, Mark; Stephens, Philip; Ross, Jeffrey S; Miller, Vincent A; Nassar, Nicolas N; Kumar, Ashish R 2017. Real-time genomic profiling of histiocytoses identifies early-kinase domain BRAF alterations while improving treatment outcomes. JCI insight, 2 3, e89473

Privette Vinnedge, Lisa M; Kappes, Ferdinand; Nassar, Nicolas; Wells, Susanne I 2013. Stacking the DEK: from chromatin topology to cancer stem cells. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 12 1, 51-66

San Luis, Boris; Nassar, Nicolas; Carpino, Nick 2013. New insights into the catalytic mechanism of histidine phosphatases revealed by a functionally essential arginine residue within the active site of the Sts phosphatases. The Biochemical journal, 453 1, 27-35

San Luis, Boris; Sondgeroth, Ben; Nassar, Nicolas; Carpino, Nick 2011. Sts-2 is a phosphatase that negatively regulates zeta-associated protein (ZAP)-70 and T cell receptor signaling pathways. The Journal of biological chemistry, 286 18, 15943-54

Jakoncic, Jean; Sondgeroth, Benjamin; Carpino, Nick; Nassar, Nicolas 2010. The 1.35 A resolution structure of the phosphatase domain of the suppressor of T-cell receptor signaling protein in complex with sulfate. Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications, 66 Pt 6, 643-7

Nassar, Nicolas; Singh, Kavita; Garcia-Diaz, Miguel 2010. Structure of the dominant negative S17N mutant of Ras. Biochemistry, 49 9, 1970-4

Carpino, Nick; Chen, Yunting; Nassar, Nicolas; Oh, Hye-Won 2009. The Sts proteins target tyrosine phosphorylated, ubiquitinated proteins within TCR signaling pathways. Molecular immunology, 46 16, 3224-31

Chen, Yunting; Jakoncic, Jean; Carpino, Nick; Nassar, Nicolas 2009. Structural and functional characterization of the 2H-phosphatase domain of Sts-2 reveals an acid-dependent phosphatase activity. Biochemistry, 48 8, 1681-90

Chen, Yunting; Jakoncic, Jean; Parker, Kathlyn A; Carpino, Nick; Nassar, Nicolas 2009. Structures of the phosphorylated and VO(3)-bound 2H-phosphatase domain of Sts-2. Biochemistry, 48 34, 8129-35

Ford, Bradley; Boykevisch, Sean; Zhao, Chen; Kunzelmann, Simone; Bar-Sagi, Dafna; Herrmann, Christian; Nassar, Nicolas 2009. Characterization of a Ras mutant with identical GDP- and GTP-bound structures . Biochemistry, 48 48, 11449-57

Chen, Yunting; Jakoncic, Jean; Wang, Jin; Zheng, Xiliang; Carpino, Nick; Nassar, Nicolas 2008. Structural and functional characterization of the c-terminal domain of the ecdysteroid phosphate phosphatase from bombyx mori reveals a new enzymatic activity. Biochemistry, 47 46, 12135-45

Mikhailik, Anatoly; Ford, Bradley; Keller, James; Chen, Yunting; Nassar, Nicolas; Carpino, Nick 2007. A phosphatase activity of Sts-1 contributes to the suppression of TCR signaling. Molecular cell, 27 3, 486-97

Ford, Bradley; Hornak, Viktor; Kleinman, Holly; Nassar, Nicolas 2006. Structure of a transient intermediate for GTP hydrolysis by ras. Structure (London, England : 1993), 14 3, 427-36

Kleinman, Holly; Ford, Bradley; Keller, James; Carpino, Nick; Nassar, Nicolas 2006. Crystallization and initial crystal characterization of the C-terminal phosphoglycerate mutase homology domain of Sts-1. Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications, 62 Pt 3, 218-20

Nassar, Nicolas; Cancelas, Jose; Zheng, Jie; Williams, David A; Zheng, Yi 2006. Structure-function based design of small molecule inhibitors targeting Rho family GTPases. Current topics in medicinal chemistry, 6 11, 1109-16

Xiang, Song; Kim, Eun Young; Connelly, Jessica J; Nassar, Nicolas; Kirsch, Joachim; Winking, Jan; Schwarz, Günter; Schindelin, Hermann 2006. The crystal structure of Cdc42 in complex with collybistin II, a gephyrin-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor. Journal of molecular biology, 359 1, 35-46

Ford, Bradley; Skowronek, Karlheinz; Boykevisch, Sean; Bar-Sagi, Dafna; Nassar, Nicolas 2005. Structure of the G60A mutant of Ras: implications for the dominant negative effect. The Journal of biological chemistry, 280 27, 25697-705

Skowronek, Karlheinz R; Guo, Fukun; Zheng, Yi; Nassar, Nicolas 2004. The C-terminal basic tail of RhoG assists the guanine nucleotide exchange factor trio in binding to phospholipids. The Journal of biological chemistry, 279 36, 37895-907

Skowronek, Karlheinz; Ghumman, Mohammed; Zheng, Yi; Nassar, Nicolas 2003. Crystallization and initial crystal characterization of the N-terminal DH/PH domain of Trio. Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography, 59 Pt 7, 1273-5

Smith, William James; Nassar, Nicolas; Bretscher, Anthony; Cerione, Richard A; Karplus, P Andrew 2003. Structure of the active N-terminal domain of Ezrin. Conformational and mobility changes identify keystone interactions. The Journal of biological chemistry, 278 7, 4949-56

Hall, Brian E; Bar-Sagi, Dafna; Nassar, Nicolas 2002. The structural basis for the transition from Ras-GTP to Ras-GDP. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99 19, 12138-42