Alan Smrcka

Professor of Pharmacology

B.S. Biology, University of Connecticut
M.S. Botany, Arizona State University
Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Arizona
Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Research Focus: Mechanistic evaluation of G protein signaling pathways as targets for therapeutics

Phone: 734.615.4945
E-mail: avsmrcka@umich.edu

Our laboratory focuses on analysis of the interactions between the G proteins and their protein targets at a molecular and structural level with the goal of understanding how these interactions lead to alterations in protein and cellular activities. Another goal is to connect the biochemical information about protein interaction interfaces to specific cellular physiologies. To this end we are developing antagonists of specific G protein interactions and using these tools to probe the functions of those interactions in living cells. This approach will help to define the roles of specific G protein interactions in physiological processes and as potential targets for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular disease or cancer

Smrcka Research Group


Representative Publications

  1. Rangel-Moreno, J., To, J.Y., Owen, T., Goldman, B.I., Smrcka, A.V., and Anolik, J.H. Inhibition of G protein βγ subunit signaling abrogates nephritis in lupus prone mice. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Sep; 68(9):2244-56. [PubMed Link]

  2. Surve, C., Lehmann, D., and Smrcka, A.V. A Chemical Biology Approach Demonstrates GTP-binding Protein Gβγ Subunits are Sufficient to Mediate Directional Neutrophil Chemotaxis. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jun 20; 289(25): 17791-17801. [PubMed Link]

  3. Smrcka, A.V., Molecular targeting of Gα and Gβγ subunits: a potential approach for cancer therapeutics. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 2013 May; 34(5): 290-298. Review article [PubMed Link]

  4. Kamal. F.A., Smrcka, A.V. and Blaxall, B.C. Taking the heart failure battle inside the cell: small molecule targeting of Gβγ subunits. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Oct; 51(4):462-467. Review article [PubMed Link]

  5. Casey, L.M., Pistner, A.R., Belmonte, S.L., Migdalovich, D., Stolpnik, O., Nwakanma, F.E., Vorobiof, G., Dunaevsky, O., Matavel, A., Lopes, C.M.C, Smrcka. A.V. and Blaxall, B.C. Small molecule disruption of Gβγ signaling inhibits the progression of heart failure. Circ Res. 2010 Aug 20; 107(4):532-539. [PubMed Link]

  6. Lehmann, D.M. and Smrcka A.V. Small Molecule Inhibition of G Protein βγ Subunit Signaling Suppresses Neutrophil Chemotaxis and Inflammation. Mol Pharm 2008 Feb; 73(2):410-418. [PubMed Link]

  7. Bonacci, T.M., Mathews, J.L., Yuan, C., Lehmann, D., Malik S., Wu, D., Font, J.L., Bidlack, J.M. and Smrcka, A.V. Differential Targeting of Gβγ-Subunit Signaling with Small Molecules. Science. 2006 Apr 21; 312(5772): 443-446. [PubMed Link]



  1. Invited Speaker, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, UT-Health Sciences Center, Houston, TX, January 2016

  2. ASPET Molecular Pharmacology Postdoctoral Award Keynote Lecture, Experimental Biology, San Diego, CA, April 2016.

  3. ASPET Session organizer “Subcellular GPCR and Lipid signaling” and speaker, Experimental Biology, San Diego, CA, April 2016

  4. Invited Speaker, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, May 2016

  5. Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conferences, Protein Phosphorylation and G Protein Signaling Networks, Biddeford, ME June 2016