Profile photo of Sergei Sukharev
Contact Info
Office Phone: 301.405.6923
Lab Phone: 301.405.6912
Fax: 301.314.9358
Office Address: 3260 Biology-Psychology Bldg
Sergei Sukharev
Affiliate of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Biophysics
  • BISI-Physiological Systems (PSYS)
  • BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)

Research Interests

Dr. Sukharev investigates the principles and the molecules that cells use to detect mechanical force and pressure. Mechanosensation encompasses many phenomena from the relatively simple such as bacterial adaptation to osmotic changes in the medium to the very complex such as hearing and balance in animals, or gravitropism in plants; yet many primary receptors responsible for force detection remain unidentified as molecular entities. Mechanosensitive channels that conduct ions across the plasma membrane in response to membrane tension are thought to be primary transducers that convert mechanical stimuli into the form of cellular signals. Dr. Sukharev has made the major effort in isolation and cloning of the Mechanosensitive Channel of Large conductance of Escherichia coli (MscL), the first identified channel of this class. When the closed-state crystal structure of a MscL homolog became available, Dr. Sukharev focused his research on prediction of MscL structure in the open state. His current study addresses the nature of interactions inside the MscL protein that keep the channel firmly closed at rest, but allow it to open under tension of a certain magnitude. The group is also approaching the mechanism of gating of the small bacterial Mechanosensitive Channel, MscS. These interdisciplinary projects involve molecular modeling and simulations, genetic modifications of the channel genes, disulfide cross-linking, biochemical purification of proteins and reconstitution into phospholipid membranes; single-channel recording and video imaging of patch-clamped membranes; kinetic and thermodynamic analysis of the channel behavior.


J. W. Ritter Award, 1988
University of Maryland, College of Life Sciences Junior Faculty Award, 2000


Ph.D., Moscow State University, 1987. Molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation; mechano-activated ion channels, their structure and mechanisms of gating by membrane stretch.

All Publications

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Latest Publications via PubMed

Çetiner U,Raz O,Britt M,Sukharev S
Entropy (Basel). 2023 May 10;25(5):. doi: 10.3390/e25050779. Epub 2023 May 10
Britt M,Moller E,Maramba J,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
bioRxiv. 2023 May 9;:. pii: 2023.05.08.539870. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.08.539870. Epub 2023 May 9
Ramsey K,Britt M,Maramba J,Ushijima B,Moller E,Anishkin A,Hase C,Sukharev S
bioRxiv. 2023 May 9;:. pii: 2023.05.08.539864. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.08.539864. Epub 2023 May 9
Moller E,Britt M,Schams A,Cetuk H,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
J Gen Physiol. 2023 May 1;155(5):. doi: 10.1085/jgp.202213168. Epub 2023 Apr 6
Moller E,Britt M,Schams A,Cetuk H,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 1;:. pii: 2023.02.27.530336. doi: 10.1101/2023.02.27.530336. Epub 2023 Mar 1
Dave N,Cetiner U,Arroyo D,Fonbuena J,Tiwari M,Barrera P,Lander N,Anishkin A,Sukharev S,Jimenez V
Elife. 2021 Jul 2;10:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.67449. Epub 2021 Jul 2
Makhoul-Mansour MM,Challita EJ,Chaurasia A,Leo DJ,Sukharev S,Freeman EC
Bioinspir Biomim. 2021 Jun 10;16(4):. doi: 10.1088/1748-3190/abf746. Epub 2021 Jun 10
Cetuk H,Anishkin A,Scott AJ,Rempe SB,Ernst RK,Sukharev S
Langmuir. 2021 Feb 2;37(4):1372-1385. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c02652. Epub 2021 Jan 15
Rajeshwar T R,Anishkin A,Sukharev S,Vanegas JM
Biophys J. 2021 Jan 19;120(2):232-242. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.11.2274. Epub 2020 Dec 15
Çetiner U,Raz O,Sukharev S,Jarzynski C
Phys Rev Lett. 2020 Jun 5;124(22):228101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.228101. Epub
Lubkowski J,Vanegas J,Chan WK,Lorenzi PL,Weinstein JN,Sukharev S,Fushman D,Rempe S,Anishkin A,Wlodawer A
Biochemistry. 2020 May 26;59(20):1927-1945. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00116. Epub 2020 May 11
Cetuk H,Maramba J,Britt M,Scott AJ,Ernst RK,Mihailescu M,Cotten ML,Sukharev S
Langmuir. 2020 May 12;36(18):5065-5077. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c00017. Epub 2020 May 1
Comert F,Greenwood A,Maramba J,Acevedo R,Lucas L,Kulasinghe T,Cairns LS,Wen Y,Fu R,Hammer J,Blazyk J,Sukharev S,Cotten ML,Mihailescu M
J Biol Chem. 2019 Dec 6;294(49):18557-18570. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010232. Epub 2019 Oct 16
Chan WK,Horvath TD,Tan L,Link T,Harutyunyan KG,Pontikos MA,Anishkin A,Du D,Martin LA,Yin E,Rempe SB,Sukharev S,Konopleva M,Weinstein JN,Lorenzi PL
Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Sep;18(9):1587-1592. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-1329. Epub 2019 Jun 17
Leonard AN,Klauda JB,Sukharev S
J Phys Chem B. 2019 Feb 21;123(7):1554-1565. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b11884. Epub 2019 Feb 8
Najem JS,Rowe I,Anishkin A,Leo DJ,Sukharev S
Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 11;8(1):13607. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31945-x. Epub 2018 Sep 11
Çetiner U,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
Eur Biophys J. 2018 Sep;47(6):663-677. doi: 10.1007/s00249-018-1303-5. Epub 2018 Apr 23
Ermakov YA,Kamaraju K,Dunina-Barkovskaya A,Vishnyakova KS,Yegorov YE,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
Biochemistry. 2017 Oct 10;56(40):5457-5470. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00644. Epub 2017 Sep 20
Anishkin A,Sukharev S
Channels (Austin). 2017 May 4;11(3):173-175. doi: 10.1080/19336950.2017.1291213. Epub 2017 Feb 6
Çetiner U,Rowe I,Schams A,Mayhew C,Rubin D,Anishkin A,Sukharev S
J Gen Physiol. 2017 May 1;149(5):595-609. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201611699. Epub 2017 Apr 19