Nikola P Pavletich

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, United States

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Publications (84)1596.34 Total impact

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    Chun Zhou · Sergei Pourmal · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The Dna2 nuclease-helicase maintains genomic integrity by processing DNA double-strand breaks, Okazaki fragments and stalled replication forks. Dna2 requires ssDNA ends, and is dependent on the ssDNA-binding protein Rpa, which controls cleavage polarity. Here we present the 2.3 Å structure of intact mouse Dna2 bound to a 15-nucleotide ssDNA. The nuclease active site is embedded in a long, narrow tunnel through which the DNA has to thread. The helicase domain is required for DNA binding but not threading. We also present the structure of a flexibly-tethered Dna2-Rpa interaction that recruits Dna2 to Rpa-coated DNA. We establish that a second Dna2-Rpa interaction is mutually exclusive with Rpa-DNA interactions and mediates the displacement of Rpa from ssDNA. This interaction occurs at the nuclease tunnel entrance and the 5' end of the Rpa-DNA complex. Hence, it only displaces Rpa from the 5' but not 3' end, explaining how Rpa regulates cleavage polarity.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · eLife Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) are highly toxic lesions associated with cancer and degenerative diseases. ICLs can be repaired by the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway and through FA-independent processes involving the FAN1 nuclease. In this work, FAN1-DNA crystal structures and biochemical data reveal that human FAN1 cleaves DNA successively at every third nucleotide. In vitro, this exonuclease mechanism allows FAN1 to excise an ICL from one strand through flanking incisions. DNA access requires a 5'-terminal phosphate anchor at a nick or a 1- or 2-nucleotide flap and is augmented by a 3' flap, suggesting that FAN1 action is coupled to DNA synthesis or recombination. FAN1's mechanism of ICL excision is well suited for processing other localized DNA adducts as well. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related protein kinase, controls cell growth in response to nutrients and growth factors and is frequently deregulated in cancer. Here we report co-crystal structures of a complex of truncated mTOR and mammalian lethal with SEC13 protein 8 (mLST8) with an ATP transition state mimic and with ATP-site inhibitors. The structures reveal an intrinsically active kinase conformation, with catalytic residues and a catalytic mechanism remarkably similar to canonical protein kinases. The active site is highly recessed owing to the FKBP12-rapamycin-binding (FRB) domain and an inhibitory helix protruding from the catalytic cleft. mTOR-activating mutations map to the structural framework that holds these elements in place, indicating that the kinase is controlled by restricted access. In vitro biochemistry shows that the FRB domain acts as a gatekeeper, with its rapamycin-binding site interacting with substrates to grant them access to the restricted active site. Rapamycin-FKBP12 inhibits the kinase by directly blocking substrate recruitment and by further restricting active-site access. The structures also reveal active-site residues and conformational changes that underlie inhibitor potency and specificity.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Nature
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    Jie Fan · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: Replication protein A (RPA) is the main eukaryotic ssDNA-binding protein with essential roles in DNA replication, recombination, and repair. RPA maintains the DNA as single-stranded and also interacts with other DNA-processing proteins, coordinating their assembly and disassembly on DNA. RPA binds to ssDNA in two conformational states with opposing affinities for DNA and proteins. The RPA-protein interactions are compatible with a low DNA affinity state that involves DNA-binding domain A (DBD-A) and DBD-B but not with the high DNA affinity state that additionally engages DBD-C and DBD-D. The structure of the high-affinity RPA-ssDNA complex reported here shows a compact quaternary structure held together by a four-way interface between DBD-B, DBD-C, the intervening linker (BC linker), and ssDNA. The BC linker binds into the DNA-binding groove of DBD-B, mimicking DNA. The associated conformational change and partial occlusion of the DBD-A-DBA-B protein-protein interaction site establish a mechanism for the allosteric coupling of RPA-DNA and RPA-protein interactions.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Genes & development
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    ABSTRACT: Fanconi anemia is a cancer predisposition syndrome caused by defects in the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs). Central to this pathway is the Fanconi anemia I–Fanconi anemia D2 (FANCI-FANCD2) (ID) complex, which is activated by DNA damage–induced phosphorylation and monoubiquitination. The 3.4 angstrom crystal structure of the ~300 kilodalton ID complex reveals that monoubiquitination and regulatory phosphorylation sites map to the I-D interface, suggesting that they occur on monomeric proteins or an opened-up complex and that they may serve to stabilize I-D heterodimerization. The 7.8 angstrom electron-density map of FANCI-DNA crystals and in vitro data show that each protein has binding sites for both single- and double-stranded DNA, suggesting that the ID complex recognizes DNA structures that result from the encounter of replication forks with an ICL.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Science
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    Hiroyuki Takai · Yihu Xie · Titia de Lange · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that the stability of all mammalian phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related protein kinases (PIKKs) depends on their interaction with Tel2, the ortholog of yeast Tel2 and Caenorhabditis elegans Clk-2. Here we provide evidence that Tel2 acts with Hsp90 in the maturation of PIKK complexes. Quantitative immunoblotting showed that the abundance of Tel2 is low compared with the PIKKs, and Tel2 preferentially bound newly synthesized ATM, ATR, mTOR, and DNA-PKcs. Tel2 complexes contained, in addition to Tti1-Tti2, the Hsp90 chaperone, and inhibition of Hsp90 interfered with the interaction of Tel2 with the PIKKs. Analysis of in vivo labeled nascent protein complexes showed that Tel2 and Hsp90 mediate the formation of the mTOR TORC1 and TORC2 complexes and the association of ATR with ATRIP. The structure of yeast Tel2, reported here, shows that Tel2 consists of HEAT-like helical repeats that assemble into two separate α-solenoids. Through mutagenesis, we identify a surface patch of conserved residues involved in binding to the Tti1-Tti2 complex in vitro. In vivo, mutation of this conserved patch affects cell growth, levels of PIKKs, and ATM/ATR-mediated checkpoint signaling, highlighting the importance of Tti1-Tti2 binding to the function of Tel2. Taken together, our data suggest that the Tel2-Tti1-Tti2 complex is a PIKK-specific cochaperone for Hsp90.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Genes & development
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    Zhenjian Cai · Nabil H Chehab · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The CHK2 protein kinase is an important transducer of DNA damage checkpoint signals, and its mutation contributes to hereditary and sporadic cancer. CHK2 activation is triggered by the phosphorylation of Thr68 by the DNA damage-activated ATM kinase. This leads to transient CHK2 dimerization, in part through intermolecular phosphoThr68-FHA domain interactions. Dimerization promotes kinase activation through activation-loop autophosphorylation, but the mechanism of this process has not been clear. The dimeric crystal structure of CHK2, described here, in conjunction with biochemical and mutational data reveals that productive CHK2 dimerization additionally involves intermolecular FHA-kinase domain and FHA-FHA interactions. Ile157, mutated in the Li-Fraumeni cancer-predisposition syndrome, plays a central role in the FHA-kinase domain interface, explaining the lack of dimerization and autophosphorylation of this mutant. In the dimer, the kinase active sites face each other in close proximity, indicating that dimerization may also serve to optimally position the kinase active sites for efficient activation loop transphosphorylation.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Molecular cell
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet (UV) light-induced pyrimidine photodimers are repaired by the nucleotide excision repair pathway. Photolesions have biophysical parameters closely resembling undamaged DNA, impeding discovery through damage surveillance proteins. The DDB1-DDB2 complex serves in the initial detection of UV lesions in vivo. Here we present the structures of the DDB1-DDB2 complex alone and bound to DNA containing either a 6-4 pyrimidine-pyrimidone photodimer (6-4PP) lesion or an abasic site. The structure shows that the lesion is held exclusively by the WD40 domain of DDB2. A DDB2 hairpin inserts into the minor groove, extrudes the photodimer into a binding pocket, and kinks the duplex by approximately 40 degrees. The tightly localized probing of the photolesions, combined with proofreading in the photodimer pocket, enables DDB2 to detect lesions refractory to detection by other damage surveillance proteins. The structure provides insights into damage recognition in chromatin and suggests a mechanism by which the DDB1-associated CUL4 ubiquitin ligase targets proteins surrounding the site of damage.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2009 · Cell
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    Zhucheng Chen · Haijuan Yang · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The RecA family of ATPases mediates homologous recombination, a reaction essential for maintaining genomic integrity and for generating genetic diversity. RecA, ATP and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) form a helical filament that binds to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), searches for homology, and then catalyses the exchange of the complementary strand, producing a new heteroduplex. Here we have solved the crystal structures of the Escherichia coli RecA-ssDNA and RecA-heteroduplex filaments. They show that ssDNA and ATP bind to RecA-RecA interfaces cooperatively, explaining the ATP dependency of DNA binding. The ATP gamma-phosphate is sensed across the RecA-RecA interface by two lysine residues that also stimulate ATP hydrolysis, providing a mechanism for DNA release. The DNA is underwound and stretched globally, but locally it adopts a B-DNA-like conformation that restricts the homology search to Watson-Crick-type base pairing. The complementary strand interacts primarily through base pairing, making heteroduplex formation strictly dependent on complementarity. The underwound, stretched filament conformation probably evolved to destabilize the donor duplex, freeing the complementary strand for homology sampling.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Nature
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    Preview · Article · Jan 2008
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    Jung-Hyun Min · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway can cause the xeroderma pigmentosum skin cancer predisposition syndrome. NER lesions are limited to one DNA strand, but otherwise they are chemically and structurally diverse, being caused by a wide variety of genotoxic chemicals and ultraviolet radiation. The xeroderma pigmentosum C (XPC) protein has a central role in initiating global-genome NER by recognizing the lesion and recruiting downstream factors. Here we present the crystal structure of the yeast XPC orthologue Rad4 bound to DNA containing a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) lesion. The structure shows that Rad4 inserts a beta-hairpin through the DNA duplex, causing the two damaged base pairs to flip out of the double helix. The expelled nucleotides of the undamaged strand are recognized by Rad4, whereas the two CPD-linked nucleotides become disordered. These findings indicate that the lesions recognized by Rad4/XPC thermodynamically destabilize the Watson-Crick double helix in a manner that facilitates the flipping-out of two base pairs.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2007 · Nature
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    Bing Hao · Stephanie Oehlmann · Mathew E Sowa · J Wade Harper · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of cyclin E plays a central role in cell-cycle progression, and cyclin E accumulation is a common event in cancer. Cyclin E degradation is triggered by multisite phosphorylation, which induces binding to the SCF(Fbw7) ubiquitin ligase complex. Structures of the Skp1-Fbw7 complex bound to cyclin E peptides identify a doubly phosphorylated pThr380/pSer384 cyclin E motif as an optimal, high-affinity degron and a singly phosphorylated pThr62 motif as a low-affinity one. Biochemical data indicate that the closely related yeast SCF(Cdc4) complex recognizes the multisite phosphorylated Sic1 substrate similarly and identify three doubly phosphorylated Sic1 degrons, each capable of high-affinity interactions with two Cdc4 phosphate binding sites. A model that explains the role of multiple cyclin E/Sic1 degrons is provided by the findings that Fbw7 and Cdc4 dimerize, that Fbw7 dimerization enhances the turnover of a weakly associated cyclin E in vivo, and that Cdc4 dimerization increases the rate and processivity of Sic1 ubiquitination in vitro.
    Preview · Article · May 2007 · Molecular Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Mdm2, a key negative regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor, is a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. The Mdm2 RING domain can be biochemically fractionated into two discrete species, one of which exists as higher order oligomers that are visible by electron microscopy, whereas the other is a monomer. Both fractions are ATP binding and E3 ligase activity competent, although the oligomeric fraction exhibits lower dependence on the E2 component of ubiquitin polymerization reactions. The extreme C-terminal five amino acids of Mdm2 are essential for E3 ligase activity in vivo and in vitro, as well as for oligomeric assembly of the protein. A single residue (phenylalanine 490) in that sequence is critical for both properties. Interestingly, the C-terminus of the Mdm2 homologue, MdmX (itself inert as an E3 ligase), can fully substitute for the equivalent segment of Mdm2 and restore its E3 activity. We further show that the Mdm2 C-terminus is involved in intramolecular interactions and can set up a platform for direct protein-protein interactions with the E2.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · The EMBO Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The PTEN tumor suppressor is frequently affected in cancer cells, and inherited PTEN mutation causes cancer-susceptibility conditions such as Cowden syndrome. PTEN acts as a plasma-membrane lipid-phosphatase antagonizing the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT cell survival pathway. However, PTEN is also found in cell nuclei, but mechanism, function, and relevance of nuclear localization remain unclear. We show that nuclear PTEN is essential for tumor suppression and that PTEN nuclear import is mediated by its monoubiquitination. A lysine mutant of PTEN, K289E associated with Cowden syndrome, retains catalytic activity but fails to accumulate in nuclei of patient tissue due to an import defect. We identify this and another lysine residue as major monoubiquitination sites essential for PTEN import. While nuclear PTEN is stable, polyubiquitination leads to its degradation in the cytoplasm. Thus, we identify cancer-associated mutations of PTEN that target its posttranslational modification and demonstrate how a discrete molecular mechanism dictates tumor progression by differentiating between degradation and protection of PTEN.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Cell
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    Seth M Rubin · Anne-Laure Gall · Ning Zheng · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The retinoblastoma (Rb) protein negatively regulates the G1-S transition by binding to the E2F transcription factors, until cyclin-dependent kinases phosphorylate Rb, causing E2F release. The Rb pocket domain is necessary for E2F binding, but the Rb C-terminal domain (RbC) is also required for growth suppression. Here we demonstrate a high-affinity interaction between RbC and E2F-DP heterodimers shared by all Rb and E2F family members. The crystal structure of an RbC-E2F1-DP1 complex reveals an intertwined heterodimer in which the marked box domains of both E2F1 and DP1 contact RbC. We also demonstrate that phosphorylation of RbC at serines 788 and 795 destabilizes one set of RbC-E2F-DP interactions directly, while phosphorylation at threonines 821 and 826 induces an intramolecular interaction between RbC and the Rb pocket that destabilizes the remaining interactions indirectly. Our findings explain the requirement of RbC for high-affinity E2F binding and growth suppression and establish a mechanism for the regulation of Rb-E2F association by phosphorylation.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of the Cdk2 inhibitor p27(Kip1) plays a central role in cell cycle progression, and enhanced degradation of p27(Kip1) is associated with many common cancers. Proteolysis of p27(Kip1) is triggered by Thr187 phosphorylation, which leads to the binding of the SCF(Skp2) (Skp1-Cul1-Rbx1-Skp2) ubiquitin ligase complex. Unlike other known SCF substrates, p27(Kip1) ubiquitination also requires the accessory protein Cks1. The crystal structure of the Skp1-Skp2-Cks1 complex bound to a p27(Kip1) phosphopeptide shows that Cks1 binds to the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain and C-terminal tail of Skp2, whereas p27(Kip1) binds to both Cks1 and Skp2. The phosphorylated Thr187 side chain of p27(Kip1) is recognized by a Cks1 phosphate binding site, whereas the side chain of an invariant Glu185 inserts into the interface between Skp2 and Cks1, interacting with both. The structure and biochemical data support the proposed model that Cdk2-cyclin A contributes to the recruitment of p27(Kip1) to the SCF(Skp2)-Cks1 complex.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2005 · Molecular Cell
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    ABSTRACT: SWI2/SNF2 chromatin-remodeling proteins mediate the mobilization of nucleosomes and other DNA-associated proteins. SWI2/SNF2 proteins contain sequence motifs characteristic of SF2 helicases but do not have helicase activity. Instead, they couple ATP hydrolysis with the generation of superhelical torsion in DNA. The structure of the nucleosome-remodeling domain of zebrafish Rad54, a protein involved in Rad51-mediated homologous recombination, reveals that the core of the SWI2/SNF2 enzymes consist of two alpha/beta-lobes similar to SF2 helicases. The Rad54 helicase lobes contain insertions that form two helical domains, one within each lobe. These insertions contain SWI2/SNF2-specific sequence motifs likely to be central to SWI2/SNF2 function. A broad cleft formed by the two lobes and flanked by the helical insertions contains residues conserved in SWI2/SNF2 proteins and motifs implicated in DNA-binding by SF2 helicases. The Rad54 structure suggests that SWI2/SNF2 proteins use a mechanism analogous to helicases to translocate on dsDNA.
    Full-text · Article · May 2005 · Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
  • Haijuan Yang · Qiubai Li · Jie Fan · William K Holloman · Nikola P Pavletich
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    ABSTRACT: The BRCA2 tumour suppressor is essential for the error-free repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA by homologous recombination. This is mediated by RAD51, which forms a nucleoprotein filament with the 3' overhanging single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) of the resected DSB, searches for a homologous donor sequence, and catalyses strand exchange with the donor DNA. The 3,418-amino-acid BRCA2 contains eight approximately 30-amino-acid BRC repeats that bind RAD51 (refs 5, 6) and a approximately 700-amino-acid DBD domain that binds ssDNA. The isolated BRC and DBD domains have the opposing effects of inhibiting and stimulating recombination, respectively, and the role of BRCA2 in repair has been unclear. Here we show that a full-length BRCA2 homologue (Brh2) stimulates Rad51-mediated recombination at substoichiometric concentrations relative to Rad51. Brh2 recruits Rad51 to DNA and facilitates the nucleation of the filament, which is then elongated by the pool of free Rad51. Brh2 acts preferentially at a junction between double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and ssDNA, with strict specificity for the 3' overhang polarity of a resected DSB. These results establish a BRCA2 function in RAD51-mediated DSB repair and explain the loss of this repair capacity in BRCA2-associated cancers.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Nature
  • Ti Li · Nikola P Pavletich · Brenda A Schulman · Ning Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: The SCF complexes are the prototype of a superfamily of cullin-dependent ubiquitin ligases, which regulate diverse cellular functions by promoting the ubiquitination of a large number of regulatory and signaling proteins. The SCF complexes are organized by the elongated scaffold protein subunit Cul1, which interacts with the Rbx1 RING finger protein at one end and the Skp1 adaptor protein at the other. By binding to Skp1, members of the F-box protein family are responsible for recruiting specific substrates to the ligase machine. This chapter describes methods that we have developed to achieve high-level expression and purification of two recombinant SCF complexes from both insect cells and bacteria. We emphasize the power of protein coexpression and a novel "Split-n-Coexpress" method in producing soluble and functional recombinant proteins and protein complexes. We propose that similar approaches can be used to obtain large quantities of other SCF and SCF-like complexes for biochemical and structural investigations.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2005 · Methods in Enzymology
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA binding domains of human p53 and Cep-1, its C. elegans ortholog, recognize essentially identical DNA sequences despite poor sequence similarity. We solved the three-dimensional structure of the Cep-1 DNA binding domain in the absence of DNA and compared it to that of human p53. The two domains have similar overall folds. However, three loops, involved in DNA and Zn binding in human p53, contain small alpha helices in Cep-1. The alpha helix in loop L3 of Cep-1 orients the side chains of two conserved arginines toward DNA; in human p53, both arginines are mutation hotspots, but only one contacts DNA. The alpha helix in loop L1 of Cep-1 repositions the entire loop, making it unlikely for residues of this loop to contact bases in the major groove of DNA, as occurs in human p53. Thus, during evolution there have been considerable changes in the structure of the p53 DNA binding domain.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2004 · Structure

Publication Stats

24k Citations
1,596.34 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 1970-2015
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • Division of Structural Biology
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Итак, New York, United States
  • 2002
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001
    • The Rockefeller University
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1999
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1997-1999
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 1998
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 1991
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States