RAS Cell Surfaces

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Cells expressing wild-type (top) or mutant (bottom) KRAS

Credit: Adam Harned, NCI RAS Initative

Antibodies can target cancer cells with extreme specificity by binding targets displayed on cell surfaces. The goal of our group is to discover cell surface proteins that are enriched or unique to cancers driven by mutated RAS that could be targeted by drugs, antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, or nanoparticles at the cell surface.

Our Progress

We have developed protocols for enrichment of cell-surface glycoproteins on cultured cells and tumor samples.

We have identified proteins enriched in cells expressing mutant KRAS (publication submitted).

We are collaborating with outside experts to validate and exploit our leads with antibodies and genetic screens.

Our Projects

  • Validate methods to identify cell surface proteins by mass spectrometry
  • Identify proteins enriched in or unique to the surfaces of cells expressing oncogenic KRAS from cell lines or mouse xenografts
  • Validate hits by immunostaining or antibody phage display

Tools We Use

  • Mass spectroscopy-based proteomics
  • Cell-surface protein enrichment using hydrazide chemistry
  • Mouse tumor models
  • Immunofluorescence microscopy


The RAS Cell Surfaces Group has collaborated with:

Jim Wells
University of California, San Francisco

Channing Der
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Robert Rottapel
University of Toronto


Gordon Whiteley, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Whiteley, RAS Cell Surface Group Lead

For more information, contact the RAS Cell Surfaces Group team lead:

Dr. Gordon Whiteley

  • Updated: September 15, 2016