William J. Lehman, PhD
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

PhD, Princeton University
BS, Stony Brook University

We are involved in structural studies on the assembly and function of actin-containing thin filaments in muscle and non-muscle cells. Our principal goal is to analyze and elucidate the mechanisms of thin filament-linked regulation of muscle contraction and cytoskeletal remodeling. To accomplish this goal, we use a combination of molecular biology, electron microscopy, electron tomography, image reconstruction and computational tools such as molecular dynamics protocols to better understand the interactions and dynamics of protein components of isolated and reconstituted thin filaments. Studies on mutants are carried out to elucidate abnormal filament function in disease processes. We have an excellent track record in successfully educating graduate and post-doctoral students in the application of the state-of-the-art techniques that we use. In particular, we have trained students with backgrounds in biological and biochemical sciences to be fearless about the challenge of performing sophisticated biophysical approaches, and, conversely, teaching students with background in physical and computational sciences to understand the biomedical underpinnings of our work. This dual process of training students with these diverse backgrounds in one laboratory setting is synergistic. As a sign of our success: of the 16 papers that have been published by us between 2018 and now (2021), 14 were co-authored by 8 different current or former post-doctoral fellows and graduate students from my laboratory.

Our laboratory was the first to directly visualize the steric-blocking mechanism of muscle regulation by identifying the positions assumed by tropomyosin on actin in the presence and the absence of Ca2+ using cryo-electron microscopy and negative staining. We also have demonstrated that during muscle activation tropomyosin moves away from myosin cross-bridge binding sites on actin in two highly cooperative steps, one induced by Ca2+ binding to troponin and a second induced by the binding of myosin to actin. Our laboratory is continuing the above-mentioned studies to obtain even greater resolution of the processes involved. At the same time, we are investigating the structural organization of troponin on thin filaments and the changes it undergoes on binding of Ca2+. We have also been engaged in studies on the structural interactions of other actin binding proteins including a-actinin, myosin binding protein-C, caldesmon, calponin, cortactin, filamin and native and mutant dystrophin, namely proteins that play important roles in the organization of the cytoskeleton in striated and smooth muscles as well as in non-muscle cells. (03/17/2021)

Mentor for Graduate Medical Students
Boston Medical Center
Medical Sciences

Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation
02/15/2022 - 01/31/2026 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Pathogenesis and in vivo suppression of thin filament based cardiomyopathies
01/01/2022 - 12/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Johns Hopkins University NIH NHLBI

Revealing Pathomechanisms of Mutant TPM1 Through a Hybrid Computational-Experimental Approach
07/10/2017 - 06/30/2022 (Subcontract PI)
Yale University NIH NHLBI

Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation
01/01/2018 - 12/31/2021 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Cooperativity in Cardiac Myofilament Interactome in Health and Disease
08/11/2016 - 05/31/2020 (Subcontract PI)
University of Massachusetts, Lowell NIH NHLBI

X-Ray Crystallography of TPM3.1 N- and C-terminal peptides
12/01/2018 - 09/30/2019 (PI)
TroBio Therapeutics Pty Ltd

Targeting Tropomyosin as a Novel Anti-Cancer Therapy
12/01/2017 - 11/30/2018 (Subcontract PI)
Kazia Therapeutics Ltd Australian Cmlth Gov

Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation
12/01/2015 - 12/31/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Structural Analysis of Anticancer Compound Targets on Tpm3.1 Tropomyosin
04/01/2016 - 06/30/2017 (PI)

Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation
12/07/2012 - 11/30/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Showing 10 of 14 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2024 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R01HL036153-34
2023 Computational Pipeline for Identification of Disease-Causing Variants in Genes of the Cardiac Sarcomere 2R01HL136590-06
2023 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R01HL036153-33
2022 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 2R01HL036153-32
2021 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R01HL036153-31 61
2020 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R01HL036153-30 61
2019 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R01HL036153-29 61
2018 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 2R01HL036153-28 61
2017 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 5R37HL036153-27 73
2016 Thin Filaments and Muscle Regulation 4R37HL036153-26 73
Showing 10 of 41 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Rynkiewicz MJ, Pavadai E, Lehman W. Modeling Human Cardiac Thin Filament Structures. Front Physiol. 2022; 13:932333.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35812320; PMCID: PMC9257132; DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2022.932333;
  2. Pavadai E, Rynkiewicz MJ, Yang Z, Gould IR, Marston SB, Lehman W. Modulation of cardiac thin filament structure by phosphorylated troponin-I analyzed by protein-protein docking and molecular dynamics simulation. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2022 Aug 15; 725:109282.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35577070; PMCID: PMC10680062; DOI: 10.1016/j.abb.2022.109282;
  3. Suphamungmee W, Lehman W, Morgan KG. Functional Remodeling of the Contractile Smooth Muscle Cell Cortex, a Provocative Concept, Supported by Direct Visualization of Cortical Remodeling. Biology (Basel). 2022 Apr 26; 11(5).View Related Profiles. PMID: 35625390; PMCID: PMC9138025; DOI: 10.3390/biology11050662;
  4. Teekakirikul P, Zhu W, Xu X, Young CB, Tan T, Smith AM, Wang C, Peterson KA, Gabriel GC, Ho S, Sheng Y, Moreau de Bellaing A, Sonnenberg DA, Lin JH, Fotiou E, Tenin G, Wang MX, Wu YL, Feinstein T, Devine W, Gou H, Bais AS, Glennon BJ, Zahid M, Wong TC, Ahmad F, Rynkiewicz MJ, Lehman WJ, Keavney B, Alastalo TP, Freckmann ML, Orwig K, Murray S, Ware SM, Zhao H, Feingold B, Lo CW. Genetic resiliency associated with dominant lethal TPM1 mutation causing atrial septal defect with high heritability. Cell Rep Med. 2022 02 15; 3(2):100501.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35243414; PMCID: PMC8861813; DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100501;
  5. Doran MH, Lehman W. The Central Role of the F-Actin Surface in Myosin Force Generation. Biology (Basel). 2021 Nov 23; 10(12). PMID: 34943138; PMCID: PMC8698748; DOI: 10.3390/biology10121221;
  6. Lehman W, Pavadai E, Rynkiewicz MJ. C-terminal troponin-I residues trap tropomyosin in the muscle thin filament blocked-state. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 04 30; 551:27-32.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33714756; PMCID: PMC8026701; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.03.010;
  7. Doran MH, Pavadai E, Rynkiewicz MJ, Walklate J, Bullitt E, Moore JR, Regnier M, Geeves MA, Lehman W. Cryo-EM and Molecular Docking Shows Myosin Loop 4 Contacts Actin and Tropomyosin on Thin Filaments. Biophys J. 2020 08 18; 119(4):821-830.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32730789; PMCID: PMC7451941; DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.07.006;
  8. Pavadai E, Lehman W, Rynkiewicz MJ. Protein-Protein Docking Reveals Dynamic Interactions of Tropomyosin on Actin Filaments. Biophys J. 2020 07 07; 119(1):75-86.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32521240; PMCID: PMC7335911; DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.05.017;
  9. Lehman W, Maéda Y. Introducing a special issue of the Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility on actin and actin-binding proteins. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2020 03; 41(1):1-2. PMID: 31865487
  10. Pavadai E, Rynkiewicz MJ, Ghosh A, Lehman W. Docking Troponin T onto the Tropomyosin Overlapping Domain of Thin Filaments. Biophys J. 2020 01 21; 118(2):325-336.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31864661; PMCID: PMC6976810; DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.11.3393;
Showing 10 of 182 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 165 publications over 43 distinct years, with a maximum of 13 publications in 2011


2014 Boston University: Spencer N. Frankl Award for Excellence in Teaching
2011 Eötvös Loránd (Budapest) University/Hungarian Academy of Sciences: Chosen as the first Albert Szent-Györgyi Lecturer
2010 Boston University: Faculty Recognition Award for Educational Innovation
2008 NIH: NIH MERIT award recipient
1992-1994 NIH: James A. Shannon Director's Award
1983-1985 Whitaker Health Sciences Award
1982-1987 American Heart Association: Established Investigatorship
1973 Oxford University: Unilever Fellowship
1969-1971 Muscular Dystrophy Association Postdoctoral Fellowship
1968-1969 Princeton University: Charles Grosvenor Osgood Fellow
1966-1969 National Defense Education Act Graduate Fellowship
1965-1966 NSF-URP (Undergraduate Research Program) Awards
1962-1966 New York State Regents Incentive Award
1962-1966 New York State Regents Scholarship
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Electron Microscopy
Molecular Dynamics
muscle regulation

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