Viral membrane fusion figure, from the Peter S. Kim Lab

Welcome to the Peter S. Kim Lab

We are studying the mechanism of viral membrane fusion and its inhibition by drugs and antibodies. We use the HIV envelope protein (gp120/gp41) as a model system. Some of our studies are aimed at creating an HIV vaccine that elicits antibodies against a transient, but vulnerable, intermediate in the membrane-fusion process, called the pre-hairpin intermediate.

We are also interested in protein surfaces that are referred to as "non-druggable". These surfaces are defined empirically based on failure to identify small, drug-like molecules that bind to them with high affinity and specificity. Some of our efforts are aimed at characterizing select non-druggable targets. We are also interested in developing methods to identify ligands for non-druggable protein surfaces.

Publication Highlights

  1. Vaccination with peptide mimetics of the gp41 prehairpin fusion intermediate yields neutralizing antisera against HIV-1 isolates.
    Elisabetta Bianchi, Joseph G. Joyce, Michael D. Miller, Adam C. Finnefrock, Xiaoping Liang, Marco Finotto, Paolo Ingallinella, Philip McKenna, Michael Citron, Elizabeth Ottinger, Robert W. Hepler, Renee Hrin, Deborah Nahas, Chengwei Wu, David Montefiori, John W. Shiver, Antonella Pessi, and Peter S. Kim Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2010) 107: 10655-10660. (PDF)
  2. Mechanisms of Viral Membrane Fusion and Its Inhibition.
    Debra M. Eckert and Peter S. Kim Annu. Rev. Biochem. (2001) 70: 777-810. (PDF)
  3. Inhibiting HIV-1 Entry: Discovery of D-Peptide Inhibitors that Target the gp41 Coiled-Coil Pocket.
    Debra M. Eckert, Vladimir N. Malashkevich, Lily H. Hong, Peter A. Carr and Peter S. Kim Cell (1999) 99: 103-115. (PDF)