Lehtiö: Structural and Chemical Biology of ADP-ribosylation

Illustration of protein and DNA structures.

Research group description

Human ADP-ribosyltransferases like PARPs catalyze a transfer of ADP-ribose from NAD+ to target proteins and to nucleic acids. The modification serves as a catalyst for recruitment of proteins to e.g. DNA damage site and the signaling event is limited by ADP-ribosylhydrolases. We use structural studies and a range of assay technologies to discover and further develop inhibitors for writers, readers and erasers of ADP-ribosylation. The small molecule inhibitors will serve as tools to study ADP-ribosylation events and also as potential scaffolds for future anti-cancer and anti-viral drugs. 

While many structures of individual domains have been elucidated by protein crystallography, we are now reaching towards understanding how the multidomain PARPs function by addressing several key questions in their oligomerization, protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. We aim to elucidate the structures of these macromolecular complexes at atomic resolution with protein crystallography, cryoEM and NMR, and complement this with biophysical and biochemical methods.

Research Group Members

  • Lari Lehtiö, PhD, Professor
  • Tuomo Glumoff, PhD, Docent, Vice-Dean of Education
  • Mirko Maksimainen, PhD
  • Albert Galera Prat, PhD
  • Sven Sowa, PhD
  • Sarah Wazir, PhD
  • Carlos Vela Rodríguez, Doctoral researcher
  • Chiara Bosetti, Doctoral researcher
  • Juho Alaviuhkola, Doctoral researcher
  • Saurabh Dhakar, Doctoral researcher
  • Men Duong, Doctoral researcher
  • Heli Alanen, Research technician
  • Anna Tuovinen, MSc student
  • Mahamuda Mow, MSc student
  • Bukunmi Adediran, MSc student



  • Jere Hukkanen, MSc thesis (2020-2021)
  • Ilaria Scarpulla, MSc thesis (2019-2020)
  • Mikko Hukkanen, MSc thesis (2019-2021)
  • Renata Prunskaite-Hyyryläinen, PhD (2018-2021)
  • Samina Kazi, Doctoral researcher (2018-2021)
  • Audrey Savolainen, Doctoral researcher (2018-2021)
  • Danilo Kimio Hirabae De Oliveira , MSc thesis (2017-2018)
  • Reduanul Bari, MSc thesis (2016-2017)
  • Elena Rolina, MSc thesis (2016-2017)
  • Yashwanth Ashok, PhD (2015-2021)
  • Ezeogo Obaji, Doctoral researcher (2015-2018)
  • Sudarshan Murthy, Doctoral researcher (2015-2020)
  • Vesa Hautaniemi, MSc thesis (2014-2015)
  • Alexander Ignatev, PhD (2014-2018)
  • Ekaterina Biterova, PhD (2013-2014)
  • Saman Nosheen, MSc thesis (2012-2013)
  • Teemu Haikarainen, PhD (2012-2017)
  • Yves Nkizinkiko, MSc thesis & Doctoral researcher (2010-2012, 2015-2018)
  • Harikanth Venkannagari, Doctoral researcher (2010-2016)
  • Mohit Narwal, Doctoral researcher (2009-2014)