Kermit Carraway, PhD

Kermit Carraway

Position Title

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine
Co-Director, Molecular Oncology Program, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Bldg. III, Room 1100B, UCDMC

Research Interests

Cancer biology and therapeutics

Research in the lab centers on elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tumor progression, and developing strategies and agents that could interfere with these processes. We are specifically interested in mechanisms underlying metastatic dissemination and outgrowth, responsible for 90% of cancer deaths. We use biochemical and cell biological methods to elucidate these pathways in cultured tumor cells, genetically engineered mice to characterize dysregulated pathways in vivo, and drug development and characterization methods to inhibit these pathways.

Developental biology

We use genetically engineered mice and transplant methods to explore the roles of specific genes and signaling pathways in the development of the mammary gland and other tissues, as well as in embryonic development.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Comparative Pathology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology

Specialties / Focus

  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular Responses to Toxins and Stress
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Organelle and Membrane Biology
  • Signal Transduction


  • BCB 257 Cell proliferation and cancer genes, Fall
  • PTX 201 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology I, Fall
  • PTX 202 PTX 202 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology II, Winter
  • PTX 203 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology III, Spring


  • 1985 BS Biochemistry University of Illinois
  • 1992 PhD Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Cornell University
  • 1996 Postdoc Signal Transduction Harvard Medical School


Carraway, K.L., III, Weber, J.L., Unger, M.J., Ledesma, J., Yu, N., Gassmann, M., and Lai, C. 1997. Neuregulin-2, a new ligand of ErbB3/ErbB4-receptor tyrosine kinases. Nature 387, 512-516.

Carraway, K.L., III, and Sweeney, C. 2001. Localization and modulation of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 13, 125-130.

Diamonti, A.J., Guy, P.M., Ivanof, C., Wong, K., Sweeney, C. and Carraway, K.L., III. 2002. An RBCC protein implicated in maintenance of neuregulin receptor levels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 2866- 2871.

Ghiglione, C., Amundadottir, L., Andresdottir, M., Bilder, D., Diamonti, J. A., Noselli, S., Perrimon, N., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2003. Mechanism of inhibition of the Drosophila and mammalian EGF receptors by the transmembrane protein Kekkon 1. Development 130, 4483-4493.

Wu, X., Yen, L., Irwin, L., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K. L., III. 2004. Stabilization of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1 by the deubiquitinating enzyme USP8. Mol. Cell. Biol. 24, 7748-7757.

Funes, M., Miller J.K., Lai, C., Carraway, K.L. III, and Sweeney C. 2006. The Mucin Muc4 potentiates Neuregulin signaling by increasing the cell surface populations of ErbB2 and ErbB3. J. Biol. Chem. 281, 19310-19319.

Sweeney, C., Miller, J.K., Shattuck, D.L., and Carraway K.L. III. 2006. ErbB receptor negative regulatory mechanisms: implications in cancer. J. Mammary Gland Biol. Neoplasia 11, 89-99.

Carraway, K.L., III, and Sweeney, C. 2006. Co-opted integrin signaling in ErbB2 induced mammary tumor progression. Cancer Cell 10, 93-5.

Yen, L., Cao, Z., Wu, X., Ingalla, E., Baron, C., Young, L., Gregg, J.P., Cardiff, R.D., Borowsky, A.D., Sweeney, C. and Carraway, K.L., III. 2006. Loss of Nrdp1 enhances ErbB2-ErbB3 dependent breast tumor cell growth. Cancer Res. 66, 11279-86.

Cao, Z., Wu, X., Yen, L., Sweeney, C. and Carraway, K.L., III. 2007. Neuregulin induced ErbB3 down-regulation is mediated by a protein stability cascade involving the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1. Mol. Cell. Biol. 27, 2180-2188.

Fry, W.H., Kotelawala, L., Sweeney, C., Carraway. K.L., III. 2009. Mechanisms of ErbB receptor negative regulation and relevance in cancer. Exp. Cell Res. 68, 8286-8294.

Workman, H.C., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2009. The membrane mucin Muc4 inhibits apoptosis induced by multiple insults via ErbB2-dependent and ErbB2-independent mechanisms. Cancer Res. 69, 2845-2852.

Ingalla, E.Q., Miller, J.K., Wald, J.H., Workman, H.C., Kaur, R.P., Yen, L., Fry, W.H.D., Borowsky, A.D., Young, L.J.T., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2010. Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms contribute to the suppression of the ErbB3 negative regulator protein Nrdp1 in mammary tumors. J. Biol. Chem. 285, 28691-28697.

Carraway, K.L., III. 2010. E3 ubiquitin ligases in ErbB receptor quantity control. Sem. Cell Dev. Biol. 21, 936-943.

Fry, W.H., Simion, C., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L. III. 2011. Quantity control of the ErbB3 receptor tyrosine kinase at the endoplasmic reticulum. Mol. Cell. Biol. 31, 3009-3018.

Leon, L.J., Pasupuleti, N., Gorin, F., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2013. A cell-permeant amiloride derivative induces caspase-independent, AIF-mediated programmed necrotic death of breast cancer cells. PLoS One 8, e63038.

Hatakeyama, J., Wald, J.H., Printsev, I., Ho, H.Y., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2014. Vangl1 and Vangl2: planar cell polarity components with a developing role in cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer 21, R345-356.

Printsev, I., Yen, L., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2014. Oligomerization of the Nrdp1 E3 ubiquitin ligase is necessary for efficient autoubiquitination but not ErbB3 ubiquitination. J. Biol. Chem. 289, 8570-85788.

Rowson-Hodel, A.R., Berg, A.L., Wald, J.H., Hatakeyama, J., VanderVorst, K., Curiel, D.A., Leon, L.J., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L. III. 2016. Hexamethylene amiloride engages a novel reactive oxygen species- and lysosome-dependent programmed necrotic mechanism to selectively target breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 375, 62-72.

Hatakeyama, J., Wald, J.H., Rafidi, H., Cuevas, A., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2016. The structural protein Rtn4A stabilizes and enhances signaling through the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB3. Sci. Signal. 9, ra65.

Printsev, I., Curiel, D., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2017. Membrane protein quantity control at the endoplasmic reticulum. J. Memb. Biol. 250, 379-392.

Wald, J.H., Hatakeyama, J., Printsev, I., Cuevas, A., Fry, W.H.D., Saldana, M.J., VanderVorst, K., Rowson-Hodel, A., Angelastro, J.M., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2017. Suppression of planar cell polarity signaling and migration in glioblastoma by Nrdp1-mediated Dvl polyubiquitination. Oncogene 36, 5158-5167.

Rowson-Hodel, A.R., Wald, J.H., Hatakeyama, J., O'Neal, W.K., Stonebraker, J.R., VanderVorst, K., Saldana, M.J., Borowsky, A.D., Sweeney, C., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2017. Membrane mucin Muc4 promotes blood cell association with tumor cells and mediates efficient metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer. Oncogene 37, 197-207.

VanderVorst, K., Hatakeyama, J., Berg, A., Lee, H., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2018. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying planar ell polarity contributions to cancer malignancy. Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 81, 78-87.

Saldana, M., VanderVorst, K., Berg, A.L., Lee, H., and Carraway, K.L, III. 2018. Otubain 1: a non-canonical deubiquitinase with an emerging role in cancer. Endcr. Relat. Cancer 26, R1-R14.

VanderVorst, K., Dreyer, C.A., Konopelski, S.E., Lee, H., Ho, H.H., and Carraway, K.L., III. 2019. Wnt/PCP signaling contribution to carcinoma collective cell migration and metastasis. Cancer Res 79, 1719-1729.