Areas of Research: Understanding the molecular basis of malfunctioning of autophagy (cellular quality control system) with age and the contribution of defects on this cellular pathway to neurodegeneration, metabolic disorders and cancer
Dr. Cuervo is co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research, and a member of the Einstein Liver Research Center and Cancer Center. In 2001 she started her laboratory at Einstein, where she studies the role of protein-degradation in aging and age-related disorders, with emphasis in neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders.
Dr. Cuervo’s group is interested in understanding how altered proteins can be eliminated from the cells and their components recycled. Her group has linked alterations in lysosomal protein degradation (autophagy) with different neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. They have also proven that restoration of normal lysosomal function prevents accumulation of damaged proteins with age, demonstrating this way that removal of these toxic products is possible. Her lab has also pionered studies demonstrating a tight link between autophagy and cellular metabolism. They described how autophagy coordinates glucose and lipid metabolism and how failure of different autophagic pathways with age contribute to important metabolic disorders such as diabetes or obesity.
Dr. Cuervo is considered a leader in the field of protein degradation in relation to biology of aging and has been invited to present her work in numerous national and international institutions, including the Robert R. Konh Memorial Lecture, the NIH Director’s Lecture, the Roy Walford Endowed Lecture, the Cherkin Award lecture on Gerontolgy, the Feodor Lynen Lecture and the Margaret Pitman Lecture. She has organized and chaired international conferences on protein degradation and on aging, belongs to the editorial board of scientific journals in this topic, and is currently co-editor-in-chief of Aging Cell and associate editor of Autophagy.
Dr. Cuervo has served in NIH advisory panels, special emphasis panels, and study sections, the NIA Scientific Council and has been recently elected member of the NIH Council of Councils. She has received the 2005 P. Benson Award in Cell Biology, the 2005/8 Keith Porter Fellow in Cell Biology, the 2006 Nathan Shock Memorial Lecture Award, the 2008 Vincent Cristofalo Rising Start in Aging Award, the 2010 Bennett J. Cohen Award in Aging Biology, the 2012 Marshall S. Horwitz, MD Faculty Prize for Research Excellence and the 2015 Saul Korey Prize in Translational Medicine Science.
(selected from >150 per review publications)
- Cuervo, A.M.*; Stephanis, L.; Freundberg, R.; Lansbury, P.; Sulzer, D. Impaired degradation of mutant alpha-synuclein by chaperone-mediated autophagy. Science305, 1292-1295, 2004
- Kaushik, S.; Massey, A.C.; Kiffin, R., Cuervo, A.M*. Role of lysosomal lipid microdomains in the regulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy. EMBO J. 25, 3921-33, 2006
- Zhang, C., Cuervo, AM*. Restoration of chaperone-mediated autophagy in aging improves cellular maintenance and organ function. Nat. Med. 14: 959-65, 2008
- Singh, R.; Kaushik, S.; Wang, Y.; Xiang, Y.; Novak, I; Komatsu, M.; Tanaka, K.; Cuervo, A.M*.; Czaja, M.J*. Autophagy regulates lipid metabolism. Nature 458:1131-5, 2009
- Martinez-Vicente M, Talloczy Z, Wong E, Tang G, Koga H, de Vries R, Kaushik S, Arias E, Harris S, Sulzer D, Cuervo AM* Cargo recognition failure is responsible for inefficient autophagy in Huntington’s Disease. Nat. Neurosci. 13:567-76, 2010
- Bandyopadhyay U, Shridar S, Kaushik S, Kiffin R, Cuervo AM*, Identification of regulators of chaperone-mediated autophagy. Mol Cell 39: 535-47, 2010.
- Koga H., Kaushik S., Macian F. Verkushka, V. Cuervo AM* A photoconvertible fluorescent reporter to track chaperone-mediated autophagy. Nat Comm 2: 386, 2011
- Kon, M, Koga, Hl, Kiffin, R., Chapochnick, J. Macian, F, Vartikovski L., Cuervo AM*. Chaperone-mediated autophagy is required for turmor growth. Science TM 3:109ra117, 2011
- Wong E, Bejarano E, Hanson HH, Zaarur N, Phillips GR, Sherman MY, Cuervo AM*. Molecular determinants of selective clearance of protein inclusions by autophagy. Nat Comm 3:1240, 2012
- Orenstein SJ, Kuo SH, Tasset-Cuevas I, Arias E, Koga H, Fernandez-Carasa I, Cortes, E., Honig, L.S., Dauer, W., Consiglio A, Raya A, Sulzer, D, Cuervo AM. Interplay of LRRK2 with chaperone-mediated autophagy. Nat. Neurosci. 16:394-406, 2013
- Anguiano J, Gaerner T, Daas B, Gavathiotis E, Cuervo AM. Chemical modulation of Chaperone-mediated autophagy by novel retinoic acid derivatives. Nat. Chem. Biol. 9:374-82, 2013
- Pampliega O, Orhon I, Patel B, Sridhar S, Diaz-Carretero A, Beau I, Codogno P, Satir B, Satir P, Cuervo AM Functional interaction between autophagy and ciliogenesis. Nature 502:194-200, 2013
- Bejarano, E, Yuste, A, Patel B, Stout, RJ, Spary, D Cuervo AM. Connexins modulate autophagosome biogenesis. Nat. Cell. Biol. 16:401-14, 2014
- Schneider JL, Suh Y, Cuervo AM*. Deficient chaperone-mediated autophagy in liver leads to metabolic disregulation. Cell Metab. 20:417-432, 2014
- Schneider S, Villarroya J, Diaz A, Patel B, Urbanska AM, Thi MM, Villarroya F, Santambrogio L, Cuervo AM*. Loss of hepatic chaperone-mediated autophagy accelerates proteostasis failure in aging. Aging Cell, 14:249-64, 2015
- Rui Y-N, Xu Z, Patel B, Chen Z, Chen D, Tito A, David G, Sun Y, Stimming ER, Bellen H, Cuervo AM*, Zhang S*. Huntingtin functions as a scaffold for selective macroautophagy. Nat. Cell. Biol. 17: 262-75, 2015
- Park C, Shu Y, Cuervo AM*.Regulated degradation of Chk1 by chaperone-mediated autophagy in response to DNA damage. Nat. Commun. 6:6823 doi: 10.1038/ncomms7823, 2015
- Kaushik, S. Cuervo AM*. Degradation of lipid droplet-associated proteins by chaperone-mediated autophagy facilitates lipolysis. Nat. Cell. Biol. 17: 759-70, 2015
- Arias E., Koga H, Diaz A, Mocholi E, Patel B, Cuervo AM*. Lysosomal mTORC2/PHLPP1/Akt regulate chaperone-mediated autophagy. Mol. Cell 59, 270-84, 2015
- Singh R, Cuervo AM. Autophagy in the cellular energetic balance. Cell Metab 13: 495-504, 2011
- Cuervo AM. Chaperone-mediated autophagy: Dice’s wild idea about lysosomal selectivity. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol 12:535-41, 2011 (Timeline)
- Cuervo AM, Macian F. Autophagy, nutrition and immunology. Mol Aspects Med, 33: 2-13, 2012
- Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Chaperone-mediated autophagy: a unique way to enter the lysosome world. Trends Cell Biol 22: 407-17, 2012
- Schneider JL, Cuervo AM. Liver autophagy: much more than taking out trash. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 11:187-200, 2013
- Schneider JL, Cuervo AM. Autophagy and human disease: emerging themes. Curr Opin Genet. Dev. 26C:16-23, 2014
- Kennedy, B.K., Berger, S.L., Brunet, A., Campisi, J., Cuervo, A.M., Epel, E.S., Franceschi, C., Lithgow, G.J., Morimoto, R.I., Pessin, J.E., Rando, T.A., Richardson, A., Schadt, E.E., Wyss-Coray, T., and Sierra, F. Geroscience: linking aging to chronic disease. Cell 159: 709-713, 2014
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More Information About Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo
Developmental and Molecular Biology Page
Cuervo Lab web page
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Nature interviews Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo about her research on autophagy, a critical cellular recycling process linked to numerous diseases.
The Scientist profiles Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., detailing her career path and research in autophagy.
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