Dean’s Seminar Series featuring Ana Maria Cuervo, MD, PhD – “Targeting selective autophagy in aging and age-related diseases”
***CME Credit will be offered for this seminar***
Ana Maria Cuervo, MD, PhD
Professor, Developmental and Molecular Biology
Co-Director, Einstein Institute for Aging Studies
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
“Targeting selective autophagy in aging and age-related diseases”
Cells count on surveillance systems to handle protein alterations and organelle damage. Malfunctioning of these systems occurs with age and is on the basis of different age-related diseases. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms and consequences of the age-dependent malfunctioning of autophagy, one of the components of the proteostasis network.
We have found that a selective form of autophagy, known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), is markedly reduced with age. CMA is active in most cell types in mammalians but its activity varies depending on cellular conditions. In recent years, the better molecular characterization of CMA and the development by our group of mouse models with selective blockage or activation of CMA has considerably advanced our understanding of the physiological role of this pathway. In this talk, I will describe our recent findings on the molecular regulators of CMA, the novel physiological regulatory functions identified for this process, the consequences of the functional decline of this type of autophagy with age and some of our current efforts to CMA activity in vivo in the context of different age-related diseases.