This is the first competing renewal of a collaborative project between the groups of Dr. Allan Wolkoff and Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo to investigate the role of endocytic/lysosomal processes in liver pathophysiology. During the previous period, we developed technology to dissect the molecular mechanism regulating trafficking of the vesicular components that participate in these processes. We also made the original discovery that endocytic and autophagic pathways are tightly interrelated functionally and that dysfunction of these processes can lead to dysregulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in the liver. We now intend to continue this line of studies focusing on a selective form of autophagy, chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) to test our working hypothesis that CMA malfunctioning could contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, non- alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver fibrosis. We propose that 1) reduced hepatic CMA activity as a result of dietary challenges and aging contributes to accelerate progression of fatty liver disease and that 2) enhancing this form of autophagy could be a successful intervention to prevent progression of fatty liver Disease To test this hypothesis we intend to: 1) determine the molecular basis of dietary-induced hepatic CMA dysfunction both in mouse models and NAFLD patients; 2) characterize the spatiotemporal sequence of CMA changes in the fatty liver and during liver fibrosis; 3) test if genetic or chemical enhancement of CMA is effective in protecting lipid challenged livers against lipotoxicity and disease progression. Significance: This study will elucidate how a functional decline of CMA contributes to fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis. Our findings could help in developing new approaches to protect the liver from lipotoxicity and to reduce progression to liver fibrosis.

Public Health Relevance

Excess dietary lipids and sugars results in inhibition of systems responsible for the maintenance of hepatic quality control and the regulation of metabolic pathways in the liver. We propose that malfunction of these protective systems is also behind the occurrence of fatty liver disease and the consequent risk of progression into liver fibrosis. This proposal focuses on chaperone-mediated autophagy, a major mechanism for keeping protein and lipid components of the liver in balance. Based on our previous studies, we will now investigate if failure of chaperone-mediated autophagy predisposes to fatty liver disease and have designed experiments to test the possible therapeutic value of enhancing the activity of this quality control system in patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology Study Section (HBPP)
Program Officer
Burgess-Beusse, Bonnie L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Tekirdag, Kumsal; Cuervo, Ana Maria (2018) Chaperone-mediated autophagy and endosomal microautophagy: Joint by a chaperone. J Biol Chem 293:5414-5424
Kaushik, Susmita; Cuervo, Ana Maria (2018) The coming of age of chaperone-mediated autophagy. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 19:365-381
Amengual, Jaume; Guo, Liang; Strong, Alanna et al. (2018) Autophagy Is Required for Sortilin-Mediated Degradation of Apolipoprotein B100. Circ Res 122:568-582
Bejarano, Eloy; Murray, John W; Wang, Xintao et al. (2018) Defective recruitment of motor proteins to autophagic compartments contributes to autophagic failure in aging. Aging Cell :e12777
Gong, Zhenwei; Tasset, Inmaculada; Diaz, Antonio et al. (2018) Humanin is an endogenous activator of chaperone-mediated autophagy. J Cell Biol 217:635-647
Gomes, Luciana R; Menck, Carlos F M; Cuervo, Ana Maria (2017) Chaperone-mediated autophagy prevents cellular transformation by regulating MYC proteasomal degradation. Autophagy 13:928-940
Wijetunga, N A; Pascual, M; Tozour, J et al. (2017) A pre-neoplastic epigenetic field defect in HCV-infected liver at transcription factor binding sites and polycomb targets. Oncogene 36:2030-2044
Pampliega, Olatz; Cuervo, Ana Maria (2016) Autophagy and primary cilia: dual interplay. Curr Opin Cell Biol 39:1-7
Tasset, Inmaculada; Cuervo, Ana Maria (2016) Role of chaperone-mediated autophagy in metabolism. FEBS J 283:2403-13
Wang, Xintao; Wang, Pijun; Wang, Wenjun et al. (2016) The Na(+)-Taurocholate Cotransporting Polypeptide Traffics with the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor. Traffic 17:230-44

Showing the most recent 10 out of 34 publications