Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Ana Maria Cuervo, MD, PhD


Professor of Developmental and Molecular Biology,
Anatomy and Structural Biology

Co-Director of the Institute for Aging Research

Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York


The Cuervo lab focuses on selective autophagy and the understanding of molecular mechanisms of lysosomal degradation pathways in the context of aging and age-related diseases.  One main interest is the characterization of different components involved in chaperone-mediated autophagy and endosomal microautophagy and the identification of new players for this these pathways, employing in vivo and in vitro models. The research aims at understanding the elimination and recycling process of altered proteins in cells, in order to find specific therapeutic approaches in the fight against e.g. neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease, which the Cuervo group could link to alterations in autophagic/lysosomal protein degradation.  Further, they demonstrated that restoration of normal lysosomal function prevents accumulation of damaged proteins and moreover enables the removal of toxic cell products.

The Cuervo Lab

Selected workshop-related publications

Proteome-wide analysis of chaperone-mediated autophagy targeting motifs.
PLoS Biology, 17(5):E3000301 doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000301
Kirchner P, Bourdenx M, Madrigal-Matute J, Tiano S, Diaz A, Barholdy BA, Will B, Cuervo AM. (2019)

Defective recruitment of motor proteins to autophagic compartments contributes to autophagic failure in aging.
Aging Cell 29:e12777 doi: 10.1111/acel.12777
Bejarano E, Murray J, Wang X, Pampliega, O, Yin D, Patel B, Yuste A, Wolkoff A, Cuervo AM. (2018)

Interplay of pathogenic forms of human tau with different autophagic pathways.
Aging Cell 17(1): doi: 10.2222/acel.12692
Caballero B, Wang Y, Diaz A, Tasset I, Juste YR, Mandelkow E-, Mandelkow E, Cuervo AM*.(2017)

Huntingtin functions as a scaffold for selective macroautophagy.
Nature Cell Biology 17(3):262-75. doi: 10.1038/ncb3101
Rui YN, Xu Z, Patel B, Chen Z, Chen D, Tito A, David G, Sun Y, Stimming EF, Bellen HJ, Cuervo AM & Zhang S (2015)

Chemical modulation of Chaperone-mediated autophagy by novel retinoic acid derivatives.
Nature Chemichal Biology 9(6): 374–382. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1230
Anguiano J, Gaerner T, Daas B, Gavathiotis E, Cuervo AM. (2013)

Molecular determinants of selective clearance of protein inclusions by autophagy.
Nature Communications 7(8). doi: 10.1038/ncomms2244
Wong E, Bejarano E, Hanson HH, Zaarur N, Phillips GR, Sherman MY, Cuervo AM.* (2012)

Selected Reviews

Selective autophagy as a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative disorders.
Lancet Neurology 17(9):802-815. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30238-2
Scrivo A, Bourdenx M, Pampliega O, Cuervo AM. (2018)

The coming of age of chaperone-mediated autophagy.
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. 19(6):365-381. doi: 10.1038/s41580-018-0001-6
Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. (2018)