Faculty Profile

Dr. Susmita Kaushik, Ph.D.

Susmita Kaushik, Ph.D.

Instructor, Department of Developmental & Molecular Biology

Professional Interests

Dr. Susmita Kaushik is Instructor in Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo’s research group.

Autophagy is the removal of cellular components by lysosomes. Mammalian cells have three types autophagy – macroautophagy, microautophagy, and chaperone-mediated autophagy. Chaperone-mediated autophagy is the selective degradation of proteins by lysosomes.

Dr. Kaushik’s current research interests lie in the role of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in regulating lipid stores (lipid droplets). Specifically, how lipid utilization by the cell is controlled by lipid droplet coat proteins (perilipins), how CMA regulates the fate of perilipins themselves, and how dysregulation of CMA (in aging) could lead to perturbations in lipohomeostasis observed as we age.

Dr. Susmita Kaushik received the Walter Nicolai Award, the Julius Marmur Research Award, and the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award. Dr. Kaushik was the 2010 co-chair for Gordon Research Seminar (Biology of Aging). She was the Contributing Editor for the Einstein Journal of Biology and Medicine and is currently Associate Faculty Member for Faculty 1000 Prime – Developmental Biology: Aging.

Selected Publications

(From >45 peer-reviewed publications)

| Research Papers

Kaushik S, Massey AC, Cuervo AM. Lysosome membrane lipid microdomains: novel regulators of chaperone-mediated autophagy. EMBO J 2006; 25: 3921-33.

Massey AC, Kaushik S, Sovak G, Kiffin R, Cuervo AM. Consequences of the selective blockage of chaperone-mediated autophagy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006; 103: 5805-10. • F1000 Prime recommended

Kiffin R*, Kaushik S*, Zeng M, Bandyopadhyay U, Zhang C, Massey AC, Martinez-Vicente M, Cuervo AM. Altered dynamics of the lysosomal receptor for chaperone-mediated autophagy with age. J Cell Sci 2007; 120: 782-91. *equal contribution

Martinez-Vicente M, Talloczy Z, Kaushik S, Massey AC, Mazzulli J, Mosharov EV, Hodara R, Fredenburg R, Wu DC, Follenzi A, Dauer W, Przedborski S, Ischiropoulos H, Lansbury PT, Sulzer D, Cuervo AM. Dopamine-modified alpha-synuclein blocks chaperone-mediated autophagy. J Clin Invest 2008; 118: 777-88. • F1000 Prime recommended • Media coverage: NINDS new, Reuters, Science Daily

Kaushik S, Massey AC, Mizushima N, Cuervo AM. Constitutive activation of chaperone-mediated autophagy in cells with impaired macroautophagy. Mol Biol Cell 2008; 19: 2179-92.

Bandyopadhyay U, Kaushik S, Varticovski L, Cuervo AM. The chaperone-mediated autophagy receptor organizes in dynamic protein complexes at the lysosomal membrane. Mol Cell Biol 2008; 28: 5747-63.

Wang Y, Singh R, Massey AC, Kane SS, Kaushik S, Grant T, Xiang Y, Cuervo AM, Czaja MJ. Loss of macroautophagy promotes or prevents fibroblast apoptosis depending on the death stimulus. J Biol Chem 2008; 283: 4766-77. • J Biol Chem: Paper of the Week • Issue Cover

Singh R*, Kaushik S*, Wang Y, Xiang Y, Novak I, Komatsu M, Tanaka K, Cuervo AM, Czaja MJ. Autophagy regulates lipid metabolism. Nature 2009; 458: 1131-5. *equal contribution • F1000 Prime recommended • Featured: News & Views, Nature • Featured: Preview, Dev Cell • Media coverage: ABC, BBC, Discover Magazine, Science Central, Science Daily, Washington Post

Wang Y, Martinez-Vicente M, Krϋger U, Kaushik S, Wong E, Mandelkow EM, Cuervo AM, Mandelkow E. Lysosome-dependent fragmentation of Tau leads to Tau aggregation and degradation by macroautophagy. Human Mol Genetics 2009; 18: 4153-70.

Koga H, Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Altered lipid content inhibits autophagic vesicular fusion. FASEB J 2010; 24: 3052-65.

Martinez-Vicente M, Talloczy Z, Wong E, Tang G,Koga H, Kaushik S, de Vries R, Arias E, Harris S, Sulzer D, Cuervo AM. Cargo recognition failure is responsible for inefficient autophagy in Huntington’s disease. Nat Neurosci 2010; 13: 567-76. • F1000 Prime recommended • Featured: Leading Edge, Cell • Featured: Research Highlight, Nat Rev Neurol

Rothenberg C, Srinivasan D, Mah L, Kaushik S, Peterhoff CM, Ugolino J, Fang S, Cuervo AM, Nixon RA, Monteiro MJ. Ubiquilin functions in autophagy and is degraded by chaperone-mediated autophagy. Hum Mol Genet 2010; 19: 3219-32.

Bandyopadhyay U, Sridhar S, Kaushik S, Kiffin R, Cuervo AM. Identification of regulators of chaperone-mediated autophagy. Mol Cell 2010; 39: 535-47. • F1000 Prime recommended

Yang DS, Stavrides P, Mohan PS, Kaushik S, Kumar A, Ohno M, Schmidt SD, Wesson D, Bandyopadhyay U, Jiang Y, Pawlik M, Peterhoff CM, Yang AJ, Wilson DA, St George-Hyslop P, Westaway D, Mathews PM, Levy E, Cuervo AM, Nixon RA. Reversal of autophagy dysfunction in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease ameliorates amyloid pathologies and memory deficits. Brain 2011; 134: 258-77.

Sahu R, Kaushik S, Clement CC, Cannizzo ES, Scharf B, Follenzi A, Potolicchio I, Nieves E, Cuervo AM, Santambrogio L. Microautophagy of cytosolic proteins by late endosomes. Dev Cell 2011; 20: 131-9.

Kaushik S, Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Arias E, Kiffin R, Sahu S, Schwartz GJ, Cuervo AM, Singh R. Autophagy in hypothalamic AgRP neurons regulates food intake and energy balance. Cell Metab 2011; 14: 173-83. • F1000 Prime recommended  • Featured: Research Highlights, Nat Med • Media coverage: Eureka Alert, Fox News, Jay Leno Show, LA Times, National Public Radio, Scientist Magazine

Koga H, Martinez-Vicente M, Arias E, Kaushik S, Sulzer D, Cuervo AM. Constitutive upregulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy in Huntington's disease. J Neurosci 2011; 31: 18492-505.

Kaushik S*, Arias E*, Kwon H, Lopez NM, Athonvarangkul D, Sahu S, Schwartz GJ, Pessin JE, Singh R. Loss of autophagy in hypothalamic POMC neurons impairs lipolysis. EMBO Rep 2012; 13: 258-65. *equal contribution  • F1000 Prime recommended  • Issue Cover  • Featured: Hot off the Press, EMBO Rep

Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Kaushik S, Koga H, Dall'Armi C, Shui G, Wenk MR, Di Paolo G, Cuervo AM. Inhibitory effect of dietary lipids on chaperone-mediated autophagy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012; 109: E705-14. • F1000 Prime recommended

Cannizzo ES, Clement CC, Morozova K, Valdor R, Kaushik S, Almeida LN, Follo C, Sahu R, Cuervo AM, Macian F, Santambrogio L. Age-related oxidative stress compromises endosomal proteostasis. Cell Rep 2012; 2: 136-49.

Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Degradation of lipid droplet-associated proteins by chaperone-mediated autophagy facilitates lipolysis. Nat Cell Biol 2015; 17: 759-70. • Featured: Preview, Cell Metab  • F1000 Prime recommended  Featured in communication media: Bioportfolio

Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. AMPK-dependent phosphorylation of lipid droplet protein PLIN2 triggers its degradation by CMA. Autophagy 2016; 12: 432-8. 

Mitchell SJ, Madrigal-Matute J, Scheibye-Knudsen M, Fang E, Aon M, González-Reyes JA, Cortassa S, Kaushik S, Gonzalez-Freire M, Patel B, Wahl D, Ali A, Calvo-Rubio M, Burón MI, Guiterrez V, Ward TM, Palacios HH, Cai H, Frederick DW, Hine C, Broeskamp F, Habering L, Dawson J, Beasley TM, Wan J, Ikeno Y, Hubbard G, Becker KG, Zhang Y, Bohr VA, Longo DL, Navas P, Ferrucci L, Sinclair DA, Cohen P, Egan JM, Mitchell JR, Baur JA, Allison DB, Anson RM, Villalba JM, Madeo F, Cuervo AM, Pearson KJ, Ingram DK, Bernier M, de Cabo R. Effects of Sex, Strain, and Energy Intake on Hallmarks of Aging in Mice. Cell Metab 2016; 23: 1093-112.

Morozova K, Clement CC, Kaushik S, Stiller B, Arias E, Ahmad A, Rauch JN, Chatterjee V, Melis C, Scharf B, Gestwicki JE, Cuervo AM, Zuiderweg ER, Santambrogio L. Hsc-70 Structural and Biological Interaction with Phosphatidylserine in Endosomal Microautophagy. J Biol Chem 2016; 291: 18096-106. 

| Review Articles

Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Monitoring chaperone-mediated autophagy. Methods Enzymol 2009; 452: 297-324.

Rubinsztein DC, Cuervo AM, Ravikumar B, Sarkar S, Korolchuk V, Kaushik S, Klionsky DJ. In search of an ‘autophagometer’. Autophagy 2009; 5: 585-9.

Kaushik S, Singh R, Cuervo AM. Autophagic pathways and metabolic stress. Diabetes Obes Metab 2010; 12 Suppl 2: 4-14.

Kaushik S, Bandyopadhyay U, Sridhar S, Kiffin R, Martinez-Vicente M, Kon M, Orenstein SJ, Wong E, Cuervo AM. Chaperone-mediated autophagy at a glance. J Cell Sci 2011; 124: 495-9.

Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Chaperone-mediated autophagy: a unique world to enter the lysosome world. Trends Cell Biol 2012; 22: 407-17. Issue Cover

Klionsky DJ, ... Kaushik S, ... et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy. Autophagy 2012; 8: 445-544.

Kaushik S, Cuervo AM. Proteostasis and aging. Nat Med 2015; 21: 1406-15. Issue Cover

Klionsky DJ, ... Kaushik S, ... et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 2016; 12: 1-222.


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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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Research Information