Maria M. Fergusson

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In lower organisms, increased expression of the NAD-dependent deacetylase Sir2 augments lifespan. The mechanism through which this life extension is mediated remains incompletely understood. Here we have examined the cellular effects of overexpression of SIRT1, the closest mammalian ortholog of Sir2. In PC12 cells, increased expression of the NAD-dependent(More)
Nutrient availability regulates life-span in a wide range of organisms. We demonstrate that in mammalian cells, acute nutrient withdrawal simultaneously augments expression of the SIRT1 deacetylase and activates the Forkhead transcription factor Foxo3a. Knockdown of Foxo3a expression inhibited the starvation-induced increase in SIRT1 expression. Stimulation(More)
The contribution of stem and progenitor cell dysfunction and depletion in normal aging remains incompletely understood. We explored this concept in the Klotho mouse model of accelerated aging. Analysis of various tissues and organs from young Klotho mice revealed a decrease in stem cell number and an increase in progenitor cell senescence. Because klotho is(More)
Mitochondrial calcium has been postulated to regulate a wide range of processes from bioenergetics to cell death. Here, we characterize a mouse model that lacks expression of the recently discovered mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). Mitochondria derived from MCU−/− mice have no apparent capacity to rapidly uptake calcium. Whereas basal metabolism seems(More)
Impaired or deficient autophagy is believed to cause or contribute to aging, as well as a number of age-related pathologies. The exact mechanism through which alterations in autophagy induce these various pathologies is not well understood. Here we describe the creation of two in vivo mouse models that allow for the characterization of the alteration in(More)
Although initially viewed as unregulated, increasing evidence suggests that cellular necrosis often proceeds through a specific molecular program. In particular, death ligands such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α activate necrosis by stimulating the formation of a complex containing receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein 3(More)
Withdrawal of nutrients triggers an exit from the cell division cycle, the induction of autophagy, and eventually the activation of cell death pathways. The relation, if any, among these events is not well characterized. We found that starved mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking the essential autophagy gene product Atg7 failed to undergo cell cycle arrest.(More)
Cell death can proceed through at least two distinct pathways. Apoptosis is an energy-dependent process characterized morphologically by cell shrinkage, whereas oncosis is a form of cell death induced by energy depletion and initially characterized by cell swelling. We demonstrate in HeLa cells but not in normal diploid fibroblasts that modest increases in(More)
Endothelial secretion of von Willebrand factor (VWF) from intracellular organelles known as Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) is required for platelet adhesion to the injured vessel wall. Here we demonstrate that WPBs are often found near or within autophagosomes and that endothelial autophagosomes contain abundant VWF protein. Pharmacological inhibitors of(More)
Previous studies have determined that mice with a homozygous deletion in the adapter protein p66(shc) have an extended life span and that cells derived from these mice exhibit lower levels of reactive oxygen species. Here we demonstrate that a fraction of p66(shc) localizes to the mitochondria and that p66(shc-/-) fibroblasts have altered mitochondrial(More)