Ajit Divakaruni, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
Member, Molecular Pharmacology GPB Home Area, themes

Our laboratory has broad interest in mitochondrial metabolism and bioenergetics, with a particular emphasis on targeting mitochondrial inner membrane transporters to treat metabolic and neurodegenerative disease. Facilitated transport of metabolites, co-factors, and ions across the mitochondrial inner membrane can regulate a range of physiological processes including those as varied as thermogenesis, maintenance of euglycemia, and synaptic neurotransmission. Methodologically, we integrate bioenergetic measurements with metabolomics and stable isotope tracing to characterize cellular energy metabolism. We are also actively developing new assays, protocols, and data interpretation roadmaps to help make these measurements accessible to non-specialists interested in metabolism and mitochondrial function.


A selected list of publications:

Divakaruni Ajit S, Wallace Martina, Buren Caodu, Martyniuk Kelly, Andreyev Alexander Y, Li Edward, Fields Jerel A, Cordes Thekla, Reynolds Ian J, Bloodgood Brenda L, Raymond Lynn A, Metallo Christian M, Murphy Anne N   Inhibition of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier protects from excitotoxic neuronal death The Journal of cell biology, 2017; 216(4): 1091-1105.
Parker Seth J, Svensson Robert U, Divakaruni Ajit S, Lefebvre Austin E, Murphy Anne N, Shaw Reuben J, Metallo Christian M   LKB1 promotes metabolic flexibility in response to energy stress Metabolic engineering, 2016; .
Zhang Hui, Badur Mehmet G, Divakaruni Ajit S, Parker Seth J, Jäger Christian, Hiller Karsten, Murphy Anne N, Metallo Christian M   Distinct Metabolic States Can Support Self-Renewal and Lipogenesis in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells under Different Culture Conditions Cell reports, 2016; 16(6): 1536-47.
Garcia-Carbonell Ricard, Divakaruni Ajit S, Lodi Alessia, Vicente-Suarez Ildefonso, Saha Arindam, Cheroutre Hilde, Boss Gerry R, Tiziani Stefano, Murphy Anne N, Guma Monica   Critical Role of Glucose Metabolism in Rheumatoid Arthritis Fibroblast-like Synoviocytes Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.), 2016; 68(7): 1614-26.
Cordes Thekla, Wallace Martina, Michelucci Alessandro, Divakaruni Ajit S, Sapcariu Sean C, Sousa Carole, Koseki Haruhiko, Cabrales Pedro, Murphy Anne N, Hiller Karsten, Metallo Christian M   Immunoresponsive Gene 1 and Itaconate Inhibit Succinate Dehydrogenase to Modulate Intracellular Succinate Levels The Journal of biological chemistry, 2016; 291(27): 14274-84.
Ding Boxiao, Parmigiani Anita, Divakaruni Ajit S, Archer Kellie, Murphy Anne N, Budanov Andrei V   Sestrin2 is induced by glucose starvation via the unfolded protein response and protects cells from non-canonical necroptotic cell death Scientific reports, 2016; 6(7): 22538.
Fields Jerel Adam, Serger Elisabeth, Campos Sofia, Divakaruni Ajit S, Kim Changyoun, Smith Kendall, Trejo Margarita, Adame Anthony, Spencer Brian, Rockenstein Edward, Murphy Anne N, Ellis Ronald J, Letendre Scott, Grant Igor, Masliah Eliezer   HIV alters neuronal mitochondrial fission/fusion in the brain during HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders Neurobiology of disease, 2016; 86(7): 154-69.
Green Courtney R, Wallace Martina, Divakaruni Ajit S, Phillips Susan A, Murphy Anne N, Ciaraldi Theodore P, Metallo Christian M   Branched-chain amino acid catabolism fuels adipocyte differentiation and lipogenesis Nature chemical biology, 2016; 12(1): 15-21.
Giacco Ferdinando, Du Xueliang, Carratú Anna, Gerfen Gary J, D'Apolito Maria, Giardino Ida, Rasola Andrea, Marin Oriano, Divakaruni Ajit S, Murphy Anne N, Shah Manasi S, Brownlee Michael   GLP-1 Cleavage Product Reverses Persistent ROS Generation After Transient Hyperglycemia by Disrupting an ROS-Generating Feedback Loop Diabetes, 2015; 64(9): 3273-84.
Wilderman Andrea, Guo Yurong, Divakaruni Ajit S, Perkins Guy, Zhang Lingzhi, Murphy Anne N, Taylor Susan S, Insel Paul A   Proteomic and Metabolic Analyses of S49 Lymphoma Cells Reveal Novel Regulation of Mitochondria by cAMP and Protein Kinase A The Journal of biological chemistry, 2015; 290(36): 22274-86.
Westenbrink B Daan, Ling Haiyun, Divakaruni Ajit S, Gray Charles B B, Zambon Alexander C, Dalton Nancy D, Peterson Kirk L, Gu Yusu, Matkovich Scot J, Murphy Anne N, Miyamoto Shigeki, Dorn Gerald W, Heller Brown Joan   Mitochondrial reprogramming induced by CaMKIIδ mediates hypertrophy decompensation Circulation research, 2015; 116(5): e28-39.
Vacanti Nathaniel M, Divakaruni Ajit S, Green Courtney R, Parker Seth J, Henry Robert R, Ciaraldi Theodore P, Murphy Anne N, Metallo Christian M   Regulation of substrate utilization by the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier Molecular cell, 2014; 56(3): 425-35.
Yamazaki Katrina Go, Andreyev Aleksander Y, Ortiz-Vilchis Pilar, Petrosyan Susanna, Divakaruni Ajit S, Wiley Sandra E, De La Fuente Christine, Perkins Guy, Ceballos Guillermo, Villarreal Francisco, Murphy Anne N   Intravenous (-)-epicatechin reduces myocardial ischemic injury by protecting mitochondrial function International journal of cardiology, 2014; 175(2): 297-306.
Grassian Alexandra R, Parker Seth J, Davidson Shawn M, Divakaruni Ajit S, Green Courtney R, Zhang Xiamei, Slocum Kelly L, Pu Minying, Lin Fallon, Vickers Chad, Joud-Caldwell Carol, Chung Franklin, Yin Hong, Handly Erika D, Straub Christopher, Growney Joseph D, Vander Heiden Matthew G, Murphy Anne N, Pagliarini Raymond, Metallo Christian M   IDH1 mutations alter citric acid cycle metabolism and increase dependence on oxidative mitochondrial metabolism Cancer research, 2014; 74(12): 3317-31.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Paradyse Alexander, Ferrick David A, Murphy Anne N, Jastroch Martin   Analysis and interpretation of microplate-based oxygen consumption and pH data Methods in enzymology, 2014; 547(12): 309-54.
Rogers George W, Nadanaciva Sashi, Swiss Rachel, Divakaruni Ajit S, Will Yvonne   Assessment of fatty acid beta oxidation in cells and isolated mitochondria Current protocols in toxicology, 2014; 60(12): 25.3.1-19.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Rogers George W, Murphy Anne N   Measuring Mitochondrial Function in Permeabilized Cells Using the Seahorse XF Analyzer or a Clark-Type Oxygen Electrode Current protocols in toxicology, 2014; 60(12): 25.2.1-16.
Kenwood Brandon M, Weaver Janelle L, Bajwa Amandeep, Poon Ivan K, Byrne Frances L, Murrow Beverley A, Calderone Joseph A, Huang Liping, Divakaruni Ajit S, Tomsig Jose L, Okabe Kohki, Lo Ryan H, Cameron Coleman G, Columbus Linda, Yan Zhen, Saucerman Jeffrey J, Smith Jeffrey S, Holmes Jeffrey W, Lynch Kevin R, Ravichandran Kodi S, Uchiyama Seiichi, Santos Webster L, Rogers George W, Okusa Mark D, Bayliss Douglas A, Hoehn Kyle L   Identification of a novel mitochondrial uncoupler that does not depolarize the plasma membrane Molecular metabolism, 2014; 3(2): 114-23.
Colca Jerry R, McDonald William G, Cavey Gregory S, Cole Serena L, Holewa Danielle D, Brightwell-Conrad Angela S, Wolfe Cindy L, Wheeler Jean S, Coulter Kristin R, Kilkuskie Peter M, Gracheva Elena, Korshunova Yulia, Trusgnich Michelle, Karr Robert, Wiley Sandra E, Divakaruni Ajit S, Murphy Anne N, Vigueira Patrick A, Finck Brian N, Kletzien Rolf F   Identification of a mitochondrial target of thiazolidinedione insulin sensitizers (mTOT)--relationship to newly identified mitochondrial pyruvate carrier proteins PloS one, 2013; 8(5): e61551.
Wiley Sandra E, Andreyev Alexander Y, Divakaruni Ajit S, Karisch Robert, Perkins Guy, Wall Estelle A, van der Geer Peter, Chen Yi-Fan, Tsai Ting-Fen, Simon Melvin I, Neel Benjamin G, Dixon Jack E, Murphy Anne N   Wolfram Syndrome protein, Miner1, regulates sulphydryl redox status, the unfolded protein response, and Ca2+ homeostasis EMBO molecular medicine, 2013; 5(6): 904-18.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Wiley Sandra E, Rogers George W, Andreyev Alexander Y, Petrosyan Susanna, Loviscach Mattias, Wall Estelle A, Yadava Nagendra, Heuck Alejandro P, Ferrick David A, Henry Robert R, McDonald William G, Colca Jerry R, Simon Melvin I, Ciaraldi Theodore P, Murphy Anne N   Thiazolidinediones are acute, specific inhibitors of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013; 110(14): 5422-7.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Humphrey Dickon M, Brand Martin D   Fatty acids change the conformation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) The Journal of biological chemistry, 2012; 287(44): 36845-53.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Murphy Anne N   Cell biology. A mitochondrial mystery, solved Science (New York, N.Y.), 2012; 337(6090): 41-3.
Mookerjee Shona A, Divakaruni Ajit S, Jastroch Martin, Brand Martin D   Mitochondrial uncoupling and lifespan Mechanisms of ageing and development, 2011; 131(7-8): 463-72.
Divakaruni Ajit S, Brand Martin D   The regulation and physiology of mitochondrial proton leak Physiology (Bethesda, Md.), 2011; 26(3): 192-205.
Azzu Vian, Jastroch Martin, Divakaruni Ajit S, Brand Martin D   The regulation and turnover of mitochondrial uncoupling proteins Biochimica et biophysica acta, 2011; 1797(6-7): 785-91.
Jastroch Martin, Divakaruni Ajit S, Mookerjee Shona, Treberg Jason R, Brand Martin D   Mitochondrial proton and electron leaks Essays in biochemistry, 2010; 47(6-7): 53-67.
Gerencser Akos A, Mark Karla A, Hubbard Alan E, Divakaruni Ajit S, Mehrabian Zara, Nicholls David G, Polster Brian M   Real-time visualization of cytoplasmic calpain activation and calcium deregulation in acute glutamate excitotoxicity Journal of neurochemistry, 2009; 110(3): 990-1004.