Selected Publications

See Dr. Lakkaraju’s UCSF profile page for her most up-to-date publication list.


  1. Li Xuan Tan, Colin J Germer, Thushara Thamban, Nilsa La Cunza, Aparna Lakkaraju Optineurin tunes outside-in signaling to regulate lysosome biogenesis and phagocytic clearance in the retina Curr Biol. 2023 Sep 25;33(18):3805-3820.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.07.031
  2. Tan LX, Li J, Germer CJ, Lakkaraju A. Analysis of mitochondrial dynamics and function in the retinal pigment epithelium by high-speed high-resolution live imaging. Frontiers in Cell & Developmental Biology,
  3. Malek G, Campisi J, Kitazawa K, Webster C, Lakkaraju A, Skowronska-Krawczyk D. Does senescence play a role in age-related macular degeneration? Exp Eye Res. 2022 Sep 21;225:109254. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2022.109254.
  4. Bharti K, den Hollander AI, Lakkaraju A, Sinha D, Williams DS, Finnemann SC, Bowes-Rickman C, Malek G, D’Amore PA. Cell culture models to study retinal pigment epithelium-related pathogenesis in age-related macular degeneration.Exp Eye Res. 2022 Sep;222:109170. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2022.109170.
  5. Rigby MJ, Lawton AJ, Kaur G, Banduseela VC, Kamm WE, Lakkaraju A. Denu JM, Puglielli L.ndoplasmic reticulum acetyltransferases Atase1 and Atase2 differentially regulate reticulophagy, macroautophagy and cellular acetyl-CoA metabolism. Commun Biol. 2021 Apr 12;4(1):454. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-01992-8.
  6. La Cunza N, Tan LX, Thamban T, Germer CJ, Rathnasamy G, Toops KA and Lakkaraju A. Mitochondria-dependent phase separation of disease-relevant proteins drives pathological features of age-related macular degeneration. JCI Insight. 2021 Apr 06. PMID: 33822768
  7. Rigby MJ, Lawton AJ, Kaur G, Banduseela V, Kamm WE, Lakkaraju A, Denu JM, Puglielli L. The endoplasmic reticulum acetyltransferases Atase1/Nat8b and Atase2/Nat8 differentially regulate reticulophagy, macroautophagy, and cellular acetyl-CoA metabolism. Communications Biology 2021 Apr 12;4(1):454. PMID: 33846551
  8. Tan LX, Germer CJ, La Cunza N and Lakkaraju A Complement activation, lipid metabolism, and mitochondrial injury: converging pathways in age-related macular degeneration. Redox Biol. Nov 2020. 
  9. Lakkaraju A, Umapathy A, Tan LX, Daniele L, Philp NJ, Boesze-Battaglia K, Williams DS. The cell biology of the retinal pigment epithelium. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research PMID: 210577doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2020.100846 Feb 2020.
  10. Kaur G*, Tan LX*, Rathanasamy G, La Cunza N, Germer CJ, Toops KA, Fernandes M, Blenkinsop TA and Lakkaraju A. Aberrant early endosome biogenesis mediates complement activation in models of macular degeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 115: 9014-19, 2018. PMID: 30126999.
  11. Tan LX, Toops KA and Lakkaraju A. Protective responses to sub-lytic complement in the retinal pigment epithelium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113: 8789-94, 2016. PMCID: PMC4978296.
  12. Toops KA, Tan LX, Jiang Z, Radu RA and Lakkaraju A. Cholesterol-mediated activation of acid sphingomyelinase disrupts autophagy in the retinal pigment epithelium. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 26: 1-14, 2015. PMCID: PMC4279221.
  13. Lakkaraju A, Finnemann SC, and Rodriguez-Boulan E. The lipofuscin fluorophore perturbs cholesterol metabolism in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104: 11026-11031, 2007. PMCID: PMC1904145
Mouse RPE flatmount showing cell boundaries stained for actin (green), and a few attached photoreceptors (red).