Carmela R. Abraham, PhD

Professor, Biochemistry

Carmela Abraham
(617) 638-4308
72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)


Our laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms leading to normal brain aging and the pathological processes that culminate in Alzheimer’s disease. We utilize the rhesus monkey as a model for understanding changes that occur during non-pathological aging. With microarray analysis we identified genes that play crucial roles in brain dysfunction leading to cognitive decline. An example is Klotho, a cytoprotective, anti-aging protein. We found that Klotho expression is considerably decreased in the aged brains of monkeys, rats, and mice. We are now working to comprehensively characterize the role of Klotho in normal aging and disease. Our projects are to identify Klotho receptors in the brain and define the signaling pathways by which Klotho exerts its protective effects. We are also studying Klotho’s transcriptional regulation and have identified compounds to therapeutically exploit these protective effects. Another line of investigation in our lab is to understand the biology of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), the parent protein of the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta), which accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients and causes irreversible neurodegeneration. Certain mutations in APP result in autosomal dominant, early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease due to the increased production of Abeta. Since APP homodimerization is believed to be involved in Abeta formation in the brain we searched and identified molecules capable of intervening in this process to reduce the levels of toxic Abeta peptide in the brain.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Harvard University, PhD
  • Tel-Aviv University , BSc

Classes Taught

  • MS783


  • Published on 6/12/2015

    Zeldich E, Chen CD, Avila R, Medicetty S, Abraham CR. The Anti-Aging Protein Klotho Enhances Remyelination Following Cuprizone-Induced Demyelination. J Mol Neurosci. 2015 Oct; 57(2):185-96.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/11/2015

    Dubal DB, Zhu L, Sanchez PE, Worden K, Broestl L, Johnson E, Ho K, Yu GQ, Kim D, Betourne A, Kuro-O M, Masliah E, Abraham CR, Mucke L. Life Extension Factor Klotho Prevents Mortality and Enhances Cognition in hAPP Transgenic Mice. J Neurosci. 2015 Feb 11; 35(6):2358-71.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/20/2014

    Chen CD, Tung TY, Liang J, Zeldich E, Tucker Zhou TB, Turk BE, Abraham CR. Identification of cleavage sites leading to the shed form of the anti-aging protein klotho. Biochemistry. 2014 Sep 2; 53(34):5579-87.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/29/2014

    Jun G, Asai H, Zeldich E, Drapeau E, Chen C, Chung J, Park JH, Kim S, Haroutunian V, Foroud T, Kuwano R, Haines JL, Pericak-Vance MA, Schellenberg GD, Lunetta KL, Kim JW, Buxbaum JD, Mayeux R, Ikezu T, Abraham CR, Farrer LA. PLXNA4 is associated with Alzheimer disease and modulates tau phosphorylation. Ann Neurol. 2014 Sep; 76(3):379-92.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/18/2014

    Zeldich E, Chen CD, Colvin TA, Bove-Fenderson EA, Liang J, Tucker Zhou TB, Harris DA, Abraham CR. The neuroprotective effect of Klotho is mediated via regulation of members of the redox system. J Biol Chem. 2014 Aug 29; 289(35):24700-15.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/8/2014

    Chen CD, Li H, Liang J, Hixson K, Zeldich E, Abraham CR. The anti-aging and tumor suppressor protein klotho enhances differentiation of a human oligodendrocytic hybrid cell line. J Mol Neurosci. 2015 Jan; 55(1):76-90.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/10/2014

    Dubal DB, Yokoyama JS, Zhu L, Broestl L, Worden K, Wang D, Sturm VE, Kim D, Klein E, Yu GQ, Ho K, Eilertson KE, Yu L, Kuro-o M, De Jager PL, Coppola G, Small GW, Bennett DA, Kramer JH, Abraham CR, Miller BL, Mucke L. Life extension factor klotho enhances cognition. Cell Rep. 2014 May 22; 7(4):1065-76.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/11/2013

    Tucker Zhou TB, King GD, Chen C, Abraham CR. Biochemical and functional characterization of the klotho-VS polymorphism implicated in aging and disease risk. J Biol Chem. 2013 Dec 20; 288(51):36302-11.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/2/2013

    Mehi SJ, Maltare A, Abraham CR, King GD. MicroRNA-339 and microRNA-556 regulate Klotho expression in vitro. Age (Dordr). 2014 Feb; 36(1):141-9.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/8/2013

    So PP, Khodr CE, Chen CD, Abraham CR. Comparable dimerization found in wildtype and familial Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein mutants. Am J Neurodegener Dis. 2013; 2(1):15-28.

    Read at: PubMed

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