Steven C. Borkan, M.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine


MD, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine

General field of research:

Renal ischemia; Cell death; Apoptosis; Stress proteins; Mitochondrial dysfunction

Affiliations other than medicine:

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
Renal Section

Contact information:

EBRC, 650 Albany st, Rm 546. Boston, MA 02118
Phone: (617) 638-7330
Fax: (617) 638-7326

Research group information

Jonathan (Yoni) M.Gall, MD/PhD student

Zhiyong Wang, Ph.D, Lab manager


Hsp 70; BCL2; Bax; Mitochondrial fragmentation

Summary of research interest:

The connection between mitochondrial morphology and organelle injury leading to apoptosis is being actively studied.  Preliminary observations suggest that endogenous stress proteins inhibit mitochondrial fragmentation during metabolic stress (AP depletion) suggesting that mito fragmentation facilitates apoptosis.  We expect to determine how stress proteins regulate mito morphology both in vitro and in vivo using an established transgenic mouse model of renal ischemia. Harvesting renal cells and growing epithelial cell in primary cell increases  our ability to correlate observations in both models.

Recent publications:

Ruchalski KL, Mao H, Li Z, Wang Z, Gillers S, Wang Y, Mosser DD, Gabai V, Schwartz JH and Borkan SC. 2006. Distinct Hsp70 domains mediate apoptosis inducing factor release and nuclear accumulation. J Biol Chem 281; 7873-80.

Li G, Yang Q, Krishnan S, Alexander EA, Borkan SC, and Schwartz JH.  2006. A novel cellular survival factor-the B2 subunit of vacuolar H+-ATPase inhibits apoptosis.  Cell Death Differentiation, 13; 2109-17.

Havasi A, Li Z, Wang Z, Martin JL, Botla V, Ruchalski K, Schwartz JH, and Borkan SC. 2008.  Hsp27 inhibits Bax activation and apoptosis via a PI3 kinase-dependent mechanism. J Biol Chem, 283; 12305-13.

Mao H, Li Z, Zhou Y, Li Z, Zhuang S, An X, Zhang B, Chen W, Nie J, Wang Z, Borkan S, Wang Y, and Yu X. 2008. HSP72 attenuates renal tubular cell apoptosis and interstitial fibrosis in obstructive nephropathy. Am J Physiol (Renal), 295: F202-214.

Miller TA, Icli B, Cote GM, Lebrasseur NK, Borkan SC, Pimentel DR, Peng X, and Sawyer DB. 2009. Palmitate alters neuregulin signaling and biology in cardiac myocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 379: 32-37.

Wang Z, Havasi A, Gall JM, Mao H, Schwartz JH and Borkan SC.  2009.  β-catenin regulates Bax and renal epithelial cell survival via a PI3 kinase/Akt dependent Mechanism.  J. AM Soc Nephrology, IN PRESS.

Havasi A, Wang Z, Gall JM, Spaderna M, Suri V, Canlas E, Martin JL, Schwartz JH and Borkan SC. 2009. Hsp27 Inhibits Sublethal, Src Mediated Renal Epithelial Cell Injury. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol, IN PRESS.

Technologies available for sharing upon request:

Animal surgery; Primary murine cell culture (kidney); Cell Imaging/mito morphology; ATP production rate in intact cells