Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed

Position title: Graduate Student, IPiB



ACS accredited B.S., Chemistry with Biochemistry emphasis Summa Cum Laude, Hope College, Holland, MI

Research Description

In a range of species from flies to monkeys it has been documented that a diet with prolonged reduction in calories can dramatically improve health and slow the process of aging, but the molecular details of this process are largely unknown. Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed’s research uses biochemical approaches to uncover details on how a reduction in calories acts at the basic level to regulate the function of the mitochondria, the energy producers of the cell. Dittenhafer-Reed’s focus is on the protein deacetylase Sirt3, a member of a family of mammalian sirtuin enzymes implicated in age-related diseases. In response to a reduction in calories, Sirt3 levels increase in the mitochondria, resulting in altered metabolism, improved mitochondrial health, and protection from oxidative stress.


Graduate Awards: NIH Biotechnology Training Grant, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Wisconsin Graduate Trainee Award

Undergraduate Awards: Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, Eli Lilly Undergraduate Organic Summer Research Fellowship, Hope College Biochemistry Award, Hope College Organic Chemistry Book Award, Hope College Jaecker Scholarship, Hope College VanderWerf Scholar

Selected Publications

Kinetic and Structural Basis for Acyl-Group Selectivity and NAD(+) Dependence in Sirtuin-Catalyzed Deacylation. Feldman JK*, Dittenhafer-Reed KE*, Kudo N, Thelen JN, Ito A, Yoshida M and Denu JM. Biochem 2015.

SIRT3 mediates multi-tissue coupling for metabolic fuel switching. Dittenhafer-Reed KE, Richards AL, Fan J, Smallegan MJ, Siahpirani AF, Kemmerer ZA, Prolla TA, Roy S, Coon JJ and Denu JM. Cell Metab 2015.

Calorie restriction and SIRT3 trigger global reprogramming of the mitochondrial acetylome. Hebert AS*, Dittenhafer-Reed KE*, Yu W, Bailey DJ, Selen ES, Boersma, MD, Carson JJ, Tonelli M, Balloon AJ, Higbe AJ, Westphall MS, Pagliarini DJ, Prolla, TA, Assadi-Porter F, Roy S, Denu JM, Coon JJ. Mol Cell 2013.

Sirtuin catalysis and regulation. Feldman JL*, Dittenhafer-Reed KE* and Denu JM. J Biol Chem 2012.

SIRT3 protein deacetylates isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) and regulates mitochondrial redox status. Yu W, Dittenhafer-Reed KE and Denu JM. J Biol Chem 2012.

Catalysis and mechanistic insights into sirtuin activation. Dittenhafer-Reed KE*, Feldman JL*, Denu JM. Chembiochem 2011.


*Authors contributed equally.