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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 475–496 | Cite as

Autophagy in stem and progenitor cells

  • Carlo Rodolfo
  • Sabrina Di Bartolomeo
  • Francesco CecconiEmail author
Review

Abstract

Autophagy is a highly conserved cellular process, responsible for the degradation and recycling of damaged and/or outlived proteins and organelles. This is the major cellular pathway, acting throughout the formation of cytosolic vesicles, called autophagosomes, for the delivering to lysosome. Recycling of cellular components through autophagy is a crucial step for cell homeostasis as well as for tissue remodelling during development. Impairment of this process has been related to the pathogenesis of various diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration, to the response to bacterial and viral infections, and to ageing. The ability of stem cells to self-renew and differentiate into the mature cells of the body renders this unique type of cell highly crucial to development and tissue renewal, not least in various diseases. During the last two decades, extensive knowledge about autophagy roles and regulation in somatic cells has been acquired; however, the picture about the role and the regulation of autophagy in the different types of stem cells is still largely unknown. Autophagy is a major player in the quality control and maintenance of cellular homeostasis, both crucial factors for stem cells during an organism’s life. In this review, we have highlighted the most significant advances in the comprehension of autophagy regulation in embryonic and tissue stem cells, as well as in cancer stem cells and induced pluripotent cells.

Keywords

Autophagy Stem cells Progenitor cells 

Abbreviations

ATG genes

Autophagy-related genes

BATF

ATF-like transcription factor

BM-MSCs

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

CAV-1

Caveolin 1

CP-MSCs

Chorionic plate-derived mesenchymal stem cells

CSCs

Cancer stem cells

DCIS

Comedo-ductal carcinoma in situ

Ebs

Embryoid bodies

EMT

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

ESCs

Embryonic stem cells

FRS2

FGF receptors substrate 2 a

GBM

Glioblastoma

GC

Glucocorticoid

HDACs

Histone deacetylases

HES3-GFP-LC3

hESCs constitutively expressing GFP-LC3

hESCs

Human ESC

HIF1A

Hypoxia inducible factor 1 a

HPs

Haematopoietic progenitors

HSCs

Haematopoietic stem cells

HSPC

Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell

iPSCs

Induced pluripotent stem cells

MACP

Mitochondrial anion carrier protein

M-BMSCs

Mandible-derived BMSCs

MFs

Macrophages

MP

Methyl pyruvate

MSCs

Mesenchymal stem cells

NSCs

Neuronal stem cells

NuRD

Nucleosome remodelling deacetylase

Obs

Osteoblasts

OXPHOS

Oxidative phosphorylation

PA

Pluripotency associated proteins

PCD

Programmed cell death

RBC

Red blood cells

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SATB2

Special AT-rich binding protein 2

SCF

Stem cell factor

SD-MSCs

Serum deprived mesenchymal stem cells

SVZ

Sub ventricular zone

T-BMSCs

Mandible-derived BMSCs

TCA

Tricarboxylic acid cycle

UCP2

Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2

UPS

Ubiquitin–proteasome system

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Rodolfo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sabrina Di Bartolomeo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesco Cecconi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Roma Tor VergataRomeItaly
  2. 2.IRCCS Fondazione Santa LuciaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Cell Stress and SurvivalDanish Cancer Society Research CenterCopenhagenDenmark

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