The Role of Autophagy in Mammalian Development

Cell Makeover Rather than Cell Death

Francesco Cecconi, Beth Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

356 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autophagy is important for the degradation of bulk cytoplasm, long-lived proteins, and entire organelles. In lower eukaryotes, autophagy functions as a cell death mechanism or as a stress response during development. However, autophagy's significance in vertebrate development, and the role (if any) of vertebrate-specific factors in its regulation, remains unexplained. Through careful analysis of the current autophagy gene mutant mouse models, we propose that in mammals, autophagy may be involved in specific cytosolic rearrangements needed for proliferation, death, and differentiation during embryogenesis and postnatal development. Thus, autophagy is a process of cytosolic "renovation," crucial in cell fate decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-357
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2008

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Mammals
Autophagy
Cell death
Cell Death
Genes
Degradation
Proteins
Vertebrates
Eukaryota
Organelles
Embryonic Development
Cytoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

The Role of Autophagy in Mammalian Development : Cell Makeover Rather than Cell Death. / Cecconi, Francesco; Levine, Beth.

In: Developmental Cell, Vol. 15, No. 3, 16.09.2008, p. 344-357.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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