Mammalian germline cells, embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells hold the potential for defining, constructing, and maintaining a unique individual through the respective processes of gametogenesis, embryogenesis, and tissue repair over the span of a lifetime. Autophagy carries out critical functions in these cells using a variety of mechanisms. Of particular importance to the integrity of germline and stem cells are (1) the removal of damaged and/or excess mitochondria, thereby reducing the potential for generating reactive oxygen species that can damage genomic content; (2) the removal and recycling of cellular structures to facilitate the extensive remodeling that occurs during the initial establishment and subsequent differentiation of these cell populations; and (3) the supply of substrates and energy sources when needed under stress and in the environment of the “hypoxic niche” that these cells often occupy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutophagy in Health and Disease
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128220030
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Autophagy
  • IPSCs
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Mitophagy
  • Oogenesis
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Stem cells
  • Transcription factor EB


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