About this Research Topic
Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent cellular degradation process by which cytoplasmic components including macromolecules and organelles are degraded and recycled. Autophagy is highly active during differentiation and development regulating stem cell biology but also participating in morphogenetic processes that are decisive for the shaping of the embryo’s body, by acting in tissue remodeling in parallel with apoptosis. An increase of autophagic cells is, in fact, observed in the embryonic stages characterized by massive cell elimination. Moreover, autophagic processes likely protect cells during metabolic stress and nutrient paucity that occur during tissue remodeling. It is therefore evident the close interplay between autophagy and the processes of cell death, proliferation and differentiation that determines the development of eukaryotes.
The main focus of this Research Topic is on the role of the autophagic process in orchestrating cellular processes such as development, differentiation and ageing in physiological and pathological conditions. A large body of evidence linking autophagy with reduced inflammation, improved tissue function and renewal properties and overall extended lifespan, placing autophagy as a key process in tissue homeostasis.
We encourage the submission of Original Research articles dissecting the role of autophagy in mammalian development and differentiation. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Mechanisms of autophagy modulation during development;
• Cross-talk between autophagy and other signaling pathways implicated in cellular differentiation;
• Small molecules that can pharmacologically modulate the autophagic process during differentiation;
• Autophagy contribution to stem cells activity and functionality during lifespan;
• Alteration of autophagy machinery in differentiation-related diseases.
Keywords: Autophagy, Mammalian Development, Differentiation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.