Mechanistic roles of autophagy in hematopoietic differentiation.
Riffelmacher T., Simon A-K.
Autophagy is increasingly recognized for its active role in development and differentiation. In particular, its role in the differentiation of hematopoietic cells has been extensively studied, likely because blood cells are accessible, easy to identify and purify, and their progenitor tree is well defined. This review aims to discuss the mechanisms by which autophagy impacts on differentiation, using hematopoietic cell types as examples. Autophagy's roles include the remodeling during terminal differentiation, the maintenance of a long-lived cell type, and the regulation of the balance between self-renewal and quiescence in stem-like cells. We discuss and compare the mechanistic roles of autophagy, such as prevention of apoptosis, supply of energy metabolites and metabolic adaption, and selective degradation of organelles and of regulatory factors.