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Autophagy. 2008 Jul;4(5):727-30. Epub 2008 Apr 17.

The role of autophagy in neonatal tissues: just a response to amino acid starvation?

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Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM), Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.


Autophagy is activated soon after birth in neonatal tissues and is essential for survival because mice deficient in Atg5 or Atg7 autophagy genes die within 1 day after birth. Amino acid starvation has been considered as a major deleterious effect of autophagy deficiency, since the concentration of amino acids in plasma was decreased by 20% in the two knockout models, whereas blood glucose and fatty acid levels were apparently not affected. However, autophagy may have other important functions in neonatal physiology, including glycogen degradation, programmed cell remodeling and response to oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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