The functional health of the proteome is determined by properties of the proteostasis network (PN) that regulates protein synthesis, folding, macromolecular assembly, translocation, and degradation. In eukaryotes, the PN also integrates protein biogenesis across compartments within the cell and between tissues of metazoans for organismal health and longevity. Additionally, in metazoans, proteome stability and the functional health of proteins is optimized for development and yet declines throughout aging, accelerating the risk for misfolding, aggregation, and cellular dysfunction. Here, I describe the cell-nonautonomous regulation of organismal PN by tissue communication and cell stress-response pathways. These systems are robust from development through reproductive maturity and are genetically programmed to decline abruptly in early adulthood by repression of the heat shock response and other cell-protective stress responses, thus compromising the ability of cells and tissues to properly buffer against the cumulative stress of protein damage during aging. While the failure of multiple protein quality control processes during aging challenges cellular function and tissue health, genetic studies, and the identification of small-molecule proteostasis regulators suggests strategies that can be employed to reset the PN with potential benefit on cellular health and organismal longevity.
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