Protecting the future: balancing proteostasis for reproduction

Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Mar;32(3):202-215. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2021.09.009. Epub 2021 Oct 12.


The proteostasis network (PN) regulates protein synthesis, folding, and degradation and is critical for the health and function of all cells. The PN has been extensively studied in the context of aging and age-related diseases, and loss of proteostasis is regarded as a major contributor to many age-associated disorders. In contrast to somatic tissues, an important feature of germ cells is their ability to maintain a healthy proteome across generations. Accumulating evidence has now revealed multiple layers of PN regulation that support germ cell function, determine reproductive capacity during aging, and prioritize reproduction at the expense of somatic health. Here, we review recent insights into these different modes of regulation and their implications for reproductive and somatic aging.

Keywords: aging; oocyte; proteostasis; reproduction; stress response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Humans
  • Protein Folding
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteostasis Deficiencies* / metabolism
  • Proteostasis*
  • Reproduction


  • Proteome