Aggrephagy deficiency in the placenta: A new pathogenesis of preeclampsia

Akitoshi Nakashima, Tomoko Shima, Sayaka Tsuda, Aiko Aoki, Mihoko Kawaguchi, Atsushi Furuta, Ippei Yasuda, Satoshi Yoneda, Akemi Yamaki-Ushijima, Shi Bin Cheng, Surendra Sharma, Shigeru Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Aggrephagy is defined as the selective degradation of aggregated proteins by autophago-somes. Protein aggregation in organs and cells has been highlighted as a cause of multiple diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiac failure, and renal failure. Aggregates could pose a hazard for cell survival. Cells exhibit three main mechanisms against the accumulation of aggregates: protein refolding by upregulation of chaperones, reduction of protein overload by translational inhibition, and protein degradation by the ubiquitin–proteasome and autophagy–lysosome systems. Deletion of autophagy-related genes reportedly contributes to intracellular protein aggregation in vivo. Some proteins recognized in aggregates in preeclamptic placentas include those involved in neurodegenerative diseases. As aggregates are derived both intracellularly and extracellularly, special endocytosis for extracellular aggregates also employs the autophagy machinery. In this review, we discuss how the deficiency of aggrephagy and/or macroautophagy leads to poor placentation, resulting in preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2432
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggrephagy
  • Aggresome
  • Autophagy
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Inflammation
  • Pla-centa
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein aggregation
  • Transthyretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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