The proteostasis network adjusts protein composition and maintains protein integrity, which are essential processes for cell function and viability. Current efforts, given their intrinsic characteristics, regenerative potential and fundamental biological functions, have been directed to define proteostasis of stem cells. These insights demonstrate that embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells exhibit an endogenous proteostasis network that not only modulates their pluripotency and differentiation but also provides a striking ability to suppress aggregation of disease-related proteins. Moreover, recent findings establish a central role of enhanced proteostasis to prevent the aging of somatic stem cells in adult organisms. Notably, proteostasis is also required for the biological purpose of adult germline stem cells, that is to be passed from one generation to the next. Beyond these links between proteostasis and stem cell function, we also discuss the implications of these findings for disease, aging, and reproduction.
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