Setting the standards: quality control in the secretory pathway

Science. 1999 Dec 3;286(5446):1882-8. doi: 10.1126/science.286.5446.1882.


A variety of quality control mechanisms operate in the endoplasmic reticulum and in downstream compartments of the secretory pathway to ensure the fidelity and regulation of protein expression during cell life and differentiation. As a rule, only proteins that pass a stringent selection process are transported to their target organelles and compartments. If proper maturation fails, the aberrant products are degraded. Quality control improves folding efficiency by retaining proteins in the special folding environment of the endoplasmic reticulum, and it prevents harmful effects that could be caused by the deployment of incompletely folded or assembled proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Folding*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Proteins