The unfolded protein response in nutrient sensing and differentiation

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jun;3(6):411-21. doi: 10.1038/nrm829.


Eukaryotic cells coordinate protein-folding reactions in the endoplasmic reticulum with gene expression in the nucleus and messenger RNA translation in the cytoplasm. As the rate of protein synthesis increases, protein folding can be compromised, so cells have evolved signal-transduction pathways that control transcription and translation -- the 'unfolded protein response'. Recent studies indicate that these pathways also coordinate rates of protein synthesis with nutrient and energy stores, and regulate cell differentiation to survive nutrient-limiting conditions or to produce large amounts of secreted products such as hormones, antibodies or growth factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Folding
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger