Modulating stress responses by the UPRosome: a matter of life and death

Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Jun;36(6):329-37. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2011.03.001. Epub 2011 Apr 7.


The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR) through the activation of specialized sensors including inositol-requiring enzyme-1α (IRE1α). IRE1α signals by assembling a dynamic protein platform referred to as the UPRosome, where different modulator and adaptor proteins assemble to regulate the kinetics and amplitude of UPR effector responses. Conversely, chronic ER stress can cause apoptosis. Recent evidence indicates that several apoptosis-related proteins interact with IRE1α, regulating its prosurvival activities and performing a dual function in the regulation of cell death and adaptation to stress. Based on the increasing relevance of ER stress to the occurrence of diverse pathological conditions, strategies to target and modulate the assembly and composition of the UPRosome could have therapeutic benefits for disease intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Unfolded Protein Response*


  • ERN1 protein, human
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Endoribonucleases