The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a major site of protein synthesis, most strikingly in the specialized secretory cells of metazoans, which can produce their own weight in proteins daily. Cells possess a diverse machinery to ensure correct folding, assembly, and secretion of proteins from the ER. When this machinery is overwhelmed, the cell is said to experience ER stress, a result of the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the lumen of the organelle. Here we discuss the causes of ER stress and the mechanisms by which cells elicit a response, with an emphasis on recent discoveries.
Keywords: ATF6; ER stress; IRE1; PERK; UPR.
Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.