The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a dynamic organelle responsible for many cellular functions in eukaryotic cells. Proper redox conditions in the ER are necessary for the functions of many luminal pathways and the maintenance of homeostasis. The redox environment in the ER is oxidative compared with that of the cytosol, and a network of oxidoreductases centering on the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI)-Ero1α hub complex is constructed for efficient electron transfer. Although these oxidizing environments are advantageous for oxidative folding for protein maturation, electron transfer is strictly controlled by Ero1α structurally and spatially. The ER redox environment shifts to a reductive environment under certain stress conditions. In this review, we focus on the reducing reactions that maintain ER homeostasis and introduce their significance in an oxidative ER environment.
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