Unfolded Protein Response in Leukemia: From Basic Understanding to Therapeutic Opportunities

Trends Cancer. 2020 Nov;6(11):960-973. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2020.05.012. Epub 2020 Jun 13.


Understanding genetic and epigenetic changes that underlie abnormal proliferation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is critical for development of new approaches to monitor and treat leukemia. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a conserved adaptive signaling pathway that governs protein folding, secretion, and energy production and serves to maintain protein homeostasis in various cellular compartments. Deregulated UPR signaling, which often occurs in hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia, defines the degree of cellular toxicity and perturbs protein homeostasis, and at the same time, offers a novel therapeutic target. Here, we review current knowledge related to altered UPR signaling in leukemia and highlight possible strategies for exploiting the UPR as treatment for this disease.

Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum stress; hematological malignancy; hematopoietic stem cell; lymphoid leukemia; myeloid leukemia; unfolded protein response.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural