MANF regulates neuronal survival and UPR through its ER-located receptor IRE1α

Cell Rep. 2023 Feb 28;42(2):112066. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112066. Epub 2023 Feb 3.


Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-located protein with cytoprotective effects in neurons and pancreatic β cells in vitro and in models of neurodegeneration and diabetes in vivo. However, the exact mode of MANF action has remained elusive. Here, we show that MANF directly interacts with the ER transmembrane unfolded protein response (UPR) sensor IRE1α, and we identify the binding interface between MANF and IRE1α. The expression of wild-type MANF, but not its IRE1α binding-deficient mutant, attenuates UPR signaling by decreasing IRE1α oligomerization; phosphorylation; splicing of Xbp1, Atf6, and Txnip levels; and protecting neurons from ER stress-induced death. MANF-IRE1α interaction and not MANF-BiP interaction is crucial for MANF pro-survival activity in neurons in vitro and is required to protect dopamine neurons in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. Our data show IRE1α as an intracellular receptor for MANF and regulator of neuronal survival.

Keywords: BiP; CP: Molecular biology; CP: Neuroscience; ER stress; IRE1α; MANF; PD; Parkinson’s disease; UPR; mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor; neuronal survival; unfolded protein response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Endoribonucleases* / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases* / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases* / metabolism


  • Endoribonucleases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Nerve Growth Factors