The ER-overload response: activation of NF-kappa B

Trends Biochem Sci. 1997 Feb;22(2):63-7. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(96)10073-6.


Various conditions that perturb the function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) were recently shown to activate the transcription factor NF-kappa B. Activation of NF-kappa B is caused by the accumulation of proteins in the ER membrane, a condition we have called ER overload. Both the release of Ca2+ from the ER and the subsequent production of reactive oxygen intermediates are required for ER-overload-mediated NF-kappa B activation. This novel intracellular signal transduction pathway might be important in antiviral defense and play a role in various diseases as well as in B-cell development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • NF-kappa B
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Calcium