The unfolded protein response: No longer just a special teams player

E. Spear, D. T.W. Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway known as the unfolded protein response is currently the best understood model of interorganellar signal transduction. Bridging a physical separation, the pathway provides a direct line of communication between the endoplasmic reticulum lumen and the nucleus. With the unfolded protein response, the cell has the means to monitor and respond to the changing needs of the endoplasmic reticulum. Beginning with the discovery of its remarkable signaling mechanism in yeast, the unfolded protein response has not ceased to reveal more of its many secrets. By applying powerful biochemical, genetic, genomic, and cytological approaches, the recent efforts of many groups have buried the long-held notion that the unfolded protein response is simply a regulatory platform for endoplasmic reticulum chaperones. We now know that the unfolded protein response regulates many genes that affect diverse aspects of cellular physiology. In addition, studies in mammals have revealed novel unfolded protein response signaling factors that may contribute to the specialized needs of multicellular organisms. This article focuses on these and other recent developments in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-523
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • ER-associated protein degradation
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Gene regulation
  • Secretory pathway
  • Signal transduction
  • Unfolded protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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