Chapter 8

ER Quality Control, ER Stress-Induced Apoptosis, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Hideki Nishitoh, Hisae Kadowaki, Kohsuke Takeda and Hidenori Ichijo


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the intracellular organelle in which newly synthesized secretory and transmembrane proteins achieve proper structure as a result of post-translational modification, folding, and oligomerization. However, many of these proteins are malfolded (unfolded or misfolded) as a result of various intracellular or extracellular stimuli. ER stress is caused by disturbances of ER function with the accumulation of malfolded proteins and alterations in calcium homeostasis. To restore ER function, cells possess a highly specific ER quality control system to increase the capacity of protein folding and to reduce the amount of malfolded proteins in the ER. In case of prolonged ER stress or malfunction of the ER quality control system, apoptosis signaling is activated. ER stress-induced apoptosis has recently been implicated in human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, polyglutamine diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of the ER quality control system and ER stress-induced apoptosis and the possible roles of ER stress in neurodegenerative diseases.

Total Pages: 94-102 (9)

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.Frontiers in Clinical Drug Research - CNS and Neurological Disorders.
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.Recent Advances in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders.
.Advances in Alzheimer Research.
.Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.