Virus and tumor microenvironment induced ER stress and unfolded protein response: from complexity to therapeutics

Kumari Asha and Neelam Sharma-Walia _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:31920-31936. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25886

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Kumari Asha1 and Neelam Sharma-Walia1

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A

Correspondence to:

Neelam Sharma-Walia, email: [email protected]

Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum stress; UPR; PERK; IRE1α; ATF6

Received: May 31, 2018     Accepted: July 21, 2018     Published: August 07, 2018


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress can be activated by various pathological and physiological conditions including the unfolded protein response (UPR) to restore homeostasis. The UPR signaling pathways initiated by double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) like ER kinase (PERK), inositol requiring enzyme 1 α (IRE1α), and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) are vital for tumor growth, aggressiveness, microenvironment remodeling, and resistance to cancer therapeutics. This review focuses on the role of ER stress and activity of UPR signaling pathways involved in tumor formation and uncontrolled cell proliferation during various cancers and viral malignancies.

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