Generic placeholder image

Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Review Article

Molecular Basis of Human Diseases and Targeted Therapy Based on Small-Molecule Inhibitors of ER Stress-Induced Signaling Pathways

Author(s): W. Rozpedek, A. Nowak, D. Pytel, J. Alan Diehl and I. Majsterek*

Volume 17, Issue 2, 2017

Page: [118 - 132] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/1566524017666170306122643

Price: $65


The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) provides a conserved protein quality control system and plays a fundamental role in cell growth and homeostasis. Disturbances in the ER homeostasis may originate especially from hypoxia, glucose deficiency, presence of mutant proteins, that directly impair protein folding capacity and after deposition of unfolded and misfolded proteins within ER lumen trigger ER stress conditions. This subsequently activates the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) branches, which have a dual pro-adaptive or pro-apoptotic role depending on the severity and time of duration of ER stress conditions. This review is the first to offer a detailed overview on molecular mechanisms of all major ER stress-dependent signaling branches, that are activated through three specific ER transmembrane receptors of impaired protein folding: Protein kinase RNA (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK), Inositol-requiring enzyme-1 (IRE1) and Activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6). Molecular crosstalk among ER transmembrane receptors-dependent pathways determines a final UPR response, but the recent data reported that especially PERK over-activation has a significant impact on the development and progression of a wide spectrum of disease entities. Based on these findings, small-molecules, highly specific PERK inhibitors may provide effective, groundbreaking treatment strategy against human diseases. However, after foregoing in vitro cellular and in vivo animal models conducted examination, supplementary investigations of PERK inhibitors are required for their further clinical use. Future research may answer the question of how to minimize toxicity and side effects of characterized small-molecule PERK inhibitors, that may be used, as breakthrough drugs, alone or in combination with currently known models of therapy.

Keywords: ER stress, PERK, IRE1, ATF6, homeostasis, apoptosis, small-molecule PERK inhibitors.

Rights & Permissions Print Export Cite as
© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy