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Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2004 Dec;124(6):383-90.

[The regulation of unfolded protein response by OASIS, a transmembrane bZIP transcription factor, in astrocytes].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is susceptible to various stresses that provoke the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER. Excessive or long-termed stresses in the ER result in apoptotic cell death involving activation of caspase-12 and -3 and the Ask-1-JNK pathway. Eukaryotic cells can adapt for survival to deal with an accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER by increasing transcription of genes encoding ER-resident chaperones such as GRP78/BiP to facilitate protein folding. The induction system is termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). It has been reported that IRE1 and PERK, transmembrane kinases, and ATF6, a transmembrane transcription factor, are mediators of the UPR through sensing accumulation of unfolded proteins. Cell fates after ER stress are regulated by the balance of both apoptosis and the UPR signaling. In the nervous systems, astrocytes are well known to be resistant to ER stresses induced by ischemia and hypoxia. These findings raise the possibility that astrocytes possess a novel UPR signaling different from that of neuronal cells. Recently, we identified a novel ER stress sensor, OASIS, which is specifically expressed in astrocytes. This protein is a transmembrane protein containing the bZIP domain. The functional analyses of OASIS showed that 1) it was cleaved within the ER membrane in response to the ER stress, 2) overexpression of OASIS induced the transcription of GRP78/BiP mRNA through the activation of cyclic AMP responsive element (CRE) and ER stress responsive element (ERSE), and 3) its stable cell lines were resistant to ER stress compared with the control cells. These results indicate that the ER-resident transcription factor OASIS may be a candidate for leading astrocytes to protect against ER stress.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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