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Front Immunol. 2012 Mar 15;3:48. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2012.00048. eCollection 2012.

ER Stress Proteins in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases.

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Faculty of Life Sciences, Kyoto Sangyo University Kyoto, Japan.


Over the past two decades, heat shock proteins (HSPs) have been implicated in inflammatory responses and autoimmunity. HSPs were originally believed to maintain protein quality control in the cytosol. However, they also exist extracellularly and appear to act as inflammatory factors. Recently, a growing body of evidence suggested that the other class of stress proteins such as, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress proteins, which originally act as protein quality control factors in the secretory pathway and are induced by ER stress in inflammatory lesions, also participate in inflammation and autoimmunity. The immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein (Bip)/glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), calnexin, calreticulin, glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94)/gp96, oxygen regulated protein 150 (ORP150)/glucose-regulated protein 170 (GRP170), homocysteine-induced ER protein (Herp) and heat shock protein 47 (hsp47)/Serpin H1, which are expressed not only in the ER but also occasionally at the cell surface play pathophysiological roles in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as pro- or anti-inflammatory factors. Here we describe the accumulating evidence of the participation of ER stress proteins in autoimmunity and inflammation and discuss the critical differences between the two classes of stress proteins.


ER stress; ERAD; autoimmunity; inflammation; molecular chaperone

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