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Trends Mol Med. 2012 Oct;18(10):589-98. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

ER stress-induced inflammation: does it aid or impede disease progression?

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium.


Different lines of research have revealed that pathways activated by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response induce sterile inflammation. When activated, all three sensors of the unfolded protein response (UPR), PERK, IRE1, and ATF6, participate in upregulating inflammatory processes. ER stress in various cells plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and intestinal bowel and airway diseases. Moreover, it has been suggested that ER stress-induced inflammation contributes substantially to disease progression. However, this generalization can be challenged at least in the case of cancer. In this review, we emphasize that ER stress can either aid or impede disease progression via inflammatory pathways depending on the cell type, disease stage, and type of ER stressor.

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