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Essays Biochem. 2017 Dec 12;61(6):625-635. doi: 10.1042/EBC20170092. Print 2017 Dec 12.

ER homeostasis and autophagy.

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Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH4 2XR, U.K.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a key site for lipid biosynthesis and folding of nascent transmembrane and secretory proteins. These processes are maintained by careful homeostatic control of the environment within the ER lumen. Signalling sensors within the ER detect perturbations within the lumen (ER stress) and employ downstream signalling cascades that engage effector mechanisms to restore homeostasis. The most studied signalling mechanism that the ER employs is the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is known to increase a number of effector mechanisms, including autophagy. In this chapter, we will discuss the emerging role of autophagy as a UPR effector pathway. We will focus on the recently discovered selective autophagy pathway for ER, ER-phagy, with particular emphasis on the structure and function of known mammalian ER-phagy receptors, namely FAM134B, SEC62, RTN3 and CCPG1. Finally, we conclude with our view of where the future of this field can lead our understanding of the involvement of ER-phagy in ER homeostasis.


Autophagy; ER homeostasis; ER stress; ER-phagy; proteostasis; unfolded protein response

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