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Nature. 1999 Jan 21;397(6716):271-4.

Protein translation and folding are coupled by an endoplasmic-reticulum-resident kinase.

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Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York 10016, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nature 1999 Mar 4;398(6722):90.


Protein synthesis and the folding of the newly synthesized proteins into the correct three-dimensional structure are coupled in cellular compartments of the exocytosis pathway by a process that modulates the phosphorylation level of eukaryotic initiation factor-2alpha (eIF2alpha) in response to a stress signal from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Activation of this process leads to reduced rates of initiation of protein translation during ER stress. Here we describe the cloning of perk, a gene encoding a type I transmembrane ER-resident protein. PERK has a lumenal domain that is similar to the ER-stress-sensing lumenal domain of the ER-resident kinase Ire1, and a cytoplasmic portion that contains a protein-kinase domain most similar to that of the known eIF2alpha kinases, PKR and HRI. ER stress increases PERK's protein-kinase activity and PERK phosphorylates eIF2alpha on serine residue 51, inhibiting translation of messenger RNA into protein. These properties implicate PERK in a signalling pathway that attenuates protein translation in response to ER stress.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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