Endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response in neurodegenerative diseases

Rose Ghemrawi, Mostafa Khair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an important organelle involved in protein quality control and cellular homeostasis. The accumulation of unfolded proteins leads to an ER stress, followed by an adaptive response via the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), PKR-like ER kinase (PERK), inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease 1α (IRE1α) and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) pathways. However, prolonged cell stress activates apoptosis signaling leading to cell death. Neuronal cells are particularly sensitive to protein misfolding, consequently ER and UPR dysfunctions were found to be involved in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and prions diseases, among others characterized by the accumulation and aggregation of misfolded proteins. Pharmacological UPR modulation in affected tissues may contribute to the treatment and prevention of neurodegeneration. The association between ER stress, UPR and neuropathology is well established. In this review, we provide up-to-date evidence of UPR activation in neurodegenerative disorders followed by therapeutic strategies targeting the UPR and ameliorating the toxic effects of protein unfolding and aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6127
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • ER stress
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Unfolded protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response in neurodegenerative diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this