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ER-assisted folding

Saturday 14 January 2006

- Folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) must couple protein-synthesis pathways operating outside of the compartment with ER-assisted folding (ERAF) pathways in the lumen.

- Chaperone-mediated folding imbalances that are associated with numerous misfolding diseases, including diabetes, trigger the unfolded-protein response (UPR), using both transcriptional and translational pathways to correct the problem.

- Small-molecule inhibitors could be useful to help rebalance protein synthesis with ERAF pathways through the ribosomal initiating factor eIF2alpha. Reprogramming stress pathways with drugs provides a potential new approach for balancing ER-protein load with cellular-folding capacity, thus correcting disease.


- Wiseman RL, Balch WE. A new pharmacology—drugging stressed folding pathways. Trends Mol Med. 2005 Aug;11(8):347-50. PMID: 16005683