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Nrf2 and Nrf1 signaling and ER stress crosstalk: implication for proteasomal degradation and autophagy.

Digaleh H., Kiaei M., Khodagholi F.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen is chemically complex and crowded with polypeptides in different stages of assembly. ER quality control monitors chaperone-assisted protein folding, stochastic errors and off-pathway intermediates. In acute conditions, potentially toxic polypeptides overflow the capacity of the chaperone system and lead to ER stress. Activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) following ER stress buys time for non-native polypeptides to refold or be eliminated; otherwise cell death occurs. The clearance routes for deleterious proteins are endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) and ER stress-activated autophagy. The ERAD pathway is a chaperone and proteasome-mediated polypeptide degradation, while autophagy applies to wider range of substances. ER stress signal transduction recruits diverse molecules and pathways upon UPR induction to compensate stress condition. NF-E2-related factor 1 (Nrf1) and Nrf2 are two transcription factors mostly known by their induction through an antioxidant response; they can also be activated by UPR machinery. Discovery of diverse molecules downstream of Nrf1 and Nrf2 has expanded our understanding of the biological impacts of these transcription factors beyond classic antioxidant activation. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of mutual relationships between Nrf1, Nrf2, and ER stress clearance mechanisms and highlight the crosstalk of specific molecules mediating these correlations.

Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 70:4681-4694(2013) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]