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Targeting endoplasmic reticulum signaling pathways in cancer.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) orchestrates the production of membrane-bound and secreted proteins. However, its capacity to process the synthesis and folding of protein is limited. Protein overload and the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER trigger an adaptive response known as the ER-stress response that is mediated by specific ER-anchored signaling pathways. This response regulates cell functions aimed at restoring cellular homeostasis or at promoting apoptosis of irreparably damaged cells. Activation or deregulation of ER-signaling pathways has been associated with various diseases including cancer. Here we discuss how tumors engage ER-signaling pathways to promote tumorigenesis and how manipulation of this process by anticancer drugs may contribute to cancer treatment.
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